From killing pesticide disclosure to putting Mr. PLDC in charge of Ways and Means to giving the PI attorneys a giant gift by letting lifeguard lawsuit protection expire, the Hawai’i State Legislature really P’O’d a lot of people this session.
Maui takes on Monsanto and Dow and wins!
Outspent $7.9 million dollars to $60,000, Maui County citizens showed that community organizing can triumph over corporate PAC money and passed the GMO Moratorium 50% to 48%. The initiative asks the chemical companies to do an environmental study showing safety of their operations prior to being allowed to plant any new GMOs.
Monsanto and Dow spent $174 for each of the 45,356 voters in the election. Or $362 for each ‘no’ vote. This is more money than has ever in the history of Hawaii elections been spent on any race including statewide governor or U.S. Senate races.
It was a long journey to get this initiative on the ballot – the first time that any group was able to gather the onerous 20% signatures of registered voters voting in the last election.
Then Monsanto and Dow ran nonstop ads against the initiative calling it a “Farming Ban” even though only 1% of Maui farms grow GMOs – one coffee plantation, a small farmer growing GMO corn in Kula plus Monsanto and Dow.
It looked like Monsanto and Dow would overwhelm public opinion with their nonstop TV ads on every station until the Campaign Spending Disclosure came out a week before the election and voters realized that these two billion dollar corporations had spent almost eight million dollars attempting to buy the election.
The revelation that the entire “No” campaign had been funded by Monsanto and Dow and the astounding amount by which it was funded had a profound effect on voters. Early mail-in and walk-in votes were counted on the first readout. Many of these votes were made prior to the $7.9 million disclosure and showed the GMO Moratorium losing by 10 points. Then as the election day votes came in from the voters who had become aware of the huge amount of money that the two chemical corporations had spent the tide turned.
Hawaii is ground zero for GMO and associated pesticide experimentation. These corporations are able to buy most of the politicians which is why the counties of Kaua’i, Maui and Hawai’i have all passed county ordinances restricting these chemical companies and their GMO/pesticide experiments. Chemical/GMO companies have been issued more open air EPA experimental permits in tiny Hawai’i than any other state in the union.
Ironically these two companies have been claiming for years that there are “thousands of studies proving their safety”. The Maui GMO Moratorium simply asks them to do an environmental assessment proving safety. One has to wonder why they would pay $8 million to defeat this rather than to gather these studies and have them ready to present in order to lift the moratorium.
Dr. Lorrin Pang (one of the five individuals bringing forward the initiative and the Maui Public Health officer) said,
“Now they’ll sue us. But we’ll use it as an opportunity to educate.”
Reprinted from DailyKos
Monsanto & Dow kick in almost $8,000,000 to defeat Maui voter initiative
You folks on all the islands wondered about all those TV ads against the “Maui Farming Ban”. Who the heck was this group, “Citizens Against the Maui Farming Ban”? And where are they getting the money to paper over our TV stations with their ads?
Not to mention why would 9,000 people sign an initiative to ban farming? (Obviously the PAC name is as misleading as its ads)
Campaign disclosure is out and, as suspected, Monsanto and Dow are the funders of “Citizens”. And wow baby! Did they fund it! $7,896,163 worth!
As of the filing date, Monsanto and Dow had spent a total of $6,335,083.
Interestingly some of that money was paid to Support Agriculture Coalition Committee of Aiea for “Professional Services”. We were unable to find any information on this company nor any registration with the Hawaii Department of Consumer Affairs.
After denying (by implication) that he was doing PR for Monsanto and Dow, we find out that Tom Blackburn-Rodriquez & Associates got a big chunk of change from them…over $16,000. Another active pro-GMO facebook poster and failed state House candidate, Christy Gusman got $3,483. This would seem to reinforce the theory that Monsanto and Dow are paying people to comment on social media.
