by Joni Kamiya, Hawaii Farmers Daughter, March 9, 2017
Tomorrow, the anti-GMO activists will be pounding the pavement at the Hawaii State Capitol to demand that the House of Representatives pass their “right to know” pesticide buffer zone bill. They tout it as a “common sense” measure but never disclose that there’s a penalty included in the bill that opens agricultural entities up to lawsuits. Of course, the public doesn’t need to know the whole truth as usual.
The legislators will be faced with a lot of emotional pleas from mothers to pass this bill that is really an anti-GMO bill that will be used to scare people globally from this technology. The Center for Food Safety will tell the Hawaii politicians that they are protecting people from pesticides but then travel to Asia and Africa and say that the chemicals in our food is causing us to be gay and infertile. This kind of fear mongering led to the starvation of so many Zambians who eventually broke into warehouses to eat the so called dangerous food. It is sickening to me knowing that this anti-GMO issue is using Hawaii to cause pain and suffering globally.
For every activists that doesn’t have to work and will fly from Maui or Kauai to persuade legislators, there’s the real farmers working on their fields and getting their crops ready for market. Many simply don’t have the time to hangout in downtown Honolulu to chit chat and play the emotional card. They have work to do on their businesses because people depend on them.
How many of these anti-GMO activists have vested piece in Hawaii agriculture? I know for a fact that we farming families have a lot at stake. Here’s just a small piece of what it takes to run a real farm to feed thousands day after day year upon year.
- 2 small loading forklifts: $30K
- Large forklift for harvesting: $20K
- Backhoe for putting in water lines: $35K
- Custom made forklift: $55K
- Shed for processing for compliance with food safety regulations: $35K
- Small lot for building a shed in Windward Oahu: $600K
As you can see, it takes a lot of money to get a farm off the ground to produce food for the consumers. This list doesn’t include the utilities, supplies, and other costs that come with farming. When someone wants to talk about farming, you’ve got to take a look and see if they really are invested in it. If they are the typical anti-GMO activists claiming to save people from pesticides, they have ZERO investment in agriculture. They can say whatever they want and act in any fashion, including outright lying, because they truly have nothing to lose. Protesting GMOs and pesticides are hobbies for them and social events. It’s not about helping people. If anything, it’s about taking advantage of people’s ability to think by replacing it with fear and emotion.
When these activists go around parading that they know farming and actually care about Hawaii’s agricultural legacy but then start with the accusations that we are poisoning people, that’s when I lose it. Repeating that claim clearly shows that they are nothing but rhetoricians who can’t think any more. When politicians start saying the same thing, they too have shown their lack of critical thinking and set a terrible example to the public. Ignorance shouldn’t be celebrated in Hawaii.
Farmers will be farming on Thursday and I’ll be working my 6-7 day a week job. I won’t be there at the Capitol to fight for our family farm and legacy but I’ll be there in spirit for all of those who will show up. The legislators owe the farmers, the ones truly invested in agriculture, the podium to say their piece and be heard over the loud, angry, and fearful voices of people who have rejected the ability to learn. We can’t let the refusers dictate policies in our state because they will disable us from our future potential.
The farmers aren’t only invested monetarily, but also in people power. We are trying to protect a way of living that few want to take on. We want an environment where young people will want to come back to the fields and hang out with their grandpas to learn the skills that he learned from his dad. We are invested in our families and people. Let the farmers be heard!
HB790: Text, Status