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You need to earn $34 an hour, 40 hrs a week, to rent a modest 2 bedroom in Hawaii. Don Couch wants to Cut Affordable Housing Requirements for Developers by Half. WTF?

Worst State in the Nation: HAWAII
To rent a modest 1 bedroom, working at minimum wage, you need to work 124 hours a week. Thanks to Don Couch and Alan Arakawa for making Maui work, for Developers.

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A new report released today by the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) reveals the disparity between rental housing costs and renter income in every jurisdiction across the country. Hawaii ranks worst.

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Big Money & Corporate Greed Attempting To Influence Local Maui Politics, Again.

You all remember The Citizens Against The Maui County Farming Ban, the fake citizen’s group founded by Maui’s local radio personality Tom Blackburn-Rodriguez, that in 2014 spent $8 Million of Monsanto’s and Dow’s money spreading lies about the GM Moratorium?

Well, not only is Tom back on the air with big corporate backing, we are now seeing the influence of conservative political forces like ALEC, The Franklin Center for Gov and Public Integrity and the Koch Brothers in the convoluted notions offered in an op-ed piece from the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii printed today in the conservative run Maui News.

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This viewpoint infers that the only agriculture of value in Hawaii is large-scale, corporate-backed, chemically-dependent Ag that feeds no one and strips resources and profits out of the islands, with only toxic chemicals left behind.

The Grassroot Institute says it promotes Libertarian principles of small government but it seems that they do so not to empower individuals to express themselves and control their own and their community’s destinies but rather they do so to allow off-island controlled corporations (endowed with the rights of free speech under the disastrous Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision)  to do whatever they feel will generate the most profits, at the expense of the well-being of the people who actually live here.

Large scale, corporate controlled, chemically-dependent agriculture, as it has evolved over the past 25 years or so, is exploitative and never was sustainable. It is dying on Maui for the same reasons it is dying on the mainland and in countries that are standing up to the World Bank’s and Monsanto’s influence: consumers want to eat clean food and don’t want to be poisoned by the Military Industrial Complex that is attempting to take over control of the world’s food supply and profit from the sale of dangerous chemicals.

As people who make Maui our home we have the responsibility to stand up to these external economic and political forces, to protect our fragile environment and Tourist economy from the fallout of rampant chemical exposure, and to support the transition back to local, affordable and sustainable food production, so that we can return to growing 90% of what we eat rather than importing it.

How disingenuous for the libertarian Grassroot Institute to overlook the fact that HC&S’s sugar production on Maui was financially viable only through Federal subsidies and price supports. That’s small government?

Maui Causes’s Mission:

Most agricultural land in Hawaii was essentially stolen from the Hawaiian people by the children of the missionaries, who, the saying goes, “came here to do good and ended up doing very well”.

Over the years a few corporations and big money interests have become the beneficiaries of that theft and they are now doing all they can to protect their entitlement to exploit Hawaii’s people and natural resources.

These pages are dedicated to exposing off-island influence, stripping away their entitlement, and returning control of Hawaii to the people who make it their home.

Exposing Conservative and Corporate Influence:

The Grassroot Institute has ties to very well funded conservative groups like the ALEC-connected, Franklin Center for Gov and Public Integrity and has been funded by CATO (Koch Brothers).  Malia Zimmerman, the secretary of the institute’s board of directors, is also a co-founder of “Hawaii Reporter” a networked news organization funded by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Franklin_Center_for_Government_and_Public_Integrity

The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, publisher of the site “Watchdog.org,” is a national 501(c)(3) journalism organization based in Bismarck, North Dakota and started in 2009.[1] <http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Franklin_Center_for_Government_and_Public_Integrity#cite_note-1>  According to a previous iteration of the organization’s website, the group’s mission involves “networking and training independent investigative reporters, as well as journalists from state based news organizations, public-policy institutions & watchdog groups.”[2] <http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Franklin_Center_for_Government_and_Public_Integrity#cite_note-2>  The Franklin Center funded state reporters in more than 40 states as of August 2011,[3] <http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Franklin_Center_for_Government_and_Public_Integrity#cite_note-3>  and in 34 states as of May 2013.[4] <http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Franklin_Center_for_Government_and_Public_Integrity#cite_note-2013_list-4>  Despite their non-partisan description, many of these websites have received criticism for their conservative bias.[5] <http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Franklin_Center_for_Government_and_Public_Integrity#cite_note-5> [6] <http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Franklin_Center_for_Government_and_Public_Integrity#cite_note-6>
At a time when there are fewer and fewer statehouse reporters — as of the American Journalism Review’s most recent count in 2009, there were 355 in the entire country, down from 524 in 2003,[7] <http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Franklin_Center_for_Government_and_Public_Integrity#cite_note-7>  bluntly called a “statehouse exodus” by the same journal[8] <http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Franklin_Center_for_Government_and_Public_Integrity#cite_note-8>  — former Reuters chief White House correspondent Gene Gibbons described the rush of groups like the Franklin Center to fill the gap as follows: “an army of Internet start-ups, some practicing traditional journalism in a new medium, others delivering political propaganda dressed up as journalism — are crawling all over the picnic. . . . At the forefront is the one-year-old Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity . . .”[9] <http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Franklin_Center_for_Government_and_Public_Integrity#cite_note-GibbonsKennedy-9>

