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Seeds of division

The recent battle over GMO legislation made clear that swiftly growing friction has “nowhere to hide” on intimate Kauai

By Timothy Hurley

LAST UPDATED: 11:58 a.m. HST, Feb 12, 2014

The pitched battle over the so-called anti-GMO bill on Kauai has simmered down for now, but the clash left the island bloodied, bruised and a little wobbly after laying bare a festering schism.

"It's a civil war, I gotta tell you," said Jerry Ornellas, president of the Kaua'i County Farm Bureau. "It's family against family. I've never seen anything like it. The community is deeply divided."

An apparent widening gulf between what some have described

as politically active newcomers, or malihini, and longtime local residents, or kamaaina, has made for uncomfortable times for some on the Garden Island.

Observers say for months the friction dominated conversations and appeared in letters to the editor, online comments and testimony -- and may have manifested into some physical altercations.

"It's there," said Kauai County Planning Director Michael Dahilig of the tension. "What's augmented the ferocity of it is the small population here. There's nowhere to hide."

Famous for its white-sand beaches, verdant valleys and stretches of rugged coastline, the mostly rural island is home to just under 70,000 residents. But the population is expected to climb to nearly 85,300 by 2035, according to Kauai County projections. From 1990 to 2011, the county's population grew by 31 percent -- more than double Oahu's 15 percent growth during that period.

Maui and Hawaii island have experienced similar population growth and, perhaps not so coincidentally, are confronting some of the same divisions over genetically modified organisms and pesticide use as increasing urbanization clashes with the islands' agricultural legacy.


The drama tied to Kauai's Bill 2491 began in early summer when county Councilmen Gary Hooser and Tim Bynum introduced the measure as a means to curb genetically modified crops and pesticide use by the island's largest agricultural concerns, including four biotechnology seed companies and Kauai Coffee.

It ended -- at least for now -- last month amid death threats and heightened security as the bill was passed into county law.

Along the way there was aggressive, in-your-face political campaigning, tense confrontations and marathon public hearings featuring sign-waving, shouting and tearful testimony. Bill supporters linked the activities of the seed companies to serious health problems while opponents gravely warned that the bill's proposed restrictions would force the industry, along with hundreds of jobs, off the island.

Battle lines were organized along T-shirt colors, with bill backers wearing red and opponents blue. In early September, an estimated 1,500 to 4,000 people marched through the streets of Lihue to show support for the bill.

One side was emboldened by a robust social media network and reinforced by off-island and mainland anti-GMO groups, while the other side was sustained by the power of global corporations Syngenta, DuPont Pioneer, BASF and Dow AgroSciences.

By the time the bill was approved on first reading Oct. 16, some of its most controversial sections had been dropped during the legislative process. But it still required buffer zones, disclosures pertaining to pesticide use and farming of GMO crops, and a county study on the industry's environmental and health impacts.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. faced an angry mob after he announced his veto two weeks later, pointing to a legal opinion that the law wouldn't stand up in court. The next day police disclosed Carvalho had been threatened, prompting metal-detector screening and greater police presence at Kauai's Historic County Building.

And just when it appeared the bill was going down in flames, the council majority pulled off a shrewd move to win the day. One vote shy of overriding the veto, the majority postponed action until a council vacancy could be filled with a new member, Mason Chock, who was sympathetic to the cause. Victory came on Nov. 16.

Forbes science writer Jon Entwine summed it up in melodramatic fashion: "The broken process has driven a massive wedge into the heart of this once peaceful island community. This 11th hour maneuver has only deepened the distrust and dissension."


WHAT HAD STARTED as a debate over questions of health and environment intensified as passions tore at the social fabric of the island. Divisions seemed to emerge between young and old, newcomer and longtime resident, Caucasians and locals.

"I think there's clearly a significant proportion of the community flexing its muscle on issues that don't represent the traditional majority of the island," said Jan TenBruggencate, a longtime Kauai-based journalist and elected member of the Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative board.

Observers say the divide was evident in 2007 when protesters blocked the Hawaii Superferry from docking at Nawiliwili Harbor and helped lead to its downfall. It continued last year with a rowdy demonstration that may have contributed to the repeal of the state's Public Land Development Corp.

