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Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Petition: Support Hawaii Farmers Now!
By News Release @ 1:33 PM :: 5336 Views :: Agriculture, GMOs

Governor Abercrombie, State Legislators, and City and County Council Members: Support Hawaii Farmers Now!

Petition by Joni Kamiya Rose, Change.org

The agriculture community is under attack across our island and state.  Many small farmers at farmers market have reported that their produce has been thrown aside if it was not grown the way the customer wanted it to be.  Fields of papayas have been vandalized across the state over the last several years by the thousands.  Business pages of farmers have been threatened with boycott or disparaged publicly by activists.  Some farmers have been accused of poisoning the land and contamination and so on in an attempt to invalidate their work.  The scientists and other ag advocates, who have supported the farmers have been accused of lying and even threatened with death.  The evidence of all of this is summarized in this story of the The Legend of the A'ole GMO. Is this kind of aloha we want to have in our state towards our farmers and others who support it? 

The agriculture industry relies on big and small ag.  The attempts by many leaders to destroy the larger farms ultimately harms the most vulnerable ones that rely on these larger entities.  We cannot allow the heart of our agricultural communities of small farmers to be subject to this.  Their work is so vital for our islands and food sustainability and a hit at them only unravels the very fabric of our islands that was started because of large agricultural industries like pineapple and sugar cane. 

Counties are listening to the most ill informed people to base these laws upon and the farmers are being attacked by these activists. These activists have come worldwide due to the overwhelming efforts of a well funded industry to appear as if they are speaking for the local farmers and people.  They do not represent each and every small farmer affected by this.  If we as a state are to grow our ag industries, we need the support of our leaders to attain this or our farmers will have no incentive to continue the tireless work they do.

These people are not well educated either and it shows in many of their commentaries that reflect it and yet somehow these are the very people that is getting the attention of the leaders of our state.  These are the same people who even threated the Mayor Carvalho also when he realized the issues with the anti-ag bill.  That is not pono at all.

Also the groups that are contacting you are full of misinformation and nasty commentaries too. The Hawaii GMO Justice Coalition is one of them with some of the most vile comments around. Then there is the Babes Against Biotech too with their misinformation on agriculture and bullying tactics also. Hawaii SEED is yet another group that is out to destroy any type of agriculture that is not organic and is being paid for by outside monies. These groups are all about keeping people in the dark about technology and taking away tools for the future based in fear and misinformation.  They are out to destroy any farm big or small that does not comply to their ways which is the heart of Hawaii agriculture that relies on this coexistence.

Do we want this kind of atmosphere to continue in our ag industry here in our islands? Apparently rogue county council members like this kind of maneuvering and are on their way to destroying the future of agriculture. Here is a take on what will happen if we take the route we are heading if leaders listen to them.  We are about reject the evidence base created over several decades in the name of ignorance?  That's irresponsible and shortsighted.

Public opinion does not always make for good laws for several reasons.  Although they may have the numbers to support them, it does not make for good policy.  The consequences of shortsighted thinking and the latest trend of the moment can have longer term repercussions that we can never recover from.  We can't afford to do that in our state.

Leaders have a responsibility to do what is in the best interest for all, especially the minority who are the farmers and ag people in our state.  If you continue to listen to what appears to be the majority's opinions, you are sending a message to all people that this is the kind of atmosphere we want for our state in how policy is made.  Listen to the farmers and agricultural communities that are doing the work to solve problems and feed us.  That is the responsible thing to do for all of the state and our farmers are calling upon you now.

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