Category Archives: Bill 79

Would you play ethics limbo with Senator Rudermen?

We’re not advocating anyone actually play a political limbo dance; but would you if you could? We can’t go very low, so we’d lose. Now how low can he go, apparently pretty low by the looks of it. From a political perspective, I admittedly was not shocked by his testimony but his signature line did cause a tinge of whip-lash. Really why would any Senator submit testimony on behalf of his Company and then use his title. It’s a very questionable choice Sen. Rudermen made here as shown.  After reading his testimony it became clear why he may have made this faux pas;  his testimony on Hawaii County Bill 79 was weak and certainly not accurate.    

Sen. Russell Ruderman Testimony  Island Naturals

The question still remains why is Senator Russell Rudermen submitting personal business testimony and signing it as a Senator? Did the taxpayers pay for your time to draft this testimony as well? 

Somehow he finds it perfectly ethical to make it very clear he is a Senator and use his position. Is that taking the low road or the high road of the moral path?  It certainly seems it might be an ethics issue. This is what I consider an ethics limbo dance; maybe he feels compelled to dance in order to achieve his personal agenda; however I suggest the truth is a much higher road to take.  Is there a conflict in this issue for him as the owner of  Island Naturals Food Stores and if he has a personal interest in this issue why is he even testifying, especially with a potential conflict of interest, he is after all a paid Senator in Hawaii.

Is this ethical dance logical in his mind; does he really see this as representing his community fairly; especially since his testimony was full of misinformation, anecdotal jargon and no facts!

Sen. Russell Rudermen’s Testimony Dated 05/14/2013 “Text in red is my comments not the Senator’s”

Being the only county without widespread GMO test “Test Crops, REALLY Senator don’t your mean seed crops; if we’re really talking widespread crops as you state” our island is in a unique position to protect our agriculture industry and environment from the many dangers of GMo crops. I will only discuss the economic and political impacts of GMO’s at this time. “Maybe because he has no facts in this testimony ” 

FACT: There is no danger from GMO crops; show us 1 case whre an organic farmer lost certification or 1 case of harm to a human or animal has been proven? According to the National Academy of Science who conducted a widespread search for harm to humans in 2004, not one instance of harm to humans was proven out of thousands and that statement stands today.” Source Report Link

For every GMO crop introduced, the value of that entire crop drops “anecdotal since the facts don’t support his theory, which crops are you speaking of? ”  Hawaiian papaya, for example, has never recovered to the pricing we enjoyed before the unpredicted and uncontrollable contamination from GMO papaya. “Clearly your confused on the FACTS; show us 1 proven case of contamination from the rainbow papaya? Prove it! The pricing is consistent with market highs and lows especially considering the global marketplace and the imports Hawaii Papaya faces on a daily basis.” Now our Hawaiian papaya crop is on the boycott list for millions of consumers worldwide. Japan took IO years to accept Hawaiian papaya, and still requires labeling. “The process was started in 1999 and the Japanese  ministry had to be handled 1 at a time; there are close to 200 of  them. Hawaiian papaya is prized for its superior taste.”  In the first year of acceptance of Hawaiian papaya, Japan consumed about 4,000 pounds of GMO papaya “Where he gets this data is unknown since the very first shipment of Rainbow papaya contained 6250 pounds in 5 pound boxes and that was only the first shipment.” and over I million pounds of non-GMO papaya‘ showing that consumer rejection of GMO is still the rule, even expensive marketing campaigns. “Again unknown data since Japan consumes more than $1 million dollars in US imported Papaya annually. Hawaii faces considerable competition on its papaya exports; yet  is still considered to be a superior product. The global marketplace regulates the price and Hawaii must compete.”

This bill is well crafted including the exemption for GMO papaya already established here. Papaya farmers deserve our support, but we must protect all other farmers and consumers from the negative effects GMO crops will have on other agriculture crops. “Hawaii County Bill 79 “well crafted” now that is almost funny if not coming from a State Senator; since most people who read the Bill 79  including the County council felt it bizarre, confusing and a train wreck!  What negative effects? There has never been 1 organic farmer to lose his certification and there is NO cases of any health risks to humans or animals!”

How well is the Senator dancing the political ethics limbo in your opinion; was this a faux pas or an ethics issue?  I have no interest in dancing this ethical, political limbo dance with Senator Rudermen as I find the truth is the best platform no matter what my personal agenda is.  I did feel compelled to bring it to the community’s attention, not that it will change his actions or intent but in fairness of transparency there ya go! 

Mahalo for reading,

Signed a Concerned AgVocate, Resident, registered Voter and Taxpayer on Hawaii Island.




