Category Archives: GMO Bills

MAUI GMO News Flash Amazes us! GMO Ban Postponed till 2015

Hot off the press it seems the legal teams must have worked all weekend on the Maui gmo ban, they filed an order of stipulation agreeing to leave the TRO in effect till March 31st, 2015 and the Judge signed the stipulation into effect this morning. Judge Kurren works hard and must have come into work early, we’re glad he did frankly as we support freedom to farm.

Farmers didn’t ask for bad bill to be passed, we’re only 2% of the population so its easy for fear mongering activists to pollute our communities with lies and hate.

Mr. Papaya head makes his debut!

Last Wednesday we sat through another day of hearings here on the Island of Hawaii and found it hard not to laugh at the hypocrisy, the fallacies and outright lies spread about Hawaii’s farmers, Papayas and agriculture in general. I won’t perpetuate them by writing them here; although admittedly I did react when a female anti gmo activists was verbally accosting a agriculture supporter, he found it  funny but refused to answer her questions which only fed her resolve that he must be with a seed company, as if that was a bad thing. It was none of her business and frankly her racial profiling upset me. Racial profiling and undertones were thick in this hearing even from a few Council members. Most of the anti’s are haole

( Hawaiian term for white or fair skin)  new comers and a few old timers; while most of the growers are minority farmers and 99% clearly local to Hawaii Island.

Mr. Papaya Head makes his debut at Hawaii County Council hearing to ban gmo's in Hawaii County
Mr. Papaya Head makes his debut at Hawaii County Council hearing to ban gmo’s in Hawaii County

The Chair and Bill 109’s author and proposer;  Brenda Ford slaughtered almost every farmers name and even simple names were mispronounced; yet she manged quite well with the anti’s, activists and supporters of her bill..hmmm co-inky dink, me thinks not. By far the most patronizing terms come from Margaret Willie, condescending patronization telling our farmers to just find another crop as if she is smarter than everyone else. As is all the scientists and experts we provided are lying; she acts as if she is god and it’s her way or no way…but because we have contaminated Hawaii Island she will go ahead and allow papaya growers to be exempted.  The exemption taints the Hawaii Papaya Industry’s good name and is causing marketing issues, one council member proposed establishing a marketing fund to restore its name, yes that is a start!

How about Mrs. Wille and Brenda Ford making a video, apologizing to our local farmer’s for racial innuendos, patronization and condescension as if their not educated enough to make their own choices and while your at it girls…Eat a Hawaii Rainbow Papaya, after all fresh local fruit never hurt any one! Yes I want an apology, these two council members care not for our community or our culture they only care about special interests and their own agenda.

Ag Matters…Bill 113 is a “Kill us Now or Kill us later” bill in our humble opinion. So NO Thank you, We stand United for Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers and we don’t care for your half heart-ed exemption for papayas…What about the rest of agriculture and our research; We want to reserve our options for the future.

We work hard daily to feed Hawaii safe, affordable Food.  We will not go away silently we will return on September 23rd, 20123 to listen to your discussion; hopefully Council Member Ford will be finished with pounding her fists on the table like a child!

As for Mr. Papaya head, he will return…He is a bit of fun in a very heated and serious situation. He is Pro agriculture, Pro Hawaii and of course he is Pro Papaya…After all he is 100% born and raised on Hawaii Island! Stay tuned for more appearances from Mr. Papaya head…

Trust us to grow your food Hawaii County “Ag is NOT a Crime”

As i steel myself for the day ahead, I’m emotional. If the Hawaii County Council votes to pass a ban or moratorium with either Bill 109 or Bill 113 it will be full frontal face slap, followed buy a kick to the core of our lifeblood, Hawaii’s culture and lifeblood is agriculture, farming and ranching run deep, this battle is wrong on so many levels.

