The opening of the state Legislature is right around the corner, which means it's time to start ramping up public fear.
So it's no surprise that the chief fear-mongers — Center for Food Safety, Gary Hooser's HAPA and the anti-GMO Hawaii SEED — are co-sponsoring events intended to make folks anxious about only one thing: agricultural pesticides.
For the first event, set for next week, they've aligned with a motley crew of supposed environmental advocacy groups. These include Honua Consulting, which just got a $200,000 consulting contract with the Oahu high-speed rail project, and a new group that blatantly ripped off the name — North Shore Ohana — of a legit Kauai entity that pursued important public shoreline litigation.
Yeah, if you've got no creds, and no legitimacy, why not just steal from a group that does? Ethics, like facts, are not highly valued by the “ends justify the means” anti-GMO crowd.
Anyway, they're bringing in writer Sandra Steingraber, who produced an advocacy film, “Living Downstream,” linking chemicals to cancer. Ironically, the film was financed by the Ceres Trust, which is funded with a manufacturing fortune, and the Kendeda Fund, which gets its money from the ex-wife of the Home Depot mogul. No chemicals or toxins there!
Steingraber will be flying to Oahu a week after speaking in Paris on “Keeping Fossil Fuels in the Ground” — well, except those she wants to make use of for her own travels. This is yet another example of the hypocrisy and not-so-clean cash behind the anti-GMO movement, which has billed Steingraber's talk as “For the Keiki.” The ad for her “free” lecture (but be sure to buy a book) asks:
Don't you believe that our keiki deserve a safe, toxin-free environment?
Of course they do. But these groups have targeted agricultural entities as the sole foe of that goal — even though they aren't the largest users of pesticides in the state, and there hasn't been one documented case of pesticide poisoning by seed companies. There isn't any attention paid to education, even though pesticide poisonings most often occur in the home, with products available at places like Home Depot.
As an aside, Reuters is publishing a harrowing series on all the drug-addicted mamas — abusing meth and opiates, the latter frequently prescribed by doctors — having drug babies, with little oversight from social services agencies, resulting in the abuse and deaths of too many kids.
But no, parental drug abuse can't possibly be a problem for keiki in drug-riddled Hawaii. Nope, the seed companies are the gravest — indeed, the only — threat to the health of island keiki. Go figger.....
Steingraber's talk will be followed next month by HAPA's “International Food Justice Summit in Hawaii,” whereby they'll trot four as-yet-unidentified “experts” around the state to:
“weave together a story of how our local struggles are connected, share inspiring stories of grassroots victories from around the earth, and explore how the world movement can grow (together) toward transforming the food system to be more democratic, equitable, ecologically and climate -sensible, and to feed people rather than corporate profits.”
First, we've had quite enough stories and storytelling, thank you very much. How about some truth, followed by some actual action? Because none of these Hawaii groups have actually done anything concrete to transform the food system. Indeed, one could make a strong case that they're guilty of food injustice, as in consuming more than their share, simply by observing the paunches and jowls of the most ardent activists.
And enough already with the empty rhetoric about “corporate profits.” Center for Food Safety and HAPA love to demonize corporate cash and place themselves above the filthy money-grubbers, with HAPA grandly claiming its “mission is to catalyze community empowerment and systemic change towards valuing `āina (environment) and people ahead of corporate profit.”
Yet HAPA and CFS are funded almost solely by corporate profits, including those gleaned from fossil fuel exploitation and other toxic enterprises.
Speaking of Gary, I was quite touched to read his little tribute to me in his Thanksgiving blog post, where he wrote:
My thanks today goes [sic] out especially to those unique individuals who go the extra mile and who work relentlessly toward the goal of making our island and our planet a better place. I am speaking of those who are willing to stand up and be counted and speak truth to power even when the topic is controversial and the position perhaps unpopular.
Aw, gee whiz, Gary. Glad you've finally seen the light. Maybe now you'll stop leaving all those nasty "anonymous" comments about how I'm a paid industry shill. (Hint: It's super easy to identify people when they use the same language in their Facebook posts that they do in their “anonymous” comments.]
I also noticed that Gary is using his very limited time on the Kauai County Council not to advance food justice or improve farming opportunities or support local ag, but to crack down on those who improperly try to influence legislation. You know, like how he does when he goes to the Lege and uses his Councilman title to lobby for HAPA's agenda.
As he wrote on his blog:
The Hawaii State Constitution requires every County to regulate those individuals and organizations who are paid to influence government actions, however Kauai County does not presently have a “lobbying ordinance” in place. I have a proposed draft Bill that addresses this issue which is now under its final legal review and is expected to be introduced in late December or early January.
Oh, goodie. Let's hope the Council adds language that Gary is sure to omit; namely, verbiage that prohibits a Councilman from missing meetings he's paid to attend so he can misuse his elected position to lobby state lawmakers and Syngenta shareholders on issues that directly affect his nonprofit.
This blog, and especially today's entry, should be required reading for all State, County, and Federal legislators. You continue to "hit the nail on the head" despite the obfuscation strategy employed by the anti-seed company groups whose sole agenda is the elimination of the seed company presence in Hawaii. I also like the way that you "follow the money". This tells the story more than any other action or activity. Thank you Joan for your clear, logical, and reasonable dedication to getting the facts out despite the willingness of the opposition to completely ignore them.
I agree. This blog should be required reading for leadership, and everyone. I can't understand why anyone in his right mind would pay attention to anything Hooser and the deceptive, manipulative, or at least misinformed activists say or do.
Unless of course our leadership is so concerned about the possibility of not getting re-elected that they will continue to empower the misguided activists, to the demise of our local communities.