TenBruggencate was among those who watched the GMO drama unfold with more than its share of over-the-top exaggerations and aggressive and disrespectful behavior.

On one side, he said, there were people calling those in the pro-Bill 2491 group "North Shore crazies" and "hippies," while folks on the other side called the opposition "uneducated" and incapable of recognizing the threats they face.

"There is plenty of demagoguery on both sides," he said.

Some fear that even recent incidents of violence were related to the friction. In June, a group of men attacked some campers at Polihale Beach in West Kauai in what some described as a conflict between races and/or possibly between those identified as "west siders" versus North Shore residents.

In August, a 26-year-old Caucasian male was assaulted by a local man in an attack that was originally characterized by the victim as a hate crime.

Whether these incidents have any direct tie to Bill 2491 is unknown, but they may be indicative of deepening divisions.

In the heat of the battle over the bill, a lot of locals said they felt like they were under attack.

At a council hearing held in August, Tyleen Medeiros, a seed company employee, said: "They act like we have no morals, like we don't care about the people on the island. I have four kids. I don't care how much the company pays me. I would never put them in danger, or anybody else's kids for that matter.

"This is our island, too. We work on the west side. We live there. We raise our kids there. We send them to the schools. We are not forced to work for the seed industry."

Some railed against the newcomers.

"Who are you to speak for me?" Jason Manawai wrote in a Nov. 13 letter to the Garden Island newspaper. "No one speaks for the majority of those who live on this island, especially when you look into the audience at the public hearings and see a sea of pink faces, faces that have no roots here and yet think they know better than me and have a right to come here and tell me what to do."


But Hooser, the chief proponent of Bill 2491, said if people saw a lot of Caucasians and assumed they were fresh from the mainland, they were probably wrong. A lot of the anti-GMO supporters, he said, were the sons and daughters of his island contemporaries. Hooser landed in Hawaii in 1970.

Hooser fingered the biotech companies as largely responsible for dividing the community by painting the bill as threat to on-island jobs.

"They looked at it as a potential strategy, which is ironic because they are the newcomers," he said.

Hooser said he doesn't blame the seed company employees for lashing out. "Naturally, people are going to be concerned about their jobs when their bosses tell them they're going to close up."

With the ag companies refusing to tell the community about what pesticides they're spraying, it caused even more divisiveness, he said.

Throughout the battle, agribusiness representatives maintained that any lack of transparency is due to competition in an industry that's tight-lipped about trade secrets. Also, they asserted that their operations are already carefully monitored by three federal agencies: the Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration.

Even so, bill supporters contended that such regulation is insufficient.

Fern Rosenstiel, one of the leaders of the anti-GMO group 'Ohana O Kaua'i, conceded that tempers sometimes got out of control, which prompted the group's website to caution supporters to use restraint.

"People are living with this every day," she said, explaining the testy behavior. "When people are worried, people get desperate. And when people get desperate, they do stupid things."

David Nekomoto, a retired Navy commander from Lawai, said a large majority chose to remain silent rather than speak up and face the wrath of activists.

"It's never good to see the community divided," he said.

Journalist Joan Conrow, author of the Kauai Eclectic blog, said a lot of residents were put off by the rowdy behavior.

Kauai has a long history of activism, with protest marches going back to at least the '70s, she said. This time, she said, it was mean-spirited and more impolite than it needed to be.

"A lot of people were uncomfortable getting involved because of the confrontation."

At least one business was targeted by activists -- a flower farmer and exporter of tropical flowers, Conrow said. After discoverying the business was identified as a user of a restricted-use pesticide, there were angry remarks and calls for a boycott posted on the Internet.

Social media played a big role, allowing widespread dissemination of sometimes distorted information.

"Both sides used a lot of fear-mongering and misrepresentation," she said.


Conrow said watching the histrionics of the past few months was sad.

"It's an issue I'm interested in and have long been concerned about. But there was so much dishonesty and negativity in the campaign, it just turned me off. It made me think: Is this how it's going to be on Kauai from now on? Where everyone is at each other's throat?"