Contrast this to the amount of money that the YES on the GMO Initiative people raised. “Maui Citizen’s Initiative for a Temporary Moratorium on GMO Crop Cultivation” got $52,422 this reporting period all but one from regular residents of Hawaii. $5,000 was donated by an individual in Colorado. They spent $55,342 on their mailer and radio ads.
We knew Citizens United was going to drown out voters’ voices with unlimited corporate cash but this seems a little excessive. The ratio of Monsanto cash to Hawai’i voters’ cash is 150 to 1.
Measures which could prevent campaign PAC surprises like this
Add another filing deadline a week prior to absentee ballots going out. The Monsanto-Dow PAC was allowed to operate for two months (starting at the beginning of September) without disclosing who was funding nor how much was being spent.
Untroduce transparency by requiring that the top 3 donors to the PAC be disclosed on any ad.
Maui Fair Unfair?
The Maui Fair, a family tradition since 1916, became an object of controversy this week when a PAC trying to derail the GMO Moratorium citizens initiative broke its booth and parade contract and created a political display. Those supporting the voter initiative which will be on the ballot November 4th, played by the rules and had stripped their booth and float of any politicking.
Group sues to prevent vote on Maui GMO moratorium
Kaua’i gets sued
Kaua’i passed an ordinance requiring the chemical companies to disclose the pesticides they were spraying and keep spraying a certain distance from schools, hospitals and homes.
Billion dollar chemical companies, Syngenta, DuPont Pioneer, Agrigenetics (doing business as Dow AgroSciences), and BASF retaliated by suing the small island county and initiating a $50,000 lobbying operation to over-ride the ordinance in the state legislature.
Christine Andrews' Testimony on GMO Moratorium
I have provided the report’s “Summary” section at the end of this email. The report is over 300 pages long, but you can download it for free to print out or read on your computer or other pdf-readable device. I was able to print a double-sided copy at Office Max for about $34.
In addition to the above report, the organization GMO Free USA has a very thorough list of scientific studies related to GMOs and associated pesticides (mainly glyphosate) on their website: http://gmofreeusa.org/gmos-are-top/gmo-science/
Please feel free to share this email with friends and family, neighbors and colleagues. Monsanto and its agribusiness friends, lobbyists, scientists, and spokespeople will continue to try to confuse Maui residents, voters, stakeholders, and policy makers by using the “tobacco strategy” to attempt to misrepresent the science and discredit responsible scientists in order to avoid meaningful regulation of their harmful products and practices. The best way we can fight back to protect residents and agricultural workers, family farmers, and our native ecosystems from industrial agribusiness and pesticide companies is to educate ourselves and fellow voters. It is ultimately up to us to stand up for the independent science that says that GMO crops and associated pesticides should be more stringently regulated and that a moratorium is the responsible course of action for a community that has been failed by its federal and state representatives and regulators.
In case you missed it, here is a link to the recent Notice of Violation issued by the Hawaii Department of Health to Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar. These violations were denied by several levels within the Department of Health for years. It took the efforts of myself and others for more than two years to independently document the violations and appeal to the EPA for intervention. Our regulators in the state of Hawaii do not have the resources to appropriately enforce regulations intended to protect public health, which is one more reason to support the moratorium by voting “Yes” to the moratorium in November.
Christine L. Andrews, J.D.
Summary from GMO Myths and Truths, 2nd Edition
Genetically modified (GM) crops and foods are promoted on the basis of a range of far-reaching claims from the industry and its supporters. They say that GM crops:
➜➜Are an extension of natural breeding and do not pose different risks from naturally bred crops
➜➜Are safe to eat and can be more nutritious than naturally bred crops
➜➜Are strictly regulated for safety
➜➜Reduce pesticide use
➜➜Benefit farmers and make their lives easier
➜➜Bring economic benefits
➜➜Benefit the environment
➜➜Can help solve problems caused by climate change
➜➜Reduce energy use
➜➜Will help feed the world.