 

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What HC&S does with it’s fields after sugar cane will affect us all. Do you have a voice in the matter?

HC&S’s fields below Makawao seem to have been planted with Thistle. Really gnarly thistle. Anyone know if it’s just to keep people out of the fields? or is this a crop or soil amendment?

What HC&S does with it’s fields after sugar cane will effect us all. Do you have a voice in the matter? The Water and Burn Permits they pulled for years, and the burning of coal are now being seen as violations of the public trust. Right to Farm bills are intended to strip you of your rights.

 

Click on image to hear more from Gov. Ige who claims Hawaii is a leader in Conservation. Really? Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 12.23.20 AM

 

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Gov. Ige Claims Hawaii is a World Leader in Conservation. Really?

Gov Ige shares his excitement that Hawaii was selected as the first ever US venue for the The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – the world’s largest conservation event to be held here Sept 1 -10 2016, because, says Ige, Hawaii is such a shining example of conservation efforts, a model for the world. Really?

We suggest that just the opposite is true. It’s just as easy to assert that Hawaii was chosen for this once in 4 years event because what’s going on here is among the most critical, evolving, man-made environmental disasters in the world. The conservationists are coming to try to save Hawaii not praise it.

It wasn’t so long ago that farms in Hawaii grew 90% of our food, with tons more going to export. Today farming in Hawaii has been given over to corporate driven, chemical-based “agricultural manufacturing” of seed products for export. So complete has this takeover been that we now are forced to import 90% of the food we eat and our delicate environment is being subjected to the massive risks posed by world’s largest array of open-field testing of unique biological creations and chemical cocktails, including and especially Round Up. whose active ingredient Gylphosate is a weak antibiotic and endocrine disruptor. Persistent exposure to weak antibiotics is a known path to disease as it fosters resistance, expressed as super bugs and super weeds and throws off the natural balance of beneficial bacteria that all life forms life rely on. Glyphosate is suspected to cause Leaky Gut Syndrome, Obesity, Gluten Intolerance http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945755/ Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and a host of other dysfunctions http://ecowatch.com/2015/01/23/health-problems-linked-to-monsanto-roundup/ including many women’s issues because Round Up has been found to hinder Lactobacillus bacteria which is necessary for proper vagina flora balance. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22362186 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaginal_flora

Here on Maui Monsanto and Dow spent millions and still failed to ward off a community-driven electoral initiative to require independent testing of their field practices. The community here still desperately wants to know that their children are not being harmed by corporate abuse of our deeply-flawed, corporation-designed federal regulatory system and woefully understaffed and underfunded state oversight. In spite of Big Ag’s massive spending, the most ever for any local ballot initiative, Maui’s voters approved the motion and the companies are now spending even more fighting the people’s wishes in court.

HC&S’s decision to suspend sugar cane production was not only based on wet weather and a drop in sugar prices. The permitting process by which the company takes its water from public lands and which allow it to fill our air with toxic cane smoke are now being reviewed by the courts as violations of the public trust by state agencies. As well, a scam that was recently exposed whereby HC&S sold electricity generated from burning coal instead of bagasse in their sugar mill (that has no air pollution scrubbers), also contributed cane’s downfall.

Hawaii’s current agricultural system is not at all sustainable and with any luck this confluence here of people who know what they are talking about will serve to blow this issue up to world exposure and force our state and county governments to right this deadly wrong. We grow only 10% of the food we eat. Who will feed our people if the boats stop coming or a tsunami destroys our ports? The state’s efforts to re-establish food security here have been anemic at best.

The governor does mention trying to establish diversified Ag parks on all the islands, enhancing the Ag loan program to facilitate opportunities for small farmers, and skewing the Dept. of Ag’s attention away from corporate Ag towards the needs of small farmers. We applaud all these actions, they can’t happen fast enough. The Governor also acknowledges that the state has a problem when it comes to staffing it’s agencies. For some reason they can’t seem to find and hire qualified people. What is up with that?

