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Investigative journalist on Hawai’i’s GMO war

Jon Rappoport, a free-lance investigative journalist, has written numerous posts recently about GMOs, labeling vs banning, and the recent passing and subsequent overturning of laws in Hawai’i to ban GMOs and their attendant poisons. He provides some good insights into the corruption in the political and judicial systems, and even with big NGOs supposedly looking out for the health of humans and our landbases. The main angle he’s missing is CELDF style laws, which not only block unwanted industry or pollution from a locale, but explicitly state that the local protections supersede the rights of corporations or the State or Federal laws written by those corporate interests.

You can see all of Rappoport’s posts on GMOs or read some specific posts:

Review of Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds

Norris Thomlinson of Deep Green Resistance Hawai’i wrote a review recently of the documentary Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds. He analyzes it from a liberal vs radical perspective, ultimately coming away disappointed that the film didn’t offer anything more than a typical liberal approach to systemic problems of power.

The film shows beautiful time lapse sequences of seeds sprouting and shooting into new life. Even rarer, it shows people feeling very emotional about seeds, displaying extra-human connections we normally only see with domesticated pets, and hinting at the human responsibility of respectful relationship with all beings described by so many indigenous people. The movie highlights great projects from seed schools and the Seed Broadcast truck educating people on why and how to save seed, to William Woys Weaver and others within Seed Savers Exchange doing the on-the-ground work of saving varieties from extinction, to Hudson Valley Seed Library trying to create a viable business as a local organic seed company.


The Deep Green Resistance Youtube Channel has an excellent comparison of Liberal vs Radical ways of analyzing and addressing problems. In short, liberalism focuses on individual mindsets and changing individual attitudes, and thus prioritizes education for achieving social change. Radicalism recognizes that some classes wield more power than others and directly benefit from the oppressions and problems of civilization. Radicalism holds these are not “mistakes” out of which people can be educated; we need to confront and dismantle systems of power, and redistribute that power. Both approaches are necessary: we need to stop the ability of the powerful to destroy the planet, and simultaneously to repair and rebuild local systems. But as a radical environmentalist, I found the exclusively liberal focus of Open Sesame disappointing. There’s nothing inherently wrong with its take on seed sovereignty; the film is good for what it is; and I’m in no way criticizing the interviewees doing such great and important work around seed saving and education. But there are already so many liberal analyses and proposed solutions in the environmental realm that this film’s treatment doesn’t really add anything new to the discussion.

Read the entire review of Open Sesame at the Deep Green Resistance News Service.

Monday August 11 – Honolulu Town Hall meeting on PRIMNM

People who want to protect our moana nui for everyone, including Hawai‘i, need to be heard in regard to Obama’s proposed PRIMNM expansion. The Town Hall discussion will be held on August 11 at the Ala Moana Hotel, Carnation Room, 410 Atkinson Drive Honolulu, from 5:00 – 7:00 pm. Even if you can’t attend the Town Hall meeting, you can send comments to, deadline is August 15.

This notice reposted from an email sent out by KAHEA: The Hawaii-Environmental Alliance.

Our oceans are threatened by overfishing, pollution, habitat destruction, ocean acidification, and climate change. According to The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture, 2014, about 90 percent of global fish stocks are overfished or fully-fished. Researchers found that fully protected marine reserves are essential to rebuilding species abundance and diversity and increasing resilience to climate change. At least 20-30 percent of our ocean should be in protected marine reserves to ensure the productivity of marine fisheries and overall ocean health. Currently less than 1 percent of the ocean is protected in no-take marine reserves.

On August 11, 2014, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will host a Town Hall meeting in Honolulu to hear your comments on U.S. President Obama’s recent proposal to expand – by nearly nine-fold -the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument (PRIMNM) to the outermost reaches of the already existing U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). PRIMNM currently consists of 5 uninhabited island or atoll complexes (Wake, Jarvis, Howland and Baker Islands, Johnston Atoll, and Kingman Reef and Palmyra Atoll) plus the ocean surrounding each.

The expanded PRIMNM would be the largest monument in the world, and commercial fishing would be banned in its 200 square mile area. Unsurprisingly, the most vehement criticisms of PRIMNM expansion have come from members of the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council (Wespac). Wespac says the Pacific Remote Islands are important U.S. tuna fisheries and American Samoan purse seine fisheries; these fisheries don’t harm coral reef habitats in the area; and local subsistence fishers depend on access to these areas. The Pacific Remote islands are uninhabited, save for conservation personnel, and the area accounts for only about 5% of their tuna catch.

PRIMNM expansion complements actions of Pacific Island nations that are most affected by the health of our oceans. We do not often support U.S. federal actions in the Pacific, but PRIMNM expansion aligns with policies of putting marine conservation above commercial fishing interests on which many Pacific nations – Palau, Kiribati, and Cook Islands – have already led the way. Earlier this year, Palau announced it would protect 80 percent of Palau’s EEZ; Kiribati is closing two significant areas to commercial fishing; and Cook Islands have created a no-take marine reserve 50 miles around the southern islands in the archipelago.