As for the movement's political power, Conrow's not sure it will translate into election success.

"The political machine is well entrenched on Kauai. It's going to take more than this to unseat it or even to wiggle in."

Conrow dismissed the notion that race was at the center of the conflict.

"It's not that simple," she said. "A lot of locals were for Bill 2491. I don't really think it's a racial thing."

Carvalho, Kauai's top elected official for the last five years, said he is optimistic that the political discord will lack any lasting social consequence.

"Over the years there have been issues that have created momentary division in our community, but we always seem to find a way to come together as an island ohana in the long run," the mayor said in a statement. "Hopefully we can learn from this experience and face tough issues in a responsible and respectful way in the future."

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Kalaheo1 wrote:
"as politically active newcomers, or malihini, and longtime local residents, or kamaaina, has made for uncomfortable times for some on the Garden Island."

Darn it Star-Advertiser, stop with the "it's outside mainland transplants trying to tell us what do!" talk. You consistently take the side of big business and the political status quo. How would you describe the billion dollar multinational corporations using Kauai as a giant outdoor laboratory? You think Monsanto and Syngenta, with their millions spent on lobbying our politicians qualify as kamaaina?

How could you possibly write this article and ignore the millions of dollars that Monsanto and Syngenta have spent on lobbying and political contributions to the Representatives WE elected! Those same heavily lobbied state representatives and our governor were unwilling to pass even the mildest most common sense regarding buffer zones for experimental pesticide use and public access to chemical use. Even our governor wanted to make compliance purely voluntary! Don't blame Kauai City Council for stepping up and filling the leadership vacuum.

Do really prefer that Monasanto write the laws?

on December 15,2013 | 01:38AM
eoe wrote:
Monsanto has spent millions on politicians in the state of Hawaii? I just checked their 2012 expenditures here - $30,000. Abercrombie got 4500, everyone else got between 500-$1500. Ooohhh big money. But don't let the facts interrupt your tirade.
on December 15,2013 | 04:41AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
Monsanto and Syngenta have spent millions lobbying the politicians WE elected. Some of them are in Hawaii, and some of them are in Washington DC. You are also further separating the money spent on direct political contributions from the money spent on lobbyists, lobbying and access to our elected officials to come to the smallest dollar amount possible. That's intentionally misleading.

You also underestimate the pitifully small amount of money it takes to sway a politician's vote.

on December 15,2013 | 04:59AM
eoe wrote:
If it is that easy to bribe legislators, and I underestimate the pitifully small amount of money it takes, then how come you don't form a hui to counteract Monsanto? Sounds like if 1000 of your professional protestor buddies kicked in $30 each you could compete.
on December 15,2013 | 05:17AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
So your solution is that citizens resort to trying to outspend billion dollar multinational corporations? You know the ethically challenged politicians will just raise their rates according don't you?
on December 15,2013 | 11:32AM
KKawa wrote:
"eoe" needs to stick to his day job. He only points to "hard" company contributions to "local" politicians. In addition to failing to consider lobbyists, he fails to understand that it is common for the top execs, and sometimes their family members, to give $2000 - $4000 a piece to politicians (indeed, their bosses sometimes expect it). Read the reports. ... Then there are these SAME expenditures at the federal level.
on December 15,2013 | 06:33AM
eoe wrote:
So you are sticking to "millions" right?
on December 15,2013 | 07:23AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
Well, since those companies DO spend millions lobbying our elected representatives, yes.
on December 15,2013 | 10:19AM
Puuloa wrote:
SA totally got it correct. Local people have a long history of supporting agriculture. Period. Our democratic party was built on the foundation of organizing plantation labor. Big ag. Then we get these transplants that shut down SuperFerry. They live off the grid. Scary people. That their MO. And Gary Hooser is their leader.
on December 15,2013 | 04:59AM
BluesBreaker wrote:
Your comment is a prefect example of the ignorance displayed by the anti-GMO crowd. Monsanto doesn't even operate on Kauai, which was the subject of the article, in case you didn't notice. You also use wildly exaggerated figures about the amount of money spent on lobbying. If you ever took the trouble to actually look up the lobbying expenses on Hawaii State Ethics Commission website, you would find that you are way off base by several orders of magnitude. Of course, relying on facts would ruin your argument. The anti-GMO crowd prefers to be liberated from the facts, thereby making it possible to play to fear and emotions.
on December 15,2013 | 05:56AM
wiliki wrote:
Facts stand in the way of a simple message. That a basic concern of organizers and activists. While some have had regrets on this strategy....