One would think, especially with such a gathering happening here, that the Governor would be racing to enhance and increase Hawaii’s bragging rights on sustainability by supporting demonstration projects of farming techniques like ultra low-cost Korean Natural Farming. KNF has been adopted by the entire nation of South Korea and is winning favor the world over wherever Monsanto, Dow, Pioneer, Syngenta and the other chemical companies have not been allowed to dominate agricultural practices. Korean Natural Farming relies on enhancing the biodiversity of soil microbes and bacteria rather than killing them with Round-Up. The chemical companies view KNF just as they do GMO labeling and Maui’s GM Moratorium, as their enemy against which they will go to no end to stop.

Hawaii should be racing to support clinical studies of techniques like ultra low-cost Korean Natural Farming rather than allowing Monsanto to support a UH student’s Masters Thesis that explicitly seeks to discredit KNF.

There are a few measures before the legislature currently that will support the development of diversified non-chemical based Ag. HB2568 makes an appropriation for a nutrient cycling center pilot project on Maui. Testify at http://capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=HB&billnumber=2586&year=2016

SB1043 on invasive species would fund a pilot project to deal with little fire ants, coconut rhinoceros beetles, and coqui frogs. Testify at http://capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=1043&year=2016

Also please join and support your local chapter of Hawaii Farmers Union United​
They support pilot programs across Hawaii that support all forms of diversified AG.

Gov Ige’s campaign organization staged this “Chow Fun with the Governor” talk story event in a Kahului elementary school. His campaign only announced the event a few days before. The Maui News, after initially posting the event, for some reason subsequently removed the notice from their website. Members of the press were told it was by invitation only, which wasn’t the case. Hardly any press or community activists showed up. In fact there wasn’t much of a turnout at all. But there were good questions from the audience and we’ll air a full length version on our Akaku show, Mondays and Sundays at 7PM on Ch 55.

Thanks for viewing.

 

Thanks for viewing.

 

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Myths of cannabis & hemp cross-pollination – 10 mile distance between open fields more than enough protection

By Joy Beckerman
Volunteers harvest hemp at a farm in Springfield, Colo. in October 2013 in a during the first known harvest of industrial hemp in the U.S. since the 1950s. Expanded hemp growing will be happening in 2014 with the advent of state licensing. (P. Solomon Banda, Associated Press file)

Volunteers harvest hemp at a farm in Springfield, Colo. in October 2013 in a during the first known harvest of industrial hemp in the U.S. since the 1950s. Expanded hemp growing will be happening in 2014 with the advent of state licensing. (P. Solomon Banda, Associated Press file)

Oh, the irony. On the one hand, marijuana and hemp activists have been tortured for decades by the DEA’s exceedingly absurd stance that marijuana growers will use industrial hemp fields to camouflage their marijuana plants; and on the other hand, there has recently arisen the hysterical stance by some populations of outdoor marijuana growers that marijuana and industrial hemp fields must be kept extraordinary distances apart in order to avoid cross-pollination. To be sure – whereas the DEA stance is unequivocally non-factual and has no basis in reality, the cross-pollination hysteria is actually grounded in truth, albeit recently a distorted and emotionally-based version of the truth. Greed inspires irrationality.

Let’s have an intelligent conversation based in fact because there is no need for hysteria and cross-pollination is a common agricultural issue with a common agricultural solution…and one that would never require a distance of anywhere in the realm of 200 miles between plant species types. We don’t see the State of Kentucky in an uproar. Make no mistake, Kentucky’s Number One cash crop is outdoor marijuana while Kentucky simultaneously is the country’s Number One industrial hemp producer (both feral [i.e. leftover/wild] and deliberate, now that it is legal to cultivate there).

No doubt it will be helpful to found our discussion on a necessary botany lesson, especially since the most common misunderstanding about the “difference” between marijuana and industrial hemp is that “hemp is ‘the male’ and marijuana is ‘the female.’” In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. “Cannabis” is the plant genus, “sativa” is Latin for “sown” or “cultivated” (and is included in many scientific plant species names), and the “L.” we often see associated with Cannabis sativa merely stands for the surname initial of Carl Linnaeus, the Swiss botanist who invented taxonomy. Cannabis sativa is a member of the Cannabaceae family. Within the Cannabis sativa plant species, we have the drug type known as “marijuana” and we have the oilseed and fiber type known as “industrial hemp.”