However, a large and growing body of scientific and other authoritative evidence shows that these claims are not true. On the contrary, evidence presented in this report indicates that GM crops:
➜➜Are laboratory-made, using technology that is totally different from natural breeding methods, and pose different risks from non-GM crops
➜➜Can be toxic, allergenic or less nutritious than their natural counterparts
➜➜Are not adequately regulated to ensure safety
➜➜Do not increase yield potential
➜➜Do not reduce pesticide use but increase it
➜➜Create serious problems for farmers, including herbicide-tolerant “superweeds”, compromised soil quality, and increased disease susceptibility in crops
➜➜Have mixed economic effects and disrupt markets
➜➜Harm soil quality, disrupt ecosystems, and reduce biodiversity
➜➜Do not offer effective solutions to climate change
➜➜Are as energy-hungry as any other chemically-farmed crops
➜➜Cannot solve the problem of world hunger but distract from its real causes – poverty, lack of access to food and, increasingly, lack of access to land to grow it on.
Based on the evidence presented in this report, there is no need to take risks with GM crops when effective, readily available, and sustainable solutions to the problems that GM
technology is claimed to address already exist. Conventional plant breeding, in some cases helped by safe modern technologies like gene mapping and marker assisted selection, continues to outperform GM in producing high-yield, drought-tolerant, and pest- and disease-resistant crops that can meet our present and future food needs.
The quality and efficacy of our food production system depends only partly on crop genetics. The other part of the equation is farming methods. What is needed are not just high-yielding, climate-ready, and disease-resistant crops, but productive, climate-ready, and disease-resistant agriculture.
GMO Moratorium Debate Reaction
I am appalled that Mike Victorino listened to Dr. Pang’s testimony about Monsanto field workers (probably all shipped back to the Philippines by now) coming to him for help about the cancer they were getting working for the GMO companies.
And then he said he’d vote against the Moratorium because he didn’t want to see families hurt by losing jobs. So Mike, you’d rather see them lose family members to cancer?? JESUS CHRIST are you a complete moron?
There was plenty of testimony that Monsanto has nonGMO seeds and that they are a larger part of their business – in fact they are patenting organic seeds.
So this whole bullshit about Monsanto packing up and leaving if they aren’t allowed to grow GMOs is a shabai.
But then again, perhaps Victorino is not smart enough to put 2 and 2 together and realize this.
Yes, Victorino, help these families you say you care aboiut get cancer and birth defects. Ship them back to the Philippines when they get sick so they are out of sight and out of mind.
- Karen Chun: Dr. Pang is a world renown scientist. I give him kudos for being totally unbiased. He even did a chemtrail study for the chemtrail nuts (and showed there was ZERO correlation between what they claimed were days that had chemtrails and his air tests, thus conclusively disproving their conspiracy theory)
So the man approaches every question with an open mind. Does good science. Gets accurate results.
If he DID find the science saying that GMOs damage health (which he did), I’m inclined to trust him as being honest and objective.
- Another person: Damn, I never saw Lorrin get choked up like that… talking about all of the sick biotech farm workers who are coming to him; that really got to me. Only a loon wouldn’t realize we most likely have a silent emergency happening here between biotech & the cane company.
- Karen Chun: I know. I could see he was trying hard not to show emotion about the GMO workers who came to him for help about their cancers.
- Karen Chun: And the take-home message is that most of these field workers are imported from the Philippines so when they get sick, they can just get disappeared BACK to the Philippines.
- Another person: I hope the ‘humans’ who devised this business model end up a few floors below hell.
- Karen Chun: Even Gladys Baisa who was concerned about jobs got that the GMO companies are making people sick.
- Another person: I’m here crying over these sick workers and Victorino is cool as ice
- Karen Chun: Dr. Pang referenced the uranium workers. Saying that the workers who testified that uranium mining was safe were the ones that weren’t sick. Of course we now know that the radon in the mines was giving a significant number of them cancer.
