The Anti-Intellectuals: Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety
by Joni Kamiya, Hawaii Farmers Daughter, September 18, 2016
The anti-GMO folks say some pretty amazing things and have very incredible ideas as to what it is. To those who have no clue on some basic science, logic, and critical thinking, it’s easy to get sucked up into this because there is a lot of repetition and emotion in all of the anti-GMO messaging. Every once in awhile, some of them will piece the information together and say some really wild things.
I can tell that these folks really don’t critically analyze what their saying. Most don’t have enough of a background to come up with a decent understanding of the science and will never go back to actually learn, which shows the anti-intellectual nature of this movement. Nor do many people even remember what they have said before and easily get called out it. The impulsive nature of what they say and do is reflection in the lack of self control and only leads to unforeseen consequences that further shows the true colors of the movement itself.
I happened to pick up a flyer from the Food Babe event put out by the Center for Food Safety the other night from their community education table. Like their previous publications, there is never any sources for a person to go back to for referencing the source, nothing. The unsuspecting person will get entranced by the beautiful imagery of taro fields, babies, and grass huts nestled in a valley. The colorful nature of the booklet and high quality printing gives the illusion of something legitimate to the public. The printed materials are written very much like a religious handout to get people to believe in the cause.
It looks so good that it would not be something deceptive but in reality, is completely a facade. Looking at this would not make you want to question the info presented because it looks so important. It easily fools so many people into believe that CFS is a “legitimate” food safety group despite nothing in the booklet referring to food borne illnesses and actual safety issues in our food supply. There’s nothing mention of the food recalls at all or anything on the hepatitis A outbreak in Hawaii. You simply get the feeling that their there to save you from poisoning.
In one of the handouts, I read an interesting passage on the EPA and regulation of public health risks. (Note: nothing mentioned about REAL health risks and the Food Safety and Modernization Act that does protect people.)
The Center for Food Safety is telling people that the EPA can’t be trusted. Their specialty is creating doubt in people who will never take the time to critically question what’s being presented. The typical anti-GMO believer just repeats these phrases. (Note: The “minuscule” contribution of the seed industry is not mention that it’s valued at over $150M to our state’s economy and leads in agricultural activity. But hey, that’s not important to mention!)
In order to critically think about an issue, one must be able to synthesize all information being presented. That includes remembering anything else that was said earlier by other people. Not even a month ago, Earthjustice’s attorney, Paul Achitoff, announced that they were suing to get the EPA to regulate pesticides in Hawaii because the state was allegedly “failing.”
Let’s see here. Earthjustice and the Pesticide Action Network wants the EPA to regulate pesticides in Hawaii, meaning that they will trust the agency. However, back in 2013, they headed to the Kauai County Council, under Councilmember Gary Hooser’s lead, to have the county regulate pesticides and GMOs because they didn’t trust the EPA or state. They also tried to pass county ordinances on Maui and Hawaii alleging that the state and federal government were not regulating the issue adequately. Now they are changing their tune and trusting the EPA again???
Do the GMO free folks think everyone is absentminded??? These folks say one thing and then take a different action that completely contradicts themselves. Ashley Lukens of CFS has repeatedly said that she wants the state to pass a buffer zone law but then her pal, Paul Achitoff of Earthjustice doesn’t trust the state and wants this regulation held with the EPA. If buffer zones become law, will Ashley suddenly trust the state’s handling of the matter? Before that they wanted the county to regulate and confidently told taxpayers that it was this piece of legislation was legal, dismissing the county’s legal review that it wasn’t in it’s scope. The courts have ruled that the environmental groups were wrong and in reality, deceived the public.
These groups are causing mass chaos and confusion in the public to. They’ve been at it for the last 3 years. Three years of constant fear mongering in our communities has consequences to even small farmers. Some hardcore believers continue to follow them blindly and never bother to think about what’s being said.
The beautiful thing about this mucked up movement is that some people are waking up and swimming out of the ocean of fear.
Remember the incident a few months ago when my dad was verbally abused and threatened by the lady who lived uphill from our farm?
That same woman showed up on our farm again this past Monday. Everyone working that day had a sinking feeling when they saw her approach my dad on the field. My brother was ready to jump off the tractor to defend him if it was needed. However, instead of yelling at my dad, she did something completely different.
She proceeded to apologize to my dad. She told him that she had realized what she did was completely wrong and she was sorry and asked for his forgiveness. Taken by surprise, he did forgive her. He was thankful that she came back to talk with him. She then went up to him and hugged him and left.
In the midst of massive fear and confusion, there is beauty. People can change if those in the agricultural communities keep speaking up and telling our stories and what we face. Our stories of what we do will be heard above those who seek to destroy us. We must never forget that the farmers are the pillars of our communities. It’s their work that gives us the freedom to not be on the farm.
It is through learning that people can change. Who is ready and willing to commit to learning about farms from farmers? We can’t continue to move forward if people are having to defend their work. We have to start listening to the right people who are on the fields, working the lands and feeding us. That’s the pono thing to do.
July 30, 2016: Screaming Haole Trespasses on Farm, Destroys Papaya Trees