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.

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Is Hawaii, Paradise being Poisoned?

AbsoFreakinlutely  by fear, threats, fear mongering a witch hunt conducted by those who don’t trust anyone or anything but their own WePedia “WePedia = perception based on words, even if their myths they force feed and make them the truth by feeding the un-informed”…. 

It’s their way or the NO way. They love technology to advocate against agriculture in Hawaii, yet farmers and ranchers are not supposed to use technology or advance farm practices to fight pest or disease. This makes no sense to our logical minds but that matters not for their creating their own reality based on misguided perceptions and fear.

If we remain quiet as agriculture then were not transparent or translucent enough; if we speak up were attacked online, in person and our business are boycotted and threatened. This behavior is not how we were raised, nor is it pono, its without Aloha for your fellow-man.  We stand tall, proud of who we are, the food and crops we work hard everyday to bring to Hawaii’s tables. The economic value and jobs we produce for Hawaii is nothing to shake your head at. So NO we will not stand by and allow fear to decimate our way of life, our choice of crops or our Aloha spirit. Were NOT ground zero for Hawaii County Pasture landpesticide poisoning, just look at our lush greenery and we’re no agribusinesses testing grounds. The seed companies produce a valid exportable crop in Hawaii and papaya farmers produce a cheap local food that is also exportable and guess what we support thousands of workers. We should be admired for our tenacity to do business in Hawaii not harassed.

Agriculture is not a religion but its always been deeply rooted in culture and religion. NOW we have become a NEW religion and we’re evil and of course we need a devil, that would be Monsanto in their eyes. We’re not advocating for Monsanto we’re advocating for agriculture in HAWAII. “We are NOT Ground Zero for anything but activism” What better place for earth justice, the sierra club and all the others to send their warriors and fund unscrupulous tactics…

Find a new religion because agriculture, farmers and ranchers we’re the toughest bunch you will ever meet and we’re not going silently!

Pro-GMO Rally by Farmers & Ranchers

Great Interview on Bill 79 & Rainbow Papaya

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=b3oAyOgLDCY#at=306

 

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: http://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2013/06/29/video-pro-gmo-rally-encircles-hilo-government-buildings/#sthash.2dD5PmsG.dpuf

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   counciltestimony@co.hawaii.hi.us 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 counciltestimony@co.hawaii.hi.us .  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:http://records.co.hawaii.hi.us/Weblink8/0/doc/791111/Page1.aspx

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: vpoindexter@co.hawaii.hi.us

J Yoshimoto: jyoshimoto@co.hawaii.hi.us

Dennis Onishi: donishi@co.hawaii.hi.us

Greggor Ilagan: gilagan@co.hawaii.hi.us

Zendo Kern: zkern@co.hawaii.hi.us

Dru Kanuha: dkanuha@co.hawaii.hi.us

Karen Eoff: keoff@co.hawaii.hi.us

Fact Sheet about Food Safety Issues of Genetically Engineered (GE) Crops

Fact Sheet about Food Safety Issues of Genetically Engineered (GE) Crops

Prepared by

Dr. Susan C. Miyasaka, Agronomist
Dr. Russell Nagata, Plant Breeder
“Foods consumed today are derived from plants and animals whose genetic makeup
has been modified by sexual crosses and mutation. Recombinant DNA provides a new
tool to make genetic modifications, and this technology is termed genetic engineering
or biotechnology. (Lemaux, 2008)”

“The safety of genetically engineered crops and foods, just as those created by classical
breeding and mutation and grown conventionally or organically, needs to be evaluated
on a case-by-case basis so that informed decisions can be made about their utility,
safety, and appropriateness. (Lemaux, 2008)”
What are the risks of eating transgenes? No negative effects on food safety have been found in
commercialized GE crops.

“To date, no scientifically valid demonstrations have shown that food safety issues of
foods containing genetically engineered (GE) ingredients are greater than those from
conventionally or organically produced foods. (Lemaux, 2008)”

“Extensive risk assessment and safety testing of crops developed through the use of genetic
engineering has shown that there are no varieties in use that pose risks to consumers. (Wieczorek
and Wright, 2012)”

“No reproducible data has shown that transgene DNA from commercialized GE crops behave
differently than native plant DNA. (Lemaux, 2008).”

“It was concluded that the transgenic soybean diet had no negative effect on fetal, postnatal,
pubertal or adult testicular development [of mice]. (Brake and Evenson, 2004)”

Do GE foods have changes in nutritional content? No substantial differences in nutritional content have been found between commercialized GE foods and non-GE foods.

Our data show that the contents of nutrients… of GE Rainbow papaya are within the range of
those of non-GE papaya and that the Rainbow cultivar is substantially similar to the non-GE
cultivar. (Tripathi and others, 2010)”

“The results [for Round-up Ready soybeans] demonstrated that the composition of these GE
lines is equivalent to that of conventional soybean cultivars in the form consumed by humans.
(Lemaux, 2008)”
Have allergens been introduced through GE? No allergens have been introduced through
commercialized GE crops, due to extensive food safety tests conducted prior to approval by
FDA.2

“Although not mandatory, to date all companies marketing new GE foods have consulted with
the FDA and performed recommended analyses to determine if introduced proteins have
properties that indicate possible allergenicity, i.e., similarities to known allergens, small size,
slow digestibility, and/or high heat stability. (Lemaux, 2008)”

“Following accepted allergenicity assessment criteria, our results show that the transgenederived PRSV CP [Papaya Ring Spot Virus coat protein] does not pose a risk of food allergy.
(Fermin and others, 2011).”

