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Friday, July 11, 2014
Hawaii Politicians’ anti-GMO campaigns support ‘trendy activism’
By Joni Kamiya @ 9:47 PM :: 4717 Views :: GMOs

by Joni Kamiya, July 2, 2014, Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Dear Senator Brian Schatz and Representative Tulsi Gabbard…

This week has definitely been a bomb of a week with the kind of things that have been coming out of your campaign.  What it shows me is that you are both NOT about solving real problems in Hawaii, but more about contributing to the problems we have here.

Representative Gabbard, the email you sent out this week really made my heart sink even further and given me even less faith about your ability to lead our state for a better future.  I don’t know if you realize what happened to our farmers some 20 years ago with the devastating papaya ringspot virus.  Let me just show you in photos what happened to my dad’s fields as well as hundred of other long time farmers.


Dr. Dennis Gonsalves, a local boy from the Big Island, came along with many other researchers, to do something for the farmers instead of letting our state lose more of them.  He solved the problem with biotechnology and now the papaya farmers are once again starting to thrive.  Even third generations of farmers like my brother is moving in to the laborious but rewarding job of farming thanks to this technology.  Kamiya Papaya is going on over 40 years thanks to research and technology.


When you made that quip about “GMO-free” in your mailer, it really shows me that you’re ignoring the farmers that were saved by biotech and fueling the attacks against their fruit that is no different than those GMO free ones.  Not all farmers are able to grow GMO free given the nature of this disease.  If you are really wanting those local and sustainable food supply for Hawaii, why are leaders such as yourself participating in attacks against people who are growing food in a local and sustainable way?  It just doesn’t make sense to me.  Representative Gabbard, you might want to know that nearly 95% of Hawaii’s papayas are GMO because the disease is so rampant here.  You’re speaking against the majority of the farmers here and it’s downright sad that you can ignore that.

And now, your colleague, Senator Brian Schatz is joining in on the half thought out statements to divide and attack Hawaii agriculture by adding this to fuel the fire even more.

Screenshot 2014-07-01 19.50.22

I can’t forget that this “Senator” also fell for the Monsanto Protection Act stuff that there isn’t any mention of, except on conspiracy theory activists sites.  This kind of behavior only shows me that he doesn’t do his homework to research the real issue and relies on the expert advice of loud Google scholars.  And note that Monsanto helped to pay for the research to solve the papaya ringspot virus and donated that technology to the farmers and then donated it to the University!

He must not realize that this stance on home rule has real consequences for real people.  The best example is on the Big Island papaya farmers were subject to a GMO ban but then exempted.  How could these farmers ever defend themselves against this kind of laws with the kind of incomes that they have?  Think about all the time that was lost having to defend themselves against a stacked Hawaii County Council filled with prominent disinformers such as the flying yogic Jeffrey Smith and “correlation equals causation quack” Stephanie Seneff on board to “educate.”  Sitting in the wings were the real scientists and those with real data limited to a mere 3 minutes while the rest were allotted the majority of the time.

Gifts that were passed out at the Maui GMO moratorium hearings yesterday.  Fear mongering at it's best!

Gifts that were passed out at the Maui GMO moratorium hearings yesterday. Fear mongering at it’s best!

So Senator Schatz and Representative Gabbard, I’m not pleased with you at all with your lack of ability to see the unintended consequences of your stances.  You are clearly responsible for instilling discord and misinformation to permeate in our islands.  You are about creating divisive communities like Kauai and the Big Island.  You’ve allowed the radicals that don’t speak for local folks to dictate laws in Hawaii.  Your words tell me that you don’t stand for the kind of Hawaii I want.

The fact that you want to support home rule and GMO labeling only shows me that you’re about trendy activism of the moment and not considering how it will ultimately affect your constituents.  Home rule will mean more money at the county level to fund such laws and taking resources from taxpayers to fund the lawsuits that will undoubtedly happen with bad legislation.  Goodbye to recreational programs and human services programs offered at the county level because those are always the first to be cut.  Aloha to clean and maintained public beach bathrooms that are on county parks.  Everything has its cost and we will all pay for it.  It will come in the form of more fees and property taxes as the likely source which will only raise the cost of living on that “middle class” that you claim to protect.  Is that how you’re planning on protecting the middle class by burdening us more each day?

I can’t forget the fact that Schatz too mocks the Republican party for denying climate change and he himself should be mocked for supporting that evidence, but then denying the evidence around GMOs.  Are you a pick and choose politician just like those you mock?  Senator Schatz, I think you need to learn about Mark Lynas who can teach you a thing or two.

The labeling issue also shows that Representative Gabbard wants people to pay more for food because it will completely change the whole food system and segregation.  At least on the Federal level, the cost can be distributed among 313 million Americans rather than a mere 1.3 million Hawaii residents because of the activists’ curiosity and inability to find that little green organic label.  Of course, those politicians who don’t do their homework will say that it’s a right to know but for others, we know that it’s far from the truth.

genetic literacy

I’m really tired of poorly educated politicians who jump of the half-read, don’t do your homework, hobby activism bandwagon already.  My cost of living keeps going up, my kids educational opportunities are going down, politicians don’t know how to research issues themselves and use peepholes to see the big picture, are really messing up the future Hawaii I want for my kids.  I don’t want a that state ignores the world around us and is fueled in fear and ignorance.  I want that bright future where research, curiosity, and ingenuity are the center of our society.  Our leaders should be the very ones nurturing that or they should get out of the way!



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