The expanded PRIMNM would protect irreplaceable natural resources, including:

  • 241 seamounts, undersea mountains that are hotspots of biodiversity;
  • migratory species, such as dolphins, that use these seamounts as stopovers on trips between the Hawaiian Islands and other Pacific areas;
  • 14 million seabirds representing 19 species, which use these areas as feeding and breeding grounds;
  • Reef and open ocean habitat for protected species of sea turtles and marine mammals;
  • Deep water coral ecosystems, a variety of unique coral species live at great ocean depths, some of which are up to 5,000 years old;

Further, deep seabed mining – the extraction of minerals from the seafloor or sediment below the seabed – is prohibited within the existing PRIMNM and the boundary expansion should protect more of the Pacific. Mining destroys life on the seafloor in the target area; it pollutes adjacent waters and seafloor; heavy metals and sediment discharged from seabed mining can accumulate in fish; and sediment plumes that suffocate life can travel thousands of miles from a mining operation. In Papua New Guinea, where the first mining lease was granted in an area known as Solwara 1, an estimated US $740 million per hectare is needed to repair damage to the biodiversity, ecosystem integrity, and ecosystem function caused by seabed mining.

Petition against trash incinerator in Hilo

Please add your opposition to this proposed project. Instead of finding ways to break our addiction to international commerce and start meeting our needs from the aina, this threatens to lock our county into mandatory long-term generation of trash. And as usual, the proposal calls for this source of air pollution to be sited near an already vulnerable, poor Native Hawaiian community.

If possible, please also submit testimony to the County Council, either in person Friday, July 18th, or via email to (Email must be received by noon, Thursday July 17th.)

Seven GMO Events in May

This announcement was put together by Occupy Hilo and distributed by GMO Free Hawai’i Island:

There are seven GMO‬ related events happening on ‪Hawaii Island‬ in the next two weeks. Please mark your calendars for the following:

MON 5/19 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: UH Hilo campus, Science and Technology Building, room 108

When: Monday evening, May 19th, 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.

TUES 5/20 Kona Island Naturals

6-8 pm ~Dr. Tyrone Hayes, UC Berkeley Professor/research on pesticide Atrazine and struggle with Syngenta Chemical Corp.

TUES 5/20

Agriculture Advisory Commission 10:00 am Puna Conference Room. Agenda items include a discussion of GMO legislation

THURS 5/22

9:00 am to 4:30 pm UH Hilo room UCB100

UH Soil health and composting symposium. The College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management (CAFNRM) at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo and the County of Hawai`i will host a free, public forum entitled “Building Momentum Toward a Resilient and Sustainable Local Farming Culture.” Dr. Hector Valenzuela of the UH Manoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) and Dr. Norman Arancon of CAFNRM will be the lead presenters with discussion facilitation by Interim CAFNRM Dean Bruce Mathews and County Councilwoman Margaret Wille, Chair of the County Council’s Committee on Agriculture, Water, Energy, Sustainability. Morning presentations and panel discussions will focus on eco-friendly agro-ecological models, integrated crop-livestock systems and feed options, improving soil health, and increasing economical options for high quality compost. The afternoon sessions will include a discussion of little red fire ant control strategies and facilitated breakout sessions, followed panel discussions on how to move forward on the key areas of interest.

SAT 5/24

1:00 ‪March Against Monsanto‬ March/Sign Waving against Monsanto in Kona. Queen K toward Mormon Temple

SAT 5/24

6:30-8:30 pm UH Hilo STB108 Dr. Lorin Pang of Maui, informs us about the health effects and other issues around genetic engineering and genetically engineered food and farming. His focus will also be on pesticides, and how pesticides affect the human body at the cellular level, and the unintended consequences of mixing different pesticides together. When mixed, as is done more often than not in the farm fields, they combine to create brand new untested chemicals that wreak havoc on the human body’s ability defend from the toxins.

THURS 5/29

4:30pm GMO ISSUES: Pro and Con Panel Discussion by Four Experts, STB108, UH Hilo Campus. Free presentation sponsored by AAUW and UHH Women’s Center.

Pro presenters:

Richard Ha, Hamakua Springs Country Farms/ Hawaii Board Agriculture

Dr. Russel Nagata, County Administrator, UH Manoa, College Tropical Agriculture Human Resources

Con presenters

Councilwoman Margaret Wille, Chair County Agriculture/ Sustainability Committee

Dr. Hector Valenzuela, UH Manoa Professor, College of Tropical Agriculture

Community members who have questions or concerns about this topic are encouraged to attend. There will be an opportunity to have questions answered.

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.


From the team at GMO Free Hawaii Island

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