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Biotech & Departments of Agriculture closed-door meeting

From GMO Free Hawai’i Island:

It recently came to our attention that NASDA, the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, is having a closed door meeting in Kona next week, and they will be discussing the setting of the agenda for agriculture throughout all the states for the next five years. And what is most troubling besides the meeting’s secrecy and use of public agencies, is that the speakers and agenda items mostly concern the interests of the biotech industry.

Speakers include:

  • Marjory Bronster – the lawyer who is suing three counties in Hawai’i on behalf of the biotech industry for passing laws regulating GE agriculture
  • Dennis Gonsalves – the creator of the GMO papaya, and the chair of the whole national association
  • our own Hawai’i Department of Agriculture chair Scott Enright

One can speculate what the reason is for having this meeting in private on Hawai’i Island; most of the chemical companies have their experimental GE field trials and grow outs on the other islands, so perhaps it will be easier to paint a rosier picture of “the success of GMO farming in Hawai’i,” and use this as a model to follow through the rest of the country without the distraction of having to contend with communities most affected by these toxic farming practices. With agenda items such as “Preventing Flawed Food Safety Research From Becoming Scientific Dogma”, and the chosen speakers, it seems pretty clear that the ongoing exposure of the promotion of junk science conducted by the biotech industry, and studies showing the ill effects of these technologies on animals for example are increasing the need on the part of the biotech industry to control the messaging in order to save their business model from the public finding out about the actual science that shows harm.

GMO Free Hawai’i Island is considering holding a protest on the highway in front of resort; email them at gmofreehawaiiisland@gmail.com if you would be able to attend on Sunday, September 13th at the Sheraton Kona Resort.

You can read the official press release, or see the agenda.

Action alert: stop county spraying of pesticides

From GMO Free Hawai’i:

Action Alert

On Tuesday August 4th, Hawai`i County Council Member Margaret Wille will introduce Bill 71, for the county to stop spraying herbicides on county property, including roads, parks, etc that the county maintains.

Please send testimony now to counciltestimony@hawaiicounty.gov ― even a quick email as simple as “I support Bill 71” ― to be received by Monday at 2:30 PM. Ask your friends, ohana, & visitors to send testimony too.

It’s probably most valuable to submit testimony, but you can also sign a petition

If you want to email individual councilors, their addresses are:

dru.kanuha@hawaiicounty.gov
margaret.wille@hawaiicounty.gov
karen.eoff@hawaiicounty.gov
maile.david@hawaiicounty.gov
greggor.ilagan@hawaiicounty.gov
valerie.poindexter@hawaiicounty.gov
aaron.chung@hawaiicounty.gov
daniel.paleka@hawaiicounty.gov
dennis.onishi@hawaiicounty.gov

You can also submit testimony in person at the Hilo Council Chambers (25 Aupuni Street) or via videoconference:

  • Waimea Council Office
  • Video Conferencing Site in the old Bank of Hawai’i Building in Kapa’au
  • Kona Council Chambers – West Hawai‘i Civic Center
  • Pahoa Neighborhood Facility
  • the Hawaiian Ocean View Estates Community Center

Background info from Margaret Wille

Bill 71 prohibits toxic herbicides on all County owned or maintained property.

At the Council’s May 2015 hearings for our County 2015 -2016 budget, the line items of greatest concern were that “Roundup” spray line items in the several department budgets, including those of Parks & Recreation and Public Works. At that time I promised to draft a bill to address the community’s concerns.

As drafted this bill would prohibit the use of toxic herbicides, such as those containing glyphosate (Monsanto’s “Roundup”), on County owned and maintained parks, roadways, waterways, and other county spaces.

The World Health Organization and other health organizations have recently brought forth more evidence concerning the negative effects of glyphosate on human health and to the environment. In my opinion it would be irresponsible to continue to ignore the cries of so many to find alternative means to deal with weeds that are less harmful to our people. To instead simply do another study or to only undertake some pilot project would be doing next to nothing. The proposed bill has an effective date of July 1, 2016 to allow time for the County to transition to alternative means of weed control.

Help stop this from continuing

Doctors Stephanie Seneff and Judy Carman present “Our Right to Health”

This newsletter is republished from GMO Free Hawai’i (GMOFHI):

Our Right to Health

GMOFHI is pleased to announce “Our Right to Health”, a speaking tour of two scientists to our islands, Dr. Stephanie Seneff and Dr. Judy Carman. They will discuss the results of health and safety studies concerning Glyphosate and GMO foods, respectively. This is a great opportunity to become more fully informed about the safety issues and to hear in detail some of the problems associated with these products, so commonplace in our lives and communities.