- Another Person: I think he was stating that there weren’t any others alive…if I know my sensei and his bent but beautiful mind!
- Another Person: Nice try Wong attempting to get them to say oh sure let us wait until the end of July and then miss putting this on the ballot this year… I do not think so Mr. Wong that just isn’t the will of 19,000 people who want this moratorium!
- Karen Chun: Actually I thought Don Couch was even worse because he kept making these sly digs at Dr. Pang….calling into question his credentials (which are impressive including working for the Federal government on panels, being a Professor at a University, publishing scientific papers, etc). We are unbelievably lucky to have Dr. Pang as our Public Health Officer.
I believe Dr. Pang is the only person in history to eradicate Dengue Fever once it got a hold. We owe him a HUGE debt of gratitude for that!
- Karen Chun: Who is this dude, Wong? Corporate Council aka do NOTHING to uphold the rights of the citizens? (on any subject)
- Another person: He didn’t even recuse himself he just refused to vote… why? Don Couch worked with the Mayor for years it isn’t surprising at all as they have different thought processes. It was fascinating seeing a Intellectual of great merit attempting to get across some heady precepts of science and yet keep it friendly. I can only imagine what it was like reading his research paper, Big Words Indeed! What I find the most egregious here is the fact that Council is having a difficult time wrapping their collective brains around the fact that this is not a proven science and it is killing people! They are more concerned about getting back on the campaign trail than listening to something that keeps people alive!
- Karen Chun: I know – Couch isn’t actually that stupid – he was just ACTING.
- Another Person: whatevers it takes to get that vote afterall his homeowners fees are around $800 per month now versus the $80 they started out with ….is that called” Arrested Developers Syndrome Karma”?
- Karen Chun: Don Couch and the Mayor are both Republicans as in, don’t put ANY restrictions on corporations or developers
- Karen Chun: Which is why I am voting for John Fitzpatrick.
- Karen Chun: Except for Victorino does not have an opponent who is any better. Blackburn does not believe in regulating corporations.
- Karen Chun: Next election we need to get a good candidate for Wailuku. I’m willing to help anyone who wants to run on an environmental platform
- Another person: There are no Medical Toxicologist on Maui an only one on Oahu that works for Tripler… He cannot keep up with his work load. So I have to go to the mainland to prove this crap is killing me and my bird! I am not surprised by Victorino for his position because he is only positioning himself for his constituency… A good leader is one that cares about ALL THE PEOPLE! I wonder how much money he has taken from Chem Co’s? Have you researched the Council to see who has been bought off?
- Karen Chun: I don’t think any of our council has taken Monsanto etc donations. Who needs to donate to them? They’re sold out anyway (except Don Guzman and Elle Cochran – who are under attack by heavily financed opponents fronting for A&B/Monsanto)
- Another Person: What happened to Don’s ring finger I can understand how the middle one could get bent during all this but… just saying
- Karen Chun: Dunno…fortunately it won’t affect his partying ability – I am totally looking forward to another of his election night parties.
- Karen Chun: Ha,ha – now you candidates know the secret to my support
- Another person: oh yah, I want to go to one of em heard they are pretty wild… but I do know a friend of mine approached Don G. asking him to sign his petition for the moratorium and Don got all legal on him and wouldn’t sign it…
- Karen Chun: I wouldn’t let that weigh too heavily. Don seriously considers everything and doesn’t take action until he’s considered the subject in depth.
- Another person: I found it very heartening to see people showing feelings today at the conclusion of the meeting. Now if they would invest some time in researching this subject they would be better suited for their positions but all this did was reinforce my thoughts that we really need progressive leadership that can wrap its mind around the necessity of cleaning up the Mother Earth!
- Karen Chun: Note his question to Dr. Pang on exactly how one section of the Moratorium law would be implemented – he thinks thing through, looks at all potential pitfalls, etc.