on December 15,2013 | 09:36AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
BluesBreaker wrote: Your comment is a prefect example of the ignorance displayed by the anti-GMO crowd. Monsanto doesn't even operate on Kauai, which was the subject of the article, in case you didn't notice.

No. Everyone knows that Monsanto pulled out of Kauai when they saw the handwriting on the wall about having buffer zones for spraying and disclose what experimental pesticides they were using. Monsanto continues to be a presence elsewhere in Hawaii and does spend millions lobbying our elected representatives every year. You apparently don't wish to included Federal representation when you add their breathtakingly high lobbying expenditures up, but Congress is getting lobbied as hard or harder that our governor and state legislature.

on December 15,2013 | 10:26AM
wiliki wrote:
They spend a lot of money lobbying because there is already strong laws both in the state and the feds on controlling and testing herbicides and pesticides. Govt has been doing its job and GMO activists haven't a clue. Why let the facts get in their way?
on December 15,2013 | 09:32AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
Can you tell me what experimental pesticides they are using on Kauai and why it took the Kauai City COuncil to create buffer zones around Kauai schools and hospitals? You want to know why you can't tell me? Because the people writing those federal laws are Monsanto and Syngenta lobbyists.
on December 15,2013 | 11:36AM
wiliki wrote:
There are already buffer zones why does the Council need to create more of their own? And experimental pesticides are probably documented with the state and feds. Why do I have to know? Am I supposed to re-inform the authorities?
on December 15,2013 | 02:08PM
noforget wrote:
Words out on the street that apparently the state's December 1st Kauai Good Neighbor Policy roll out are revealing some interesting data. The neighbors who live next to the seed corn operations on Kauai are choosing to decline pre- notification for pesticide spraying. It’s so bad that out of the thousands who were contacted and asked if they are interested in being notified a very small percentage at most are interested or even care. So what next the Kauai Council going pass one bill forcing the neighbors to participate in Bill 2491 pre-notification. Give me a break Hooser it is you who created this mess and divisiveness you being a board member of HOFA and an anti GMO advocate your mission at all cost is to make Hawaii GMO FREE. Why not be transparent Gary and let everyone know what you and other anti GMO activist are really trying to do
on December 15,2013 | 03:14PM
Venus1 wrote:
U H is guilty of helping Monsonto and buying into the lies of G M Os! Shame on them!
on December 15,2013 | 08:09PM
bumba wrote:
Too many loud mouthed caucazoids thinking it's "their" island.
on December 15,2013 | 03:47AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
This isn't a racial issue... Unless you believe that billion dollar corporations Monsanto and Syngenta are owned by native Hawaiians or have native Hawaiian's best interests at heart. Do you believe that?