Dr. Stephanie Seneff, for 30 years, has been a researcher and scientist in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology links the research with the alarming rise in today’s diseases. Dr Senneff will be connecting the dots between the rise in the use of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the commonly used herbicide “Roundup,” and the link to the increase in obesity, allergies, autism, alzheimer’s (and more).

Dr. Judy Carman holds a PhD in Medicine, nutritional biochemistry and metabolic regulation; Dr. Carman conducted research on some of the first long-term, independent, animal feeding studies to investigate the safety of GMO crops in regards to human health. She will be talking about the safety of GM crops, including the research she has conducted with some of the first animal studies.

Please join us at one of these upcoming dates, for Pupus and an opportunity to meet our speakers:

EAST HAWAI’I ISLAND – Contact: Chandell 808-896-1686

Sat. July 25th – Waimea, 1:30 to 5 PM
Tutu’s House, 64-1032 Mamalahoa Highway, Kamuela

Sun. July 26th – Honoka’a, 6 to 9 PM
North Hawai’i Educational Research Center (NHERC)
45-539 Plumeria Street, Honoka’a

WEST HAWAI’I ISLAND – Contact: Sharon (808) 938-4807

Mon. July 27th – Kona, 6 to 9 PM
County of Hawai’i Civic Center
74-5044 Ane Keohokalole Highway,
Bldg B (above the harbor)

Road-side Herbicide Spraying

During a recent legislative annual budget hearing, the County of Hawaii Council heard a full day of community testimony on the subject of de-funding the county’s road-side herbicide program, and replacing it with safer alternatives. Many ideas were presented, and the director of public works, as well as many council members showed support for trying a different approach. If you have any ideas that you would like to share with the county, please contact Public Works Director Warren Lee’s office at (808) 961-8321 and politely present concerns and ideas for solutions (we realize having our children walk through road sides sprayed with Roundup is an emotional issue). There are many different climates on Hawai’i Island to content with, so providing road-side weed control solutions is bound to require varied approaches.

Here is a short list of solutions. Please email GMO Free Hawai’i with other ideas to continue to add to this list.

  • Vinegar
  • Steam
  • Physical removal- such as around specific areas like waterways, as well as part of a long term replacement program with other types of plants besides “weeds”. Large stretches of the Hilo/Volcano hwy, for example, were once maintained in such a way, along with a mowing program in the shorter term. Once weeds have been removed the roadside can be planted with native plants, especially those that attract pollinators.
  • Animal, via portable pens
  • Flaming
  • C-Cide Concentrate (Testing in Kapoho by Hawaii’s Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides)

If you haven’t signed and shared the petition to stop the county’s road-side herbicide spraying, please do!

Hilo & Kona: Dr. Tyrone Hayes – Silencing the Independent Scientist

Hawaii Seed and the Mom Hui presents, as part of the Raise Awareness Inspire Change Speaker Series:

Dr. Tyrone Hayes – Silencing the Independent Scientist


Where: Hilo, UH Hilo campus, Science and Technology Building, room 108

When: Monday evening, May 19th, 6-8pm


Where: Kona, Island Naturals upstairs meeting room

When: Tuesday evening, May 20th, 6-8pm


A free and open to the public presentation by UC Berkeley Professor Tyrone Hayes, about his findings from 15 years of research on the herbicide Atrazine and his struggle with the Syngenta corporation, the maker of Atrazine. His story of scientific and political corruption was featured recently in the New Yorker magazine.

At 6-6:30 pm will be light refreshments and a chance to meet the speaker. A question and answer period will follow the presentation. Paul Towers from Pesticide Action Network will be speaking as well, presenting an overview of pesticide use nationally as well as internationally and the significant role Hawaii plays as ground zero for open-air pesticide experimentation.

It was Dr. Hayes who discovered that the herbicide atrazine, the most widely used herbicide in America, was a disruptor of the endocrine system emasculating male frogs and transforming them into fully functioning reproductive females. Highly published in peer-review journals since the 1990s, Dr. Hayes is an advocate for the critical review and regulation of pesticides and chemicals that cause adverse health effects in our communities.

Right now the County of Kauai is embroiled in a lawsuit over regulating and enforcing articles in the pesticide bill that was recently passed. This bill called for the creation of buffer zones around schools, hospitals, etc, and the public right to know pesticide use in agriculture. This is a critical issue for us all to understand. The links between human health, environmental health, children’s ability to learn, and the future of healthy thriving communities depends on informed community understanding.

Mahalo!

From the team at GMO Free Hawaii Island gmofreehawiiisland@gmail.com

Please feel free to share and send this out widely – thank you!