Frankly Id like to tell the activists who have descended on Hawaii in the past few years to leave, Occupy wherever it is you came from, take your issues elsewhere. Instead I will tell you this..you will not lead us to slaughter…We will take the high road but know this, I shall smile at you today, laugh at your narrow minded vision for Hawaii and in my mind…I will be saying Fuck you..(Sorry that’s the Portuguese in me coming out). Fuck you for the hate, the animosity and the fact you have planted your doubts, fears and insecurities on Hawaii’s soils. You have infected us with your promise of a cure, when in reality you are the disease. A disease funded from outside Hawaii, activists paid to act pure when your as dirty as the lies your contaminating Hawaii with….

Today’s motto…. Fuck Yeah….We can and will fight back with every once of strength our forefathers gave us. The anti gmo crowd might not trust anyone or anyone but we do and we trust that somewhere in all this there is a lesson, a voice of reason…Council members who realize this is a cure looking for a disease and if you say No to Bill 109 & 113 that Your saying you trust Hawaii Island Farmers and ranchers to grow safe affordable for for Hawaii….

Ag is NOT a Crime….Trust us to grow your food!

It’s simple Hawaii County…Do you trust us to grow your food? If Yes then Vote No and stop this debate cold…End this nonsense, stop ripping apart our community and let us heal…

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We stand United an Open Letter to the Hawaii County Council

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This was published today in both the Hilo Tribune and West Hawaii Today by the Hawaii Papaya Industry Association. Farmers, Ranchers and many agricultural organizations stand United with them! Lets help support the cause!

Open Letter to Margaret Wille
from Hawaii Papaya Industry Association

The Hawaii Papaya Industry Association (HPIA) strongly opposes any legislation that specifically targets food or crops made through genetic engineering. The global scientific consensus, reaffirmed by every major science organization and regulatory oversight body in the United States, is that GMOs are as safe as conventional and organic agriculture.

Hawaii farmers produce the best tasting papaya on the planet and papaya is always ranked in the top five healthiest fruits for human consumption. Any anti-GMO legislation would sharply limit the tools that Hawaii farmers can use to produce their crops, and by association it would taint Hawaii’s worldwide reputation for the highest quality papaya. The real intent of local anti- GMO legislation is to prohibit all GMO’s and to ultimately destroy Hawaii’s papaya industry.

We respectfully request Councilwoman Wille to publicly endorse our GMO “Rainbow” papaya as having no adverse impact on the environment and that our papaya fruit is safe, wholesome and nutritious. The so-called exemption for papaya production in Bill 113 is meaningless because any anti-GMO bill would cast a negative shadow on Hawaii papaya, harm our markets and eventually destroy our industry.

Hawaii imports 85% of its food and over 70% of those imports contain genetically engineered ingredients. Yes, much of the bread, milk, meat, cereal, beer, soda, and most all of the food we buy contains GMO ingredients or comes from animals that are fed GMO feed. These anti-GMO Bills are the first step in the political process to take those foods from our shelves.

Prohibiting Hawaii County farmers from using USDA, EPA and FDA approved GMO crops will put us at a competitive disadvantage. We will be prohibited from using virus resistant GMO crops to protect Hawaii from the next papaya virus strain, banana bunchy top virus, tomato spotted wilt and other vegetable viruses, or the bacterial citrus greening disease that is destroying the Florida citrus industry and may soon come to Hawaii. Furthermore, this bill will stop development of GMO ornamental and floral crops with enhanced horticultural or disease resistant characteristics. How will Hawaii County farmers and ranchers compete when everyone but us has access to GE technology? That is why the Big Island Banana Growers Association, Hawaii Cattlemen Association, and the Hawaii Floral Industry have joined with the Hawaii Papaya Industry to oppose these Bills.
Ms. Wille may have political, philosophical or religious reasons for banning GMOs on Hawaii Island, but any claim based on safety to human consumption and the environment is not supported by scientific evidence. Not one major international science body anywhere in the world questions the scientific consensus. Independent oversight and research organizations in every major country in the world, in industrialized countries and developing countries—more than 100 of them—have reviewed the evidence on the safety and health of genetically modified crops and issued reviews of the research and statements on this issue.

