The anti-GMO litigation in Hawaii is dead.
Earthjustice attorney Paul Achitoff acknowledged in a Tuesday afternoon webinar that he “would be reluctant" to ask the current Supreme Court “to rule on an issue like this, but I doubt the court would be interested, whether we asked them or not.”
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed District Court rulings that prevent the litigation from being referred to the Hawaii Supreme Court, leaving SCOTUS as the only option to keep the three defeated bills alive.
With further appeals now apparently out of the question — despite funding pleas to the contrary — the activists plan to focus all their fury on the Legislature and Gov. Ige's administration. Oh, joy!
Ashley Lukens, director of the Hawaii Center for Food Safety, said the group will be pushing some bills supported by its partners — Sierra Club, Surfrider and Farmers Union United, which represents primarily foodies and yardeners, not commercial farmers. CFS, meanwhile, will be lobbying for mandatory “public” disclosure of pesticide use, and buffer zones around “sensitive areas,” such as homes, schools and waterways. But curiously, only for agriculture.
Her comment echoes a challenge issued by failed politician Gary Hooser in his blog:
The chemical companies will rue the day they took on this battle with our community.
It would have been much easier for them and for our community if they simply would have accepted the modest provisions contained in Bill 2491 – Disclose to us your pesticide usage, don’t spray next to schools, hospitals and homes and let us do a comprehensive study to determine health impacts on our community.
But instead they have fought us every step of the way.
Bullshit. The seed companies are voluntary disclosing their pesticide use, which is posted on a government website, as well as notifying neighbors prior to pesticide applications. They also stopped cultivating fields nears schools, and none of them are growing crops near hospitals, though they give those facilities prior notification of spraying just as a courtesy.
As for a comprehensive health study, as I previously reported, anti-GMO activist Pat Gegen and others asked the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry to “perform a Public Health Assessment on the west side of Kauai due to environmental health concerns associated with pesticide use by nearby agricultural operations.”
The agency declined, noting:
“It is unlikely that residents of Kauai west side communities are being exposed to pesticides at levels of health concern when they swim in, have contact with, or drink from local streams and rivers.”
“Overall, the scientific literature does not provide strong support for an association of human agricultural pesticide exposure with the birth defects of concerns.”
The seed companies are not stopping anyone from doing a comprehensive health study. It's just that there's no justification to warrant the expense of such an undertaking. I guess it was naive to think Hooser would stop lying once he lost re-election.
Hooser then writes:
The focus now will be on the Governor and the Hawaii State Legislature to put into place the necessary regulations and conduct the needed testing and studies.
Again, solid regulations already are in place, and both the Department of Ag and Department of Health have agreed to conduct more testing and studies. What more do these people want?
I mean, aside from the spotlight. And the cash to keep their groups going.
Hooser closes with:
I have the freedom today to make new choices, unfettered in a sense from the bindings of elective office. #hooserunleashed
Yeah, well, there's a leash law, ya know. I wonder if Hooser will now finally register as a lobbyist.
In fact, he's already at it, meeting with newly elected Maui Councilwoman Kelly King on her home turf:
And he's such a class act that he let her pay for lunch. But then, he is unemployed now. (Oh, yeah! We be doing the happy dance!)
It's not surprising that these groups have gotten so much favorable coverage in Civil Beat. Besides Pierre Omidyar, they also enjoy shared funding from the Wallace A. Gerbode Foundation — which CB describes as "our major benefactor" and “an activist grant-making private foundation.”
Oh, so they're finally admitting they aren't actually an investigative news site — they're an activist group. That totally explains their biased coverage.
In closing, here's a little tidbit:
Eastdil Secured has been retained to offer for sale the fee simple interest in the acclaimed St. Regis Princeville Resort and the Makai Golf Club (collectively the “Resort”) located on the scenic Hawaiian island of Kauai.
Wonder what changes that may entail?