“In recent years a variety of safety studies were conducted specifically on native Bt
proteins to show that they do not have characteristics of food allergens or toxins. (Lemaux,
2008)”

Can GE foods fed to animals result in transfer of transgenes to animals? DNA and proteins are
broken down in the digestive tract. There is no scientific evidence to date that shows that
transgenes or their products are transferred to animals fed GE foods or excreted from
animals fed GE foods.

“To date a large number of experimental studies with livestock have shown that rDNA
[recombinant DNA] fragments or proteins derived from GM plants have not been detected in
tissues, fluids or edible products of farm animals(Lemaux, 2008).”

Can GE foods increase antibiotic resistance in human and animal intestinal flora? There is no
scientific evidence to date that GE foods can transfer antibiotic resistance to gut bacteria.
And current research now allows the removal of selection genes (antibiotic resistance
genes) or marker genes (gus gene) from GE plants.

“To demonstrate the fate of transgene DNA in humans, the antibiotic resistance gene from GE
maize was shown not to transfer to gut bacteria in chickens fed GE maize. (Lemaux, 2008)”

Why doesn’t the FDA require labeling of GE foods? The FDA does require labeling of GE
foods IF the product contains allergens and its source must be named.

“If a food contains a new, potentially allergy-causing introduced protein, the label must state that
the product contains the allergen and name its source. (Lemaux, 2008).”

Are there positive benefits of GE crops on food safety? Bt corn can be SAFER to eat than
non-GE corn, because of less damage due to corn earworms and lower infections of kernels
by fungi that contain mycotoxins.

“A positive aspect of safety regarding Bt corn is the lower levels of mycotoxins compared with
non-Bt corn. Mycotoxins are toxic and carcinogenic chemicals produced as secondary
metabolites of fungal colonization that occur as a result of insects such as the corn earworm
carrying the mycotoxin containing fungi that infest the kernels following wounding.” (Lemaux,
2008)
References:
Brake, D.G. and D.P. Evenson. 2004. A generational study of glyphosate-tolerant soybeans on
mouse fetal, postnatal, pubertal and adult testicular development. Food and Chemical
Toxicology. 42:29-356.

Fermin, G., R.C. Keith, J.Y. Suzuki, S.A. Ferreira, D.A. Gaskill, K.Y. Pitz, R.M. Manshardt, D.
Gonsalves, and S. Tripathi. 2011. Allergenicity assessment of the Papaya Ringspot Virus coat
protein expressed in transgenic Rainbow papaya. J. Agr. Food Chem. 59:10006-10012.

Lemaux, P. 2008. Genetically engineered plants and foods: A scientist’s analysis of the issues
(Part I). Annu. Rev, Plant Biol. 59:771-812.

Tripathi, S., J.Y. Suzuki, J.B. Carr, G.T. McQuate, S.A. Ferreira, R.M. Manshardt, K.Y. Pitz,
M.M. Wall, and D. Gonsalves. 2011. Nutritional composition of Rainbow papaya, the first
commercialized transgenic fruit crop. J. Food Composition and Analysis. 24: 140-147.

Wieczorek, A . and M. Wright. 2012. History of Agricultural Biotechnology: How Crop
Development has Evolved. Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):9.
http://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledge/library/history-of-agricultural-biotechnology-howcrop-development-25885295

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?

Hawaii Island Farmers, Ranchers Rally Against Bill 79

Press Release

 

Hawaii Island farmers and ranchers will unite in a rally in opposition of County bill 79 on Friday June 28th at 2pm in front of Hilo County building. The Hawaii Papaya Industry Association, Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association, Big Island Banana Growers Association, Hawaii Dairy, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council will join forces in solidarity to convey to the County Council the importance of allowing farmers, nursery growers, ranchers and retail businesses to have free choices in their livelihood.

 

These organizations represent approximately 600 local businesses with 2000 employees. Collectively, they contribute $130 million to the island’s economy.

 

“The bill contains no rhyme or reason,” according to Richard Ha, an island farmer who opposes bill 79. “We should be feeding Hawaii’s people but this bill is pitting people against farmers. We just want to have the freedom to farm.”

 

Hawaii Island farmers, ranchers and business members take health and safety very seriously. They believe that free choice in agricultural practices will enable organic farmers to work collaboratively with those who employ agricultural technology so that all local businesses are at liberty to earn a living, feed their families and provide for economic and food security on the local level.

 

The organizations that will rally, who sometimes refer to themselves as Freedom Farmers, seek a way to communicate with others about ways to come together to find solutions that allow all to farm on Hawaii Island.