- Another person: I am totally in support of Don Guzman as he is an intellectual and a good person who is honest and polite to everyone. His presence is crucial for the Council because he is educated and does not use double negatives thinking it is cool to sound illiterate to future generations.
- Karen Chun: “I can understand how the middle one could get bent during all this but… just saying”
- LOL! I know what you mean. When Victorino was talking I was yelling at my TV all kinds of things I wouldn’t say in public. Moron was the mildest
- Another person: LOLOLOL
BAB Letter in Support of the Maui GMO Moratorium
Watch live now GMO moratorium Maui Council meeting: http://akaku.org/akaku-channel-53-live-streaming/ Read BAB Pres. comments sent to Maui Council this morning:
Aloha Honorable Chair Hokama and Distinguished Maui Councilmembers,
I confirmed this morning again that the HDOA has only 5 pesticide inspectors statewide. This year in the legislature, we added 3 and we lost 4, despite promises of HDOA, the Governor and Kauai legislative delegates to address pesticide failures at the state level as a method to avoid the passage of Bill 2491. Just 7 of 72 cases on Kauai alone in 2011 and 2012 have been completed as only one person is assigned to process complaints. Our HDOA is absolutely not doing its’ job and has not been for years, hence the major pushes for protections at the home rule County level in order to protect citizens’ “life and health.” The state regulations should be a floor, not a ceiling for the Counties and the federal regulations are supposed to follow the same model. Please read the full articles linked.
Furthermore, the HDOA actions and leadership relies almost entirely on the opinion of the Hawaii Attorney General, who defers to the Federal government on nearly everything regarding GE and pesticides. Therefore, it is almost as if, we are missing our entire state-level regulation of agricultural GMOs and pesticides as our HDOA literally defers nearly all of their decision making to the positions of the federal government. The federal government, which as you can see, performs absolutely zero testing on pesticides, GMO crops or human safety studies in regards to both. Instead federal agencies rely primarily on studies performed by the companies applying for approval which a major conflict of interest and prime example of the highly concerning and numerous chemical+GMO company executives and lobbyists in key regulatory positions of the FDA, EPA and USDA.
Hawaii Department of Agriculture pesticide branch WOEFULLY UNDERSTAFFED and has been since budget cuts in 2008 and 2010.
“The state Department of Agriculture in Hawaii has only one employee assigned to review pesticide inspection reports and follow up on possible violations. And she says she hasn’t gotten around to reviewing most reports in several years so there’s been little if any action against pesticide misuse.
Since 2009, the department has suffered budget cuts that have stretched its pesticide oversight to the limit, its director says. There are only six pesticide inspectors in the state, including one on Kauai, where local officials are moving to take pesticide oversight into their own hands.
Meanwhile, the state Department of Health has no program in place to regularly test for pesticide contamination in the soil, air, or water. The sole position on Kauai that is supposed to monitor dust under pesticide regulations has been vacant for more than a year.
The state Department of Agriculture in Hawaii has only one employee assigned to review pesticide inspection reports and follow up on possible violations. And she says she hasn’t gotten around to reviewing most reports in several years so there’s been little if any action against pesticide misuse.
Since 2009, the department has suffered budget cuts that have stretched its pesticide oversight to the limit, its director says. There are only six pesticide inspectors in the state, including one on Kauai, where local officials are moving to take pesticide oversight into their own hands.”
Really appreciated your intelligent questions today and am pleased to see that the clarification has been made, that the EPA does not only perform NO testing of pesticides, but uses the industries’ own studies and studies of companies applying for registration to “register,” not “approve.” The same is true with the USDA in regards to GMO foods, where approval for US food supply is founded on studies funded and provided by the companies applying for approval. This is done under the understanding that the USDA cannot afford to test GE crops, cannot possibly assess all the risks and are relying on the industry public relations success of assuring the public that GE crops are “substantially equivalent” to conventional crops despite their contradicting methodology of applying for and receiving patents for GE crops as entirely unique and clearly, substantially different and new life forms thus justifying the grant of patents for GE crops. Basically the companies talk out of both sides of their mouths, one to the public, one to the patent office.