Bizarre wording & ethical issues; The foundation of Hawaii County GMO Bill 79

A statement was posted on Damon Tuckers blog from Council Woman Margaret Willie stating that the council members generally recognized there is a need to restrict any further introduction of the GMOs here on our island… Really Willie, there was no vote taken, You don’t have consesus on that statement…Is this about GMO’s, Home Rule or Monsanto?

What I really heard was Mrs. Willie and Brenda Ford fighting for home rule recognition; well that after Mrs. Ford threatened to Kill Mrs. Willie if she pulled the Bill. They want to leave their mark, to prove a point to the State, that they can and will pass legislation at ANY cost to the taxpayers of Hawaii County, myself included.

Earlier I asked if anyone was watching how much this circus is costing us in Dollars, much less the cost to our community for inducing more food fights. Does anyone care that the County budget will be impacted or that our Council is not able to take care of other issues while wading through this?  I don’t believe creating public policy before your educated on the issue is pono, as it most certainly will affect many people, in more ways than they appear to realize.

Have you considered the cost to Hawaii County if you place a ban or moratorium on GMO’s..Do you really think something that is constitutionally legal to our citizens will go unchallenged. Long after some Council members are not re-elected we will still be paying the price to push the vocal minorities agenda in Hawaii County. Is that pono?

She States: Bill 79 was cumbersome with layers of amendments.  ” Fact is: No amendment was ever brought to the floor for a vote. She never even placed a motion to obtain a second, much less obtained a vote” You can only have an amendment to a Bill by Roberts Rules of order if it’s voted on and amended. You had a train wreck that no one wanted to touch! The wording in Bill 79 was bizarre and Mrs. Willie’s proposed amendments were even more bizarre.

A bad bill and bizarre wording combined with ethical issues & scientific ignorance is a very dangerous thing.

Council Member Zendo Kerns stated “There is never a bad time to pull a bad bill”  We totally agree and that is why she pulled it. She had 5-6 months to write and re-write a good bill and she couldn’t do it. How much money should our County waste to push Mrs. Willies personal agenda. She has never liked agriculture, before she was elected she wanted to run a highway through 500+ acres of our County’s most prime producing ag lands, I saw first hand her tactics and her lack of concern for our 3rd and 4th generation Farmers. You didn’t care then and you certainly don’t care now! The only people Bills like this will hurt is small farmers, exactly those you state your trying to protect.  I say hogwash! You don’t have a clue about farming or agriculture in Hawaii yet you desire us to farm your way, a romanticized way of life, not the reality we face daily to feed Hawaii.

Does anyone honestly think your going to harm Monsanto with a bill such as Hawaii County Bill 79 or the other Seed Companies with a Bill like Kauai County 2491. Oh, you might score a cheap shot but you wont win.  Reality is this…Your only going to hurt the small farmers, the community, the taxpayers and agriculture in general.  Agriculture in Hawaii has special needs, transportation issues and our exportable agriculture crops help achieve that balance, upset the apple cart and its easy to see the dominos fall. Can you say we’re vulnerable, hell yes we are and fighting our own community only makes it worse. Do what’s wise and pono and study agriculture, do as Council member Poindexter requested meet with ag and really learn it before you take another cheap shot at us. No were not happy with you but were not mad either, wasn’t us threatening our County Council, stalking or harassing them.

The Ad Hoc committee she proposes has validity if they actually dig deep into the issue with open minds and learn about agriculture in Hawaii before they propose a new law.

Her Home rule issue, as we said above a few members have an agenda here. Why are they afraid; their afraid of a state law being passed restricting their ability. Mrs. Willie states “For this reason any effort to postpone passage of a bill restricting GMOs beyond December 2013 is tantamount to killing the bill. ”  What you fail to see is the State trying to save you from yourselves, you openly admit you do not understand the science, you’re not educated on the issue, yet you think yourself qualified to pass policy. Placing a ban on Hawaii Island will land Hawaii County in a bitter expensive legal battle, you quoted the coffee and taro; we all know it has no teeth and wont stand up in Court; you can’t pre-empt Federal Law.

Finally: The more your divide GMO crop producers the more you harm their market, is Hawaii County prepared for this? Your slandering an industry and farmers that provide an affordable crop to Hawaii and the world and yet you don’t hesitate to single them out and harm their markets. No their NOT bio-hazards Mrs. Willie and we will not allow you to call them that in ANY bill “Not Acceptable”.

We know your not done, just remember were a tenacious lot and we’re done remaining silent expecting that you will come to your senses and give agriculture and farmers the respect they deserve! We’re confident, proud and United, we’re not going anyplace.  “We’re AG Proud”

If you wish to watch the actual hearing on Hawaii County Bill 79 here is the link to the Ustream event.