on December 15,2013 | 04:02AM
eoe wrote:
Has it occurred to you that many of us don't even care what the issue is anymore. As soon as a certain group of people open their mouths, we just instinctively take the other side of the issue. Here on Maui its the same. Superferry, anti-sugar cane, anti-gmo, anti-new restaurant in Paia. Its always the same names, faces and organizations telling us how "this issue will end life as we know it and hurt the keiki."
on December 15,2013 | 04:40AM
Puuloa wrote:
Tired of it all already. And they are marching - again - in Haleiwa. its the holidays. give it a break. Do something meaningful with your time. Volunteer at a shelter. Give back to the community. Its always take-take-take.
on December 15,2013 | 05:01AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
It didn't occur to me that you don't care care about the underlying issue and put no thought into your position. I am sorry to hear that but will try keep it in mind on the future.
on December 15,2013 | 05:02AM
eoe wrote:
Every issue that preceded this one was the same alarmist nonsense. Every issue before this one was based on selective interpretation of facts, worst case scenarios, hyperbolic rhetoric.This one is no different. I have looked into GMO and pesticides. Is Monsanto a typical evil corporation, trying to maximize their profits? Sure are. Have I been eating GMO and pesticide laced crops my entire life? Yep. Did I grow a third arm out of my forehead? No. Are they going to destroy civilization as we know it? No. So why are we focusing on them so intently? Because it it trendy, it is a meme, it is a protestor class with nothing better to do.
on December 15,2013 | 05:14AM
wiliki wrote:
It's the American Way.... We also like to find scapegoat who we consider the demons of our culture and blame them for everything. Which is why we as Americans will try everything to solve problems until we get it right.
on December 15,2013 | 09:42AM
Puuloa wrote:
OMG....get a new message Kalaheo1. Corporate greed. yes. We get it already. So I guess Microsoft and Apple and Nike and all these other more wealthy "corporations" are all evil too right? give it rest already. Go enjoy your new Xbox1 that you can afford to buy for Christmas while the rest of us buy candy to give to our friends and family from KMart and WalMart. Oh yeah....its GMO candy! LOL!
on December 15,2013 | 05:03AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
Puuloa wrote: "OMG....get a new message Kalaheo1. Corporate greed. yes. We get it already. So I guess Microsoft and Apple and Nike and all these other more wealthy "corporations" are all evil too right? give it rest already. Go enjoy your new Xbox1 that you can afford to buy for Christmas while the rest of us buy candy to give to our friends and family from KMart and WalMart."

Apple and Nike aren't trying to block legislation revealing that their products are made by Apple and Nike. They are proud of their brand and proudly stamp it on ALL their products. Monsanto and Syngenta are trying to hide their brand. If they were proud of it, they'd be in favor of marking it "Proudly created by Monsanto's GMO technology!" instead of trying so hard to hide their involvement.

If they were willing to brand their products like Apple and Nike, then this wouldn't be much of an issue, would it?

on December 15,2013 | 10:31AM
tigerwarrior wrote:
"If they were willing to brand their products like Apple and Nike, then this wouldn't be much of an issue, would it?" Touche! A monopoly doesn't need a brand name--nor does it rely on advertising. No need to corner a market that they all ready got cornered.
on December 15,2013 | 02:29PM
izdatso wrote:
????....so...like....you obviously have nevah bought one bag of seed in your collective urban lives....LOL!!! Try go look da website of any seed company and check the brands....and the technology too brahs...try google "YieldGuard"...or "Bollguard". O.M.G!!!
on December 15,2013 | 04:27PM
Puuloa wrote:
Exactly correct. I like that. They are lolo to da max. But then they don't work or contribute or even raise their families here. They are trust fund transplants.
on December 15,2013 | 05:00AM
cartwright wrote:
Yesterday all the science news articles were talking about a new additional, previously unknown, genetic code in human DNA. The new code is tied to life span and other control functions of genes. How can scientists declare that GMO altered crops are safe when they are still discovering other codes but altering them anyways unknowingly? That's like changing the brakes on a car without knowing what brake fluids are for.
on December 15,2013 | 05:33AM
eoe wrote:
I think we should crawl under our covers and hide. But then, that dark environment might trigger an epigenetic change in my body ... how can I do anything anymore without understanding exactly what will happen ...
on December 15,2013 | 05:48AM
BluesBreaker wrote:
What does that have to with crops? Nothing. Your entire argument is based on the false premise that you have to have a fully mapped human genome before you add a gene to corn that makes it pesticide resistant. The problem with the ant-GMO arguments is that they are based on ignorance of science, biology and agronomy. But being totally clueless on these matters doesn't stop the anti-GMO bullies from spewing pseudo science scare stories at every opportunity.
on December 15,2013 | 06:01AM
wiliki wrote:
Good observation... and even in normal reproduction, genes are moving on the gnome. A common thing to happen for example, is for different pairs of chromosomes to cross and switch sides. The genes that Survive are placed in locations that have no effect on the organism or which can be safely expressed grow and can reproduce.