Furthermore, “Genetically engineered crops have led to an increase in overall pesticide use, by 404 million pounds from the time they were introduced in 1996 through 2011, according to the report by Charles Benbrook, a research professor at the Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources at Washington State University.” http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/02/us-usa-study-pesticides-idUSBRE89100X20121002
Essentially, the Bt GMO crops provide minimal decrease in sprayed pesticides (while assuring EPA pesticide registered Bt GMO crops produce pesticides leading to human consumption of genetically engineered Bt toxin,) while the majority of GE crops are engineered to promote the sale of pesticides by chemical companies producing patented GE crops, thus increasing the amount of pesticides used overall. For the record’s sake, Dow Agroscience, parent company of Mycogen, is currently nearing final approval for 2,4-D herbicide resistant corn, which is an ingredient of the infamous Agent Orange. Already, at least 46 millions of 2,4-d herbicide is sprayed in the United States on an annual basis. Where do you think Dow was testing 2,4-d resistant corn? Their open air laboratory in the Hawaiian islands perhaps? We already know that Agent Orange was field tested in Kauai prior to use, and suspect that the islands have been used to prepare 2,4-d resistant corn but can not confirm many of the chem+GMO activities due to corporate resistance to public disclosure.
In addition, Sri Lanka and Argentina studies regarding the toxicity of glyphosate have led to major legal restrictions and prohibitions of Roundup citing renal toxicity and numerous health maladies including widespread birth defects in residents abutting or engaging in GMO Roundup Ready soy production in Argentina and for farmers using Roundup in Sri Lanka. A recent University of Caen study linked the inert (inactive) ingredients of Roundup to. Excerpts from the Scientific American coverage include:
“But now researchers have found that one of Roundup’s inert ingredients can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells.
The new findings intensify a debate about so-called “inerts” — the solvents, preservatives, surfactants and other substances that manufacturers add to pesticides. Nearly 4,000 inert ingredients are approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient, is the most widely used herbicide in the United States. About 100 million pounds are applied to U.S. farms and lawns every year, according to the EPA.”
“…But in the new study, scientists found that Roundup’s inert ingredients amplified the toxic effect on human cells—even at concentrations much more diluted than those used on farms and lawns.
One specific inert ingredient, polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA, was more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than the herbicide itself – a finding the researchers call “astonishing.”
“One label requirement for Roundup is that it should not be used in or near freshwater to protect amphibians and other wildlife.”
Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Produce Teratogenic Effects on Vertebrates by Impairing Retinoic Acid Signaling (Argentina study) http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/tx1001749
I am including a study showing the transfer of Bt toxins from GMO foods to the majority of blood of pregnant women, umbilical blood and non-pregnant women. It does not break down in the human body as suggested by the manufacturers of GMO Bt crops, which are registered as pesticides with the EPA but fed to US citizens without any type of labeling. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21338670
Furthermore, it should be noted that regardless of starvation problems in Africa, an proposed industry candidate for GMO crops allegedly “feeding the world,” has experienced a mixed rejection of GE crops due to health and environmental risks and that: “From 2002, GM crops have been offered as food aid. In Southern Africa, several countries have expressed concern about the use of GM crops as food aid, given the lack of clarity about their potential impacts. During the drought of 2002-03, several countries opted to reject GM food aid. In making their decisions, countries considered not only the immediate issue of food shortages and the overall implications of GM crops for human and environmental health, but also future directions in agriculture, the implications of private sector-led research, livelihood and development options, ethical issues and rights concerns (Mohamed- Katerere 2003). Similarly, public concerns are raised about the relationship between GM crops and sustainable agriculture. Participatory Ecological Land Use Management (PELUM-Tanzania, PELUM-Kenya, and PELUM-Zimbabwe), Biowatch South Africa, and national consumer councils have all been key players.” http://www.unep.org/dewa/Africa/publications/AEO-2/content/154.htm
GMO crops do not “feed the world,” and to date in the US there are no commercially approved drought-resistant or yield increasing GMO crops. GE crops are primarily used for fuel and livestock feed.