Pro-GMO Rally by Farmers & Ranchers

Great Interview on Bill 79 & Rainbow Papaya


View Full article here on the Rally in Hilo in Support of GMO and Agricultures Free Choice!

During Friday’s event, we spoke to Eric Weinert, the general manager of Calavo Growers, the largest exporter of papaya to the mainland. Weinert says his business grows all Rainbow papaya. Also participating: The Hawaii Papaya Industry Association, Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association, Big Island Banana Growers Association, Hawaii Dairy, and Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council.

The event was one of the first counter-demonstrations to recent anti-GMO rallies held on Hawaii Island this year. It adds to the passionate debate that has been building in recent weeks as a big day of public testimony before the Hawaii County Council approaches. On July 2nd, a special council committee hearing will consider bill 79, which would prohibit GMOs on the island. The bill “grandfathers in” the papaya industry, exempting the virus-resistant Rainbow variety from the proposed law.

– See more at:

Support All Ag Producers Submit Testimony Today on Bill #79!

Tell Hawaii County Council to Vote No on Bill# 79
Tell Hawaii County Council to Vote No on Bill# 79


We need your support, All local agriculture Producers Matter!


Hawaii Island Agriculture producers needs your kokua “support” to help protect the aina “Land”, our food sovereignty, and economic security. How can you help?

Provide written testimony by tomorow at Noon to or Testify in person on Tuesday!

Oral Public Testimony: Oral public testimony is heard at the beginning of each Council meeting for items on the agenda.  Oral public testimony is limited to three (3) minutes per agenda item.

Written Public Testimony:  The deadline for submission of written public testimony is   before 12:00 noon on the business day prior to the meeting.  The Office of the County Clerk will accept receipt of your written public testimony by mail to the Office of the County Clerk at 25 Aupuni Street, Hilo, HI 96720, by facsimile to (808) 961-8912; or by e-mail to .  Please submit separate written public testimony for each agenda item.

Translators are only available in Hilo and Kona…Notify them when you sign in.

SAVE THE DATE TO TESTIFY at the Public Safety & Mass Transit Committee 

BILL 79 GMO PROHIBITION Hearing,Tuesday, July 2nd at 9:00am

Testify at the Kona Council Chambers at the West Hawai`i Civic Center
74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Highway, Bldg. A  – Map link 

Satellite Council Offices are also accepting testimony:
Hilo: Hawai`i County Building, 25 Aupuni Street, Rm. 1401
Pāhoa: Pāhoa Marketplace, 15-2660 Pāhoa Village Road, Rm. 105
Waimea: Holumua Center, 64-1067, Māmalahoa Highway, Suite 5
Ka`u: Hawaiian Ocean View Community Ctr., 92-8924 Leilani Circle

View the Amended Bill:

In addition, if you are located on the Big Island, please be sure to submit written testimony directly to your County Council member:

Valerie Poindexter:

J Yoshimoto:

Dennis Onishi:

Greggor Ilagan:

Zendo Kern:

Dru Kanuha:

Karen Eoff:

Do You Want Non farmers making farm policy?

These Comments were gathered after a recent GMO meeting organized with Council woman Marget Willie presenting her view on Bill 79

No big surprise’s, It’s basically either you support bill 79 or your supporting Monsanto…Really, how do they figure! We’re not entitled to have our own thoughts and educated opinion about what affects our farms and ranches, very sad to see farmers being pitted against other farmers. there is no need for this fight, We shouldnt have to choose between being organic, GMO or conventional…We’re all farmers and we can coexist!

Hector Valenzuela is the messiah preaching the same old small scale organic gardening and agro-ecological subsistence models from the 90s that economically lead no where in Hawaii.  If it hasn’t worked yet, why would it now.

Trying to get beyond the issue of Monsanto did not work. The disscusion of sound science and policy making to enhance food self sufficiency and to grow more successful farmers in Hawaii; fell on deaf ears.

Clearly Bill 79 is not about helping Hawaii’s farmers or rancher be sustainable its about glory and trying to crucify “Big Ag” none of which will Bill 79 impact in the sligest way…She is using the bill to send a message to the seed companies in Hawaii. It will only impact us, our way of life and our ability to farm as we choose!

Vote No on Bill 79 Hawaii County Council, Please Support All Local farmers!vote no

Farmers needto show up to testify on July 2nd and testify about their positions on the GMO matter and Bill 79  as most of the testimony is likely to come from non farmers.. Do you want non farmers or ranchers deciding Your farms policy?