I do not understand. You always complain that HAPA and CFS never have any scientists to back them up. Then they sponsor a scientist to speak, and you criticize them? Maybe you should go listen to what she has to say, and then decide whether to judge.
Then HAPA and CFS should have a panel of scientists on both sides of the issue present at the meetings!
11:44--Why they gotta do that?! They have a message to share, they should be able to share it--it's their truth--different from Joan's and yours, but it is theirs! This is the US of America-free speech, speaking one's truth---so be it!
We have free will, to believe or not to believe---you be the judge. It's like discussing religion and politics---so many disagreements, but it goes on and will continue to go on. Try convince me that Donald Trump will be the best person for our next president or that the Christian religion is most important in our society ---- very divisive----because of our beliefs and values!!!!
Who is willing to sign a petition for the state of Hawaii AG to investigate the TVR, BnB's, Homestays, planning dept and all those involved in this tax evasion scheme.
Something has to be done like the county of Kauai audit that showed fraud, waste and abuse.
If not then the RACKET will continue to harm Kauai.
whoah, cool down a few thousand degrees, 12:18...just making a suggestion...Merry Christmas to you!
Hilarious that she should talk about keeping fossil fuels in the ground when airline travel is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. Why aren't the red shirts concerned about air travel like they are about GMOs? I guess it is an inconvenient truth.
The Truth is the state of being the case : fact. CFS and HAPA's beliefs, 12:18, are not anyone's truth. You don't get to have your truth. Your beliefs are either true or not. And if CFS, HAPA and their running dogs are in the habit of lying, and this has been pretty much the case, they are welcome to their beliefs. But to claim their half baked ideas as "their truth" strains credulity. They are essentially a bunch of carpetbagging alarmists pushing crooked science in the face of the facts to force their beliefs on the rest of us. Their simplistic beliefs aren't worth a fart in a whirlwind in a complicated world. But of course, they are entitled to hyperventilate to their hearts' content.
Get the petition going. Plenty people will sign
There's lots of shibai going on with illegal rentals and the renters rights on Kauai.
People who rent rooms in their home must file proper documents and they are not.
I've heard some shady things about owners renting then kicking people out and not filing taxes on their all cash rentals without contracts.
I think Gary thinks he's safe on the technicality that he doesn't take a salary from HAPA. But I'll bet you a grand piano that he gets his expenses paid for his less-than-all business travel, hotels, cars, food, etc. Have a nice weekend at a resort pool doing cheeseburgers and Mai Tais and speak for 15 min on Monday morning. That's the life!
What is your application towards a solution to harmful chemicals? Try Working with Retailers for Pesticide Reduction in Puget Sound. http://www.seattletilth.org/pesticide-reduction-training. Volunteer in overcoming suspicions and cultivating partnerships with retailers.
Pete Little Whidbey Island
@ December 8, 2015 at 1:15 PM >>> Bravo!
1:15, exactly what i am getting at---so that's your truth, but not mine! You don't trust CFS and HAPA--well and good! Others trust those two entities and they have the right to. Don't tell me what my truth is as i won't tell you that yours are false! Hey, but maybe your mother isn't your real mother, maybe you are my cousin----what the heck, what is the real truth?!
I wouldn't be too sure about how Hooser uses non profit Hapa. Bet he is taking money for his time besides expenses.. Hiding behind a non profit is a racket used by Gary and other opportunists too lazy to find a real job.
Funny how 10:13's "truth" isn't based on facts. Freedom to to believe lies and freedom to fear because of it.
10:13, maybe ones father is not really their father, but we all know who our mothers are .
Generally speaking and speaking as someone who has worked in the sector, employment with a nonprofit organization is a real job. Just saying.
Ross Kagawa has the worst attendance of all the Councilmembers, since he also works full time for State DOE. All are a bunch of low lifes taking advantage of the public trough.
Have you actually checked the attendance records to verify that claim, 5:35? Ross is not the only Councilman with an outside job.
Outside job is one thing but two full time government jobs? (Yes Council is considered full time for retirement and other calculations). So every Wednesday Ross has to use a State DOE vacation day or sick day? Talk about government workers abuseing sick day policy. Sheesh.
Do you know for a fact that Ross is using sick days?
And it doesn't bother you when Gary Hooser misses meetings because he's out lobbying for his nonprofit?
They all bother me. Hooser, Kagawa, Yukimura the whole lot.
When did Hooser miss a meeting while lobbying for HAPA? Dates?
He's missed two to testify at the Lege on behalf of HAPA issues and one to go to the Syngenta shareholders meeting. I covered all of it in my blog.
Council members have always had other regular jobs. The cost of living does not allow a person to support a family on the council salary. It also was never meant to attract lifelong council as ones profession. Ross does a great job,and I am sure he has worked it out with his employer. Get a grip, he ran for office and was elected and then reelected getting the highest vote counts.
7:33a.m., the council members make $50k for a part time job. that's a sweet deal if you ask me.
But you can't support a family on $50,000 on Kauai
Joan I have not been able to find any testimony at leg from Hooser in behalf of HAPA. Do you have dates?
You can do a search on the blog to find the dates.
Just cause he testified in support of a Bill HAPA supported does not make him "lobbying for HAPA".
When he's the President of HAPA, yes, it does.
7:02 a.m. You don't have a clue what you're talking about. Check your facts before you talk trash. There's such things as leave without pay. How would you know anything about whether a sick leave policy is being abused? Stop your nonsense, and step up to the plate and run for public office yourself, you big talker. Guys like you are all talk. I have a lot of respect for our teachers and public servants. Easy to talk shit. Run for office and see how easy this part-time, full-time job is.
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