A recent report in Cascadia Times suggested that GMO testing sites have made parts of Hawaii into some of the most toxic chemical environments in a comparison between all United States agriculture. Data suggests that use of some of the most toxic pesticides, are ten times the national average. It’s the multiple growing seasons. That’s why other communities can pass GMO and pesticide regulations without getting sued but they don’t want to let Hawaii go. Just like the sugar and the pineapple corporations. Medical doctors treating communities near fields are concerned that they are seeing elevated rates of serious illness, possibly including rare birth defects ten times the national average. http://times.org/2014/06/16/kauai-cocktail/
Fiji’s organic islands have business booming, and I propose this is the agricultural industry most residents would support, that would seriously boost our economy, provide stable, sustainable and safe jobs. I also believe that the pure and pristine environment visitors expect of Hawaii, would be best preserved heading in this direction: http://www.reuters.com/video/2014/06/22/organic-farming-culture-brings-burgeonin?videoId=316512653&feedType=VideoRSS&feedName=Business&videoChannel=5&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+reuters%2FUSVideoBusiness+%28Video+%2F+US+%2F+Business%29
Risk-benefit analysis v. precautionary principle. Europe is not willing to risk the health of their children, the stability of their agricultural crops, and the safety of their environment for Monsanto and Mycogen. The United States use the risk-benefit analysis which seems to assume the “risks” associated with GMO farming, underweight the benefits. For who? The US is one of the last several countries in the world allowing GMO crop production. It is on it’s way out because it’s not working and industry claims have already been disproven. This is one of the last places in the world allowing these companies to do this. The risks are on our communities and the benefits are for the minority population profiting through the chemical companies, and commercial enterprises such as Monsanto and Mycogen.
What makes GMOs seem “cheap” in the US is federal subsidies. Without them, there would be likely be no GMO industry in the US because it is not cost-effective or affordable. Patented seeds which must be re-purchased each growing season, chemical fertilizers, pesticides and the inability to save seed to re-plant remove while some crops require twice the water as conventional versions. It is easy to understand how the profits for farmers are redirected to GMO companies and place them in a dependent cycle with chemical corporations. In 2010 70% the US soy bean value was subdized by US tax dollars and 40% of the value paid, was from federal crop insurance subsidies. If 94% of US soy is GMO, and 40% of US soy had to be subsidized with crop insurance due to crop failure, how efficient is this and what does this say for the reality of GE crops? If you kicked out all of the federal subsidy crutches for GMO crops, this industry in the US would collapse on itself.
Councilmember Couch and I discussed the Russian government’s rejection of GE crops briefly last night and here is the bill which considers GMO crop production by companies, elected officials allowing GE crops and individual disciplinary actions for illegal GMO usage or imporation, to be considered as terrorist threat in Russia. This bill is still being considered while a moratorium on GMO food imports, approvals and planting has already been established. The proposed penalties include a minimum 15 year prison sentence and a maximum of life in prison. Here are some news releases from a major news agency, the Information Telegraph Agency of Russia, ITAR-TASS: http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/731689
“The bill also provides for fines for concealing or deliberate distortion of information about environmental impacts of GMOs. Thus, individuals will be punished by a fine ranging from 500 to 1,000 roubles (14.5-29 U.S. dollars), government officials – by a fine of 1,000-2,000 roubles, and legal entities – by a fine of 10,000-20,000 roubels.”