Both plant types – marijuana and industrial hemp – can be dieocious, which is to say they can be either exclusively male or exclusively female; and they can also be monoecious, which is to say they can have the staminate (i.e. the male pollen-producing part) and pistillate (i.e. the female ovum-producing part) on the same plant. However, marijuana is a high-resin crop generally planted about four feet apart for its medicine or narcotic rich leaves and buds, whereas industrial hemp is a low-resin crop generally planted about four inches apart for its versatile stalk and seed. The different kinds of marijuana are classified as “strains” and the different kinds of industrial hemp are classified as “varieties” and “cultivars.”

Industrial hemp is non-psychoactive with a higher ratio of CBD to THC, thus smoking even several acres of it will not result in achieving a high; conversely, only a memorable headache is achieved, regardless of Herculean effort. Marijuana flower production and industrial hemp production cultivation processes are distinctly different. Finally, there is no such thing as a plant or plant species known as “Cannabis hemp” and “hemp” is not a synonym for “marijuana,” “pot,” or “ganja,” etc. Botanists have argued for ages over whether a separate plant species “Cannabis indica” exists, and that age-old debate is not being addressed here.

The significant difference between the two types that effects cross-pollination and legitimately frightens marijuana growers is that hemp plants go to seed fairly quickly and would thus pollinate any marijuana plants growing in the same field or in a nearby field. This is botanically analogous to field corn and sweet corn, one of which is grown for human consumption, and one of which is grown for animal consumption. Corn producers take great measures to prevent any cross-pollination between their field and sweet corns; including growing the different varieties of corn at different times or making sure there is sufficient distance between the different fields. Either way, these corn producers do what is necessary to ensure that pollen carrying the dominant gene for starch synthesis is kept clear of cornsilks borne on plants of the recessive (sweet) variety.

Cross-pollination of hemp with marijuana would significantly reduce the potency of the marijuana plants. While hemp farmers are not going to want marijuana cross-pollinating with their hemp and increasing their hemp’s THC content, it would be entirely more disastrous for the marijuana grower if hemp were to cross-pollinate with their marijuana due to the cost of producing and value of selling medical and adult-use marijuana. The concern is real. The concern is valid. But the concern does not merit the level of hysteria that appears to have arisen in Washington. We must take a note from Kentucky.

Industrial hemp is primarily pollinated by wind, and most pollen travels approximately 100 yards, give or take. Bees, of course, can also pollinate hemp; and bees travel up to three miles from their hives. It is also true that, depending on the weight and size of any plant pollen, combined with other natural conditions, wind-borne pollen can technically travel up to 2,000 miles away from the source. Yes, it’s true, up to 2,000 miles. And also it would be beyond ridiculous to give serious agricultural consideration to this extreme factoid for entirely obvious reasons.

Cannabis case in point: Kentucky. Kentucky may not have legal outdoor marijuana grows, but you’d better believe that – like every other state in the nation – there’s a whole lotta marijuana being deliberately cultivated outdoors; and on quite a grand scale in Kentucky, which state learned centuries ago that Cannabis grows exceedingly well in that climate and soil. Kentucky was always been the heart of our nation’s industrial hemp farmlands, thus Kentucky is covered with more feral hemp than any other state. This issue of marijuana and hemp cross-pollination is old news and no news at all to the marijuana growers of Kentucky, who experience and demonstrate no sense of hysteria like that which has risen up in Washington.

Global industrial hemp leader and professional industrial hemp agrologist Prof. Anndrea Hermann, M.Sc, B.GS, P.Ag., who has been a certified Health Canada THC Sampler since 2005 and is the President of the U.S. Hemp Industries Association, has assisted with creating and reviewing hemp regulations in Canada, the European Union, South Africa, Uruguay, Australia, New Zealand, and several U.S. States. Anndrea refers to this issue of cross-pollination as the “Cannabis Clash” and “Cannabis Sex 101.” So what is the answer? What is a safe distance between marijuana and hemp fields?

The Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (AOSCA), which is the global agency to which most developed countries subscribe for agricultural purposes, has completed its draft industrial hemp seed certification regulations, which rules include a range from a minimum distance of three (3) feet to a maximum distance of three (3) miles between different pedigrees and cultivars of industrial hemp. This is the same with Health Canada’s industrial hemp regulations. But we are talking about safe distances between two plant types – marijuana and industrial hemp. Absent intense research and collection of hard data that will be interesting to conduct as we move forward and funding becomes available, experts agree that a distance of ten (10) miles between hemp and marijuana fields is exceedingly appropriate to avoid cross-pollination. Or as Anndrea Hermann would say, “a nice, country road drive!”

This is not a complicated issue or a new issue. This is basic agriculture. Marijuana and industrial hemp are best friends and this is no time for them to start picking unnecessary fights with one another. Ten miles, folks; ten miles!

http://www.thesmokersclub.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/WeedBee.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/79/