Otherwise these mutants may not even be seen or are sterile and their progeny will never see the lite of day. Evolution takes care of the rest.

on December 15,2013 | 09:53AM
wiliki wrote:
Genes normally move around on the genome and they may move into locations as you suggest. But as long as they do not affect the normal growth and reproduction, these changes will continue on in the organism. Like GMO DNA, evolution will take care of the misplaced genes. Either the cells will not develop into viable forms or they will be sterile and cannot reproduce.
on December 15,2013 | 09:58AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
You clearly know nothing about this subject. You should stick to cheer leading for rail.
on December 15,2013 | 10:32AM
wiliki wrote:
I'm not an expert but I know basic biology. Cross over of chromosomal strands during meiosis is very common. It doesn't take rocket science to respond to the posting.

Genes go all over the place. Seems like you need to go back to high school.

on December 15,2013 | 02:03PM
Leinanij wrote:
Dr. Vandana Shiva states that the GMO scientists now have to shoot a plant with a gene gun or infect a plant cell with a plant cancer, use antibiotic resistance markers to separate the cells that absorb the gene from the ones that did not which causes horizontal gene transfer and that the antibiotic resistance markers can move into the gut and jump. And just like human transplants, there's all kinds of hormones, not part of the plant, to keep the new gene from being rejected, called viral promoters. No one is looking at what is the impact of these viruses. If you think this is just your standard cross breeding, you're the one that needs to go back to high school wiliki.
on December 15,2013 | 03:52PM
izdatso wrote:
O.M.G. One ting dat HOOSER can get credit for is promoting an upsurge in an interest in science!!!LOL. So, Lei...would you be interested in a seminar on biotechnology in plants and how it really works? I would encourage UH CTAHR to put one together as an important outreach/critical effort to help better ground the master debaters like yourself. Seriously...in a few short hours you would be infinitly smarter than Dr. Shiva....and you might even start making sense of this issue. I don't mean to make this an insult if it seems that way I apologise...but if you are really genuinly going to be involved in this extremely important debate don't you owe it to yourself and others to get some basics on the science of this topic?? Aloha.
on December 15,2013 | 04:33PM
ahi1pfb wrote:
All you need to do is watch the video seeds of death a documentary about GMO seeds and you will certainly be on the right side of this issue. check it out people it's on You Tube. Just say no to da evils of Monsanto and their bought off politicians.
on December 15,2013 | 06:13AM
ahi1pfb wrote:
on December 15,2013 | 06:13AM
KKawa wrote:
Agree with Kalaheo1 on printing as a lead story this race-baiting piece devoid of ANY information. Hooser not kamaaina ?? When he graduated from a Hawaii public school ?? How sad is that. There is nothing in the piece about the tens of thousands these corporations are giving to politicians to stay on the sidelines as long as they possibly can politically. How hard would it be for you to publish a little chart sometime informing readers of how much these corporations are giving to our public officials? Is the information not readily available? Do you not have the space? Tell us, please.
on December 15,2013 | 06:19AM
wiliki wrote:
There is a race bias.... it's happened too often for there to be a coincidence. Probably has more to do with having a lot of haoles as new residents which bring an outsiders viewpoint to many issues. Probably similar to what Southerners think about Yankees that settle into their town.
on December 15,2013 | 10:06AM
Honulove wrote:
If you think the timing of this "journalism" is random, you are sorely mistaken.........come march with us in Haleiwa today, and stay for the rally and music, non-gmo food, speeches from our akamai elected officials.,,,,,,,this is an election year, after all......Please stand up for our keiki, clean food, land, water and reefs........be a part of history. Noon at the west end of Haleiwa town.
on December 15,2013 | 06:21AM
Venus1 wrote:
Gary Hooser is 'my kind of hero'! I have been aware of the GMO problem for years! Gary stepped up to the problem!
on December 15,2013 | 06:42AM
Ronin006 wrote:
Alleged GMO problem. There is not a shred of credible scientific evidence that GMO crops are harmful.
on December 15,2013 | 07:13AM
wiliki wrote:
Gary is a loyal Democrat and believes that govt is the answer to the extent of passing laws in Kauai County against GMO farmers. In this case, he is wrong. I'd also rather see him continue to lobby the state for a carbon tax, We need to get moving on Global Warming.
on December 15,2013 | 10:11AM
Kalaheo1 wrote:
wiliki wrote: "I'd also rather see him continue to lobby the state for a carbon tax, We need to get moving on Global Warming."