“We do not want to develop the production of genetically modified foods or to import them from other countries,” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said at a congress of legislators from Russia’s rural communities on Saturday. “We are capable of feeding ourselves with normal, ordinary foods, and not genetically modified foodstuffs. If the Americans like to feed themselves with such foods, they are free to do so. We should not do that. We have enough arable land and opportunities to consume normal products.”
Russia’s national association of genetic security last year came out with a demand for banning the use of transgenic cultures in Russia’s territory for a period of ten years. Fundamental GMO studies will be carried out during that period and the effects on the human body established.
For your information, your Mayor Alan Arakawa just happened to publicly receive $1100 from Monsanto lobbyist Carol Reimann and Monsanto just weeks before signing that memorandum with them. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AlMuG7w978-pdDBQMjdPQjJCMWZ5U0ZvemlsV1dfZ2c&usp=sharing
You are the last governing body in the state clear of Chemical and GMO funding from 2007-2013 and I have hope and faith in your integrity. Here are the Council analyses, I will leave it up to you to guess why the Honolulu City Council removed GMO labeling from the HSAC package despite unanimous support from neighbor island Councils (two years in a row): https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AlMuG7w978-pdFNxd3Rxb2tud3YwMkk1d0EzaC1LTkE&usp=sharing
Here are the chemical and GMO campaign contributions to the Hawaii state legislature form 2007-2013. You can draw your own conclusions as to why the Senate Agriculture Chair Nishihara, (who believes DDT is still safe and who taught Special Education for twenty years and does not believe in any link between pesticides and birth defects,) and our Senate Chair of Consumer Protection Rosalyn Baker, has fundraisers thrown for them by the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association (HCIA) lobbyist, Alicia Maluafiti. No increase in pesticide inspectors, regulation, disclosure, or GE food labeling has been able to get past the Senate Ag and CPN committees for years. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AlMuG7w978-pdGwyNkZBbjRQc3ZMVnRNdjctTE9nVkE&usp=sharing
I urge you to read the United Nations 2013 Trade and Environment Review entitled, Wake up Before It is Too Late. It essentially states that if we do not immediately depart from high-external-input, petrochemical and heavy pesticide use monocultures such as the GMO farming methods, for small, “mosaic-like,” bio-diverse, sustainable, low-input, organic and natural farming methods, that the problems associated with pesticide/monoculture/GE farming (such as pesticide resistant “superweeds,” and “superbugs,”) will lead to massive global food shortages causing trade and economic disruption and even civil war over food: http://unctad.org/en/PublicationsLibrary/ditcted2012d3_en.pdf
(Wall Street Journal) China already has rejected billions of dollars of US corn due to GMO contamination: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304483804579283790519804928
Hundreds of millions lost for US farmers due to GMO contaminated soy and corn rejection by China: http://blogs.wsj.com/corporate-intelligence/2014/04/11/how-much-of-u-s-crops-are-gmos/
Lending evidence to the prohibition of open air GE experimentation, even unapproved GM crops such as GM wheat field testing, has led to wheat contamination and cancellation of imports of US wheat: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2333381/GM-wheat-crops-America-facing-wheat-export-crisis-Europe-Japan-lead-way-rejecting-genetically-modified-crops.html
Should you be interested in reading over 1500 studies regarding GE and related pesticides:http://gmofreeusa.org/gmos-are-top/gmo-science/
Colonel Dr. Don Huber of the Army Medical Intelligence Center and former consultant for Dow Chemical said, “Future historians may well look back and write about our time, not about how many pounds of pesticide we did or did not apply; but by how willing we were to sacrifice our children and jeopardize future generations based on false promises and flawed science, just to benefit the “bottom line” of a commercial enterprise.” Here are his expansive credentials: http://www.nvlv.nl/downloads/Dr_Huber_bio.pdf
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions. I will continue to provide you with critical information we believe is relevant to your decision making. Thank you for your time.
Babes Against Biotech
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