Here are just a few of the summary statements of the world’s leading science organizations:

American Association for the Advancement of Science
“The science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe.”

World Health Organization
“No effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved.”

National Academy of Sciences
“No adverse health effects attributed to genetic engineering have been documented in the human population.”

American Medical Association
“There is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods.Bioengineered foods have been consumed for close to 20 years, and during that time, no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated in the peer-reviewed literature.”

European Commission
“No scientific evidence associating GMOs with higher risks for the environment or for food and feed safety than conventional plants and organisms.”

French Academy of Science
“All criticisms against GMOs can be largely rejected on strictly scientific criteria.”

Union of German Academics and Scientists
“In consuming food derived from GM plans approved in the EU and in the USA, the risk is in no way higher than in the consumption of food from conventionally grown plants. On the contrary, in some cases food from GM plants appears to be superior in respect to health.“

The HPIA agrees with the science. Genetically engineered crops grown in Hawaii and the rest of the world pose no more risk to human health than any other method of plant breeding. Therefore, we are opposed to any politically imposed restriction on GMO’s for all farmers and ranchers in Hawaii County.
Our GMO “Rainbow” papaya is safe and we challenge anyone to bring forth any scientific consensus to the contrary. Any anti-GMO legislation in Hawaii County taints our reputation for producing the world’s best papaya. Such legislation—clearly not grounded in science—would result in the destruction of Hawaii’s papaya business.
The HPIA respectfully requests that Councilwoman Wille withdraw Bill 113. Any exemption for papaya without a clear public endorsement that GMO “Rainbow” papaya is safe, wholesome and nutritious is meaningless. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Hawaii Nurserymen and women, Hawaii Cattlemen and Big Island Banana Growers Association and do not want an exemption for our industry that would restrict the innovative tools necessary for our future and our fellow Big Island Farmers and Ranchers.

Paid for by Hawaii Papaya Industry Association • P.O. Box 6959, Hilo, Hawaii 96720

Hawaii Farmers & Ranchers need Your support today!

We need your help getting testimony to the Hawaii County Council; Opposing Brenda Ford’s GMO Ban Bill 109 and Margaret Wille’s Bill 113 which bans gmo’s but allows for a papaya exemption if your granted an exemption, ie pay fee’s disclose your farms location….

This might just be the biggest threat to Hawaii agriculture

and Our right to farm that we have ever seen…

 

We’re inviting you to attend the Council hearing on Sept. 4th at 1:30PM and….

Please submit testimony TODAY via email to
This is important to Hawaii agriculture, our farmers and our ranchers. We’re standing united together against both these bills. We’re asking you to submit testimony and to please ask five of your family or friends to do the same and ask them to ask five of their friends, etc….that is the only way we can get the numbers we need to defeat these Bills.

Remember agriculture producers only make up 2% of the Nation….Yet we feed us all! It will take knowing agriculture and the community supporting farmers and ranchers if we’re to survive and thrive…

Brenda Ford’s Bill  basically bans all GMO production and use, including feed for animals and also includes a requirement to destroy papaya trees and corn currently in production.  

Margaret Wille also has Bill 113  that will be heard at the same hearing (agenda attached).  Her Bill exempts the genetically modified papaya and other GMO crops currently in production on Hawaii County as long as they jump through her hoops (new regulations, fees and penalties).  Her Bill allows no future use of geneticly engineered technology to grow feed, fight diseases in crops and livestock or using them in the future. 

Despite the exemption for papaya in Wille’s Bill, papaya farmers are giving her Bill a thumbs down.  Their position is that her Bill says that GMO papaya is bad but since it’s already here and widespread the County Council will let it go. She infers their contaminated and inferior; they are NOT their prime is taste and quality.  Kudos to the papaya industry for recognizing this and standing their ground…we will stand together with them. “Ag United”

 

 As farmers and ranchers we have the right to farm…with every legal method and technology out there, organically or conventionally, with or without genetic technology and with respect for the rights of our fellow farmers and ranchers to do the same.   