How exactly will making life more expensive for Hawaii families improve global warming? How about you get them to repeal the Jones Act as part of the deal?

on December 15,2013 | 10:34AM
wiliki wrote:
If we have a good rail system, then it shouldn't be tough on the people having a rough time in this economy.
on December 15,2013 | 01:56PM
eoe wrote:
Yes, please leave your house - located in a subdivision that drains into the ocean and kills the reef - and then drive your polluting car halfway around the island to our former sugar cane processing town that could probably qualify as a superfund site with all the chemicals poured into the ground, to eat "non-GMO," organic food imported at great carbon cost from a field 6000 miles away that yields 50% of what a typical acre of non-organic, gmo field would yield, ensuring that even more forests are chopped down. For the keiki.
on December 15,2013 | 07:52AM
eoe wrote:
Imagine - your phony rally will disrupt traffic, people will sit idling in traffic, pumping greenhouse gasses into the air, keiki choking on toxic fumes.
on December 15,2013 | 08:06AM
izdatso wrote:
THIS is where the asthma really comes from people. Island TRAFFIC! This is why asthma rates are highest in the URBAN areas of our State and Country, and not the countryside where all da GMO corn, soybeans, canola and pesticides are. AUWE!
on December 15,2013 | 10:46AM
Ronin006 wrote:
The loud vocal minority has again gotten its way.
on December 15,2013 | 06:59AM
Ronin006 wrote:
WHAT HAD STARTED as a debate over questions of health and environment intensified as passions tore at the social fabric of the island. Divisions seemed to emerge between young and old, newcomer and longtime resident, Caucasians and locals. Between Caucasians and locals? That is about as racists as you can get. Many of the so-called Caucasians and their families have lived on Kauai longer than many of the so-called locals, which, to me, makes them as local as locals.
on December 15,2013 | 07:09AM
Numilalocal wrote:
Jason Manawai put it perfectly. Nuff said
on December 15,2013 | 08:37AM
izdatso wrote:
Praise da SA for calling one spade one spade! Big Ag has been an important part of the fabric of our islands and there are many, many pros to having them here (no believe da crackpot allegations da activists spew forth!). Local style would have been for the elected officials to bring everyone to the table and work TOGETHER on coming up with reasonable, rational approaches to resolving problems arising from the onward march of URBANISATION on the islands; dust, noise, pilau smells, etc. Unfortunatly this wasn't the agenda. It was a scorched earth approach to REMOVE the percieved offenders. Even now HOOSER continues hisvendetta against Big AG through manipulations of county permits originally intended for shoreline hotel development to "stick it to" the these purveyors of FOOD. Ironically if he removes BIG AG the urban landscape will continue it's relentless march and threaten SMALL SCALE FARMERS. If this doesn't stop then visitors to our islands 50 years from now will arrive and wonder "where da green stay"? All CONCRETE already!
on December 15,2013 | 08:57AM
Honulove wrote:
Come march shoulder to shoulder with surfers Kelly Slater, Shane Dorian, Mark Healy, John John Florence, Makuakai Rothman and Walter Ritte, Gary Hooser, Elle Cochran......the rain is fabulous!!!
on December 15,2013 | 09:06AM
wiliki wrote:
This is what happens with leadership that is clueless about the facts and unwilling to try to mediate with the public and farmers.
on December 15,2013 | 09:27AM
islandsun wrote:
What so good about this was that the public was able to exert their will on the politicians. Never happen on Oahu. Good for them! As far as the GMO concern, it's just about disclosure. Whats so difficult and wrong about that. They already know what they are spraying so just put it in writing. Big deal. Trying to scare their employees about jobs. Nonsense. These growers are always welcome to come to Oahu. They can use what ever they want Oahu politicians will love you.
on December 15,2013 | 10:02AM
izdatso wrote:
NOT! Reverse. Dis is a case of da politicians exerting their will on da people- clearly!!!! This will now cause the people to "WAKE UP" "VOTE" and take their island "BACK" from Fringe Political Radicals. If it was all about disclosure then how do YOU explain the problem then? Companies already disclose to the regulatory agencies brah! Full on open book.
on December 15,2013 | 10:36AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Hey! My favorite fake pidgin poster is back! Good to see you. Here's your pidgin hint of the day: "Dis is a case..." is a dead giveaway that you are faking it. Come on, man, up your game.
on December 15,2013 | 01:34PM
izdatso wrote:
on December 15,2013 | 04:34PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
That's all you got? Hurts to get burned.
on December 15,2013 | 05:42PM
Charliegrunt wrote:
Unfortunately, like many other things, the crux of issues become lost with the difference of opinions and animosities that build. I submitted previous comments regarding Agent Orange, Monsanto and the federal government. The focus was immediately directed on the fact that Agent Orange is NOT a GMO. I never claimed that it was. MY FOCUS was on TRUST. Those of us who served in Vietnam were told that Agent Orange was safe. When veterans began succumbing to coronary artery and pulmonary problems and dying from them, both Monsanto and the VA denied it triggering class action law suits that they lost and are continuing to lose, even though the Zumwalt Report to the VA and CDC prior to the lawsuits stated that Agent Orange not only was toxic, but used in concentrations 5 to 6 times the recommended dosage. If GMOs show promise of being such a boon to agriculture, how about trying to gain acceptance by thorough testing, open and honest reports on test results, and waiver of indemnity for liability by the chemical companies and local through federal government entities.
on December 15,2013 | 01:28PM
tigerwarrior wrote:
Reminds me of a scene from the movie "Tree of Life"--a scene which will forever be burned in my cerebral cortex--which graphically depicts a city worker, circa 1945, spraying huge amounts of DDT from a pressurized cannon--enveloping a park where numerous children were frolicking. DDT--believe it or not--was not so long ago considered non-toxic and highly beneficial for pest control--thus came the slogan: "DDT is good for me." DDT was then banned by the U.S. government in 1972.
on December 15,2013 | 02:41PM
Skyler wrote:
True- they didn't know what they were doing back then, nor do they know what they're doing now. It's 1945 all over again.
on December 15,2013 | 04:09PM
hulama wrote:
I think there's mega-bucks coming in on both sides. At least the GMO companies file lobby reports so we can tell how much they're giving to local politicians. They probably do spend a lot, but I still haven't seen evidence proving they spending "millions". They also spend big bucks on jobs and donations to the community - don't see that from the anti-GMO side. And, get plenty Mainland support for the activists. SA reported on it a few months ago. Not exactly just the small local guys fighting big business. http://www.staradvertiser.com/newspremium/hawaiinewspremium/20130929__MAINLAND_CASH_FUELS_THE_FIGHT.html?id=225699861&c=n
on December 15,2013 | 03:31PM
false wrote:
Of course it's a racial thing. GMO,beans, seeds, who cares? You are pitting the born in Kauai vs the new mainland transplants. Let's not gloss over this conflict. In the mainland it's black vs white, Latino vs white, Jew vs gentile. Issues are secondary. Always have been and will be until everyone is multi-hued as Hawaii is fast becoming.
on December 15,2013 | 03:43PM
Leinanij wrote:
Jon Entine poses as a science writer but is the founder of The Genetic Literacy Project that promotes GMOs. He is also the founder of ESG Meda Metrics that does PR for its client Monsanto. Is it just too much to expect SA to do a little research or that people who have conflicts of interest tell the truth?
on December 15,2013 | 03:44PM
izdatso wrote:
HAhaHAha...what...and you quote Shiva? Makes me weak.
on December 15,2013 | 04:35PM
Jmhata wrote:
Funny none of these protesters against the GMO's say nothing about the pot being grown by the wealthy Organic farmer's I thought because of all the interbreeding and cross-pollination these also are considered GMO!-0
on December 15,2013 | 08:22PM
foliefolie wrote:
If you eat papaya, you are probably eating a GMO product. If it wasn't for GMO, the papaya industry in Hawaii would have died.
on December 16,2013 | 12:34AM
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