Message to Supporters from TEA Party Maui October 8, 2014
TEA Party Maui
We regret to tell you that we have had to cancel our Thursday, October 9th meeting at the Kalama Heights Retirement Community Center. This is the first time that TEA Party Maui has had to cancel one of its regular monthly meetings.
Our featured speaker from Monsanto Company notified us today that he had to withdraw his presentation out of concern for our comfort and safety because they had received information from reliable sources that anti-GMO activists were planning to protest and disrupt our meeting. Even if there were no concern for safety, a loud, disruptive protest could jeopardize our continued use of Kalama Heights as a meeting place.
Because the Monsanto presentation was the principal agenda item, the Board of Directors decided to cancel the meeting in its entirety. We are sorry and know that many of you were looking forward to this presentation. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
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Message from TEA Party Maui October 5, 2014
This is an invitation, actually more of a plea, for you to attend our next TEA Party Maui (TPM) General Meeting on Thursday, October 9th at 6:30 PM. We are meeting at the usual place – Kalama Heights Community Center at 101 Kanani Rd. in Kihei.
Our guest speaker will be Dan Clegg, Hawaii Land and Resource Manager of the Monsanto Company. Dan has been invited to speak about Monsanto’s GMO-related farming activities on Maui and their take on the Maui County ballot measure calling for a moratorium (ban) on GMO related farming practices on Maui. This will be a presentation, not a debate.
No doubt you have heard about the initiative-promoted ballot measure. Let me state at the outset that the Board of Directors of TPM has taken no official position on the anti-GMO ballot measure. There has been a lot of press including numerous articles and opinion-page letters slanted towards an anti-GMO message. Moreover, you cannot pick up a Maui Weekly or a “nutrition/organic foods” leaflet at Whole Foods, Mana Foods, Down to Earth, and other stores without reading a negative comment on GMO foods or enthusiastic support of the moratorium itself. On the other hand, until the recent radio ads sponsored by the “Stop the Maui Farming Ban” group, little has been stated about any potential negative impacts of the proposed Maui moratorium ballot measure. TPM wants to promote a factual and civil discussion on the issue, and so we encourage you to come to the meeting with your questions for Monsanto on their GMO related operations on Maui.
Some people’s opinions are already entrenched on this GMO issue (both pro and con); nevertheless, the TPM Board and its members have always treated its guest speakers with respect and civility and we expect that this meeting should be no different. Your presence is requested to help counteract a possible problem with anti-GMO activists attempting to disrupt the meeting in order to prevent Monsanto from speaking. If anything, TPM is all about free speech, so of course, we will not tolerate any disruption of the meeting since it would reflect poorly on TPM itself. We ask that you to come to this meeting because we believe that you have a desire to hear both sides of the issue; and we need the majority presence of open-minded people like yourself to maintain a civil atmosphere for the meeting.
No matter which side of the GMO issue you tend to lean towards, you owe it to yourself to be well informed before voting on the ballot measure for it will certainly have unintended consequences for Maui. There is an abundance of anti-GMO information floating around; our meeting offers you the opportunity to listen to the Monsanto’s pro-GMO perspective first hand.
Thank you for your consideration and we very much hope you will support TEA Party Maui and come and bring friends and relatives with you who have never heard Monsanto’s side of the story and are willing to listen.