Here is what the World’s Health & Scientific Organizations have to say about GMO’s and genetically engineered crops….

World Health Organization “WHO”

“No effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved.”

National Academy of Sciences

“No adverse health effects attributed to genetic engineering have been documented in the human population.”

American Association for the Advancement of Science

“The science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe.”

American Medical Association

“There is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods.Bioengineered foods have been consumed for close to 20 years, and during that time, no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated in the peer-reviewed literature.”

 European Commission

“No scientific evidence associating GMOs with higher risks for the environment or for food and feed safety than conventional plants and organisms.”

 French Academy of Science

“All criticisms against GMOs can be largely rejected on strictly scientific criteria.

 Union of German Academics and Scientists

“In consuming food derived from GM plans approved in the EU and in the USA, the risk is in no way higher than in the consumption of food from conventionally grown plants. On the contrary, in some cases food from GM plants appears to be superior in respect to health. ”

 

 Yet despite all the science and the evidence Hawaii County is trying to make public policy based on emotions rather than the evidence…Really! Come on…

Instructions on How you to submit testimony…

Needs to be into the Council by 12 noon by September 3rd. Even if you are late please submit it anyway!

 

By regular mail or Drop it off:  Office of the County Clerk, 25 Aupuni Street, Hilo,HI. 96720 

By email: counciltestimony@co.hawaii.hi.us

 

By Fax: (808) 961-8912   

Show up to any Council location Island-wide to testify in person.   

Hilo: Council Chambers at the County Building in Hilo, 25 Aupuni Street, Room 1401

Kona: Council Chambers at the West Hawai’i Civic Center in Kona at 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Highway, Building A. 

Waimea: Waimea Council Office, at the Holumua Center, 64-1067, Māmalahoa Highway, Suite 5.

Oral public testimony is limited to two (2) minutes total for all 4 agenda items.

Video Public Testimony: Those submitting video testimony may email a complete web address (url) to videotestimony@hawaiicounty.gov before 12:00 noon on the business day prior to the meeting. The email shall indicate the appropriate Committee or Council meeting, the meeting date, agenda item (communication, bill, resolution, or report number), and number of testifiers on the video submittal. Each video submittal shall be limited to a single agenda item. Video submittals may contain up to three (3) individual testifiers and shall each be up to three (2) minutes in length.

 

 

Example testimony (Cut, paste or change for your personal story!)

 

Hawaii County Council
Committee on Public Safety & Mass Transit

Wednesday September 4, 2013 1:30 p.m.

 

Testimony Against Bills 109 and 113

Committee Chair Ford and Members of the Committee:

I oppose Bills 109 and 113 because any anti-GMO legislation in Hawaii County will discriminate against our farmers and ranchers who choose to use approved genetic engineered technology to grow safe and wholesome food and other agriculture products. These Bills also damage Hawaii’s reputation for producing some of the best crops on the planet, harms our markets, and eventually destroy our agriculture industry.

I am pro-farming and the right to farm in the United States of America, still a free country, under laws of and regulated by the USA and the State of Hawaii.

Hawaii’s farmers and ranchers may need virus resistant GMO crops to protect Hawaii from the next papaya virus strain, banana bunchy top virus, tomato spotted wilt and other vegetable viruses, or the bacterial citrus greening disease that is destroying the Florida citrus industry and may soon come to Hawaii.  Furthermore, this bill will stop development of GMO ornamental and floral crops with enhanced horticultural or disease resistant characteristics.  These Bills would prohibit livestock and aquaculture producers from efficiently growing cost effective feed locally, requiring them to import at a higher price the exact same feeds.  How will Hawaii County farmers and ranchers compete when everyone but us has access to GE technology? 

The consensus of independent scientific organizations worldwide is unanimous and can be summed up by this statement from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “The science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe.”

Please vote against Bill 109 and Bill 113

Name:

Occupation:

City where I live:

Additional Comments:

 

  

 

Mahalo for helping with our cause, it matters!

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