Ag Letter to the Hawaii County Community & Council on Bill 113 Opposition
Aloha Council Chair J Yoshimoto: November 17, 2013
We the undersigned farmers, ranchers and floral & nursery growers collectively produce more than 80% of the food and agricultural products grown in Hawaii. We are joined in this letter by the undersigned agricultural support groups and selected key individuals and large farms and ranches.
We urge you to vote NO on Bill 113.
We are in the field every day trying to make a living and trying to improve food sustainability in Hawaii, yet we are under attack for using a tool — biotechnology (they call it GMO) — that is regulated and approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is endorsed as safe by respected and recognized organizations including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, World Health Organization, National Academy of Sciences, American Medical Association, European Commission, French Academy of Science, and Union of German Academics and Scientists. Farmers across America use this tool to grow the food that we all eat – and to keep it affordable for working families.
We support public policies that include all types of agricultural production including natural, organic, conventional and cutting edge technology, so we can continue to provide you with food and other farm products even as we compete with insects, weeds, and invasive species, and deal with drought, plant diseases, and other challenges.
Biotechnology can reduce our use of pesticides, help us prepare our plants for climate change, and may even reduce the need for costly, artificial fertilizers by enabling plants to convert the environmentally-safe nitrogen in the air to a form they can use. This invaluable tool helps us reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels and lowers our cost of food production so we can keep food affordable for local families. Not having access to biotechnology will severely limit our ability to prepare for the future and to support future generations.
You know us. We are your friends, relatives and neighbors. We are proud and honored to produce food for our communities and for our own families. And like you, we believe in transparency. That’s why we open our farms and ranches to allow interested folks the opportunity to see how their food is produced. Thousands of school children and community members have accepted invitations to tour our farms and ranches. We ask you to use facts, not the unfounded fear that is spread across the Internet, to form your opinions about what we do.
We are committed to caring for the environment because we depend on it. In fact, many of us have received stewardship awards for our efforts. We want to leave our farms and ranches to our kids and their kids, so we know we must maintain the land and our natural resources. We abide by Federal and State laws and follow accepted agricultural practices. So please let us choose how best to grow your food rather than allow folks who have no experience farming for a living to make decisions for us.
We humbly ask you to help support local farmers, ranchers and floral & nursery growers and allow us to use approved and safe technology; follow market demands; not be discriminated against; and be allowed to use our education, training and experience to continue producing our food and other agricultural products.
Farmers are under attack from a very vocal minority. We need the silent majority and anyone who values local food production to speak up!
Mahalo for your support,
Signed and Supported by the following:
- Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation (1,800 members)
- Hamakua County Farm Bureau
- Hilo County Farm Bureau
- Kohala County Farm Bureau
- Maui County Farm Bureau
- South Oahu Farm Bureau
- Kauai County Farm Bureau
- Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council, Inc (130 members)
- Big Island Banana Growers Association (10 members)
- Hawai’i Forest Industry Association (265 Members)
- Hawaii Beef Industry Council
- Hawaii Crop Improvement Association (250 members)
- Hawaii Floriculture & Nursery Association (300 Members)
- Hawaii Papaya Industry Association (190 Members)
- Hawaii Pork Industry Association
- Hawaii Tropical Flowers & Foliage Association (25 members)
- Hawaii Coffee Association
- Aloun Farms
- 2 Girls Farm LLC
- Alluvion Inc.
- Big Island Dairy
- Farias Cattle Company
- Hamakua Springs
- Hawaii Beef Producers, LLC
- Hawaii Floral Products
- Ho Farms
- Island Resources,Ltd
- K K Ranch
- Kahua Ranch
- Kahuku Farmers Inc
- Kahuku Farms
- Kauai Nursery & Landscaping Inc.
- Matsuda-Fukuyama Farms
- Nalo Farms
- Ponoholo Ranch
- Sugarland Farms
- Waipoli Hydroponic Greens
- Calava Growers
Ag Support Groups:
- 4 Ag Hawaii
- Hawaii Agriculture & Research Center
- Oahu Resource Conservation and Development Council
- Community Groups
- Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii (1,000+ members)
- Hawaii Island Economic Development Board (120 Members)
- Hawaii Leeward Planning Conference (100 members)
- J. Kenneth Grace, Interim Associate Dean for Research, CTAHR
- Chales Kinoshita, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, CTAHR
For more information about the safety and acceptance of genetically engineered foods, we encourage you to visit http://www.GMOAnswers.com or http://www.biofortified.org.
View the printed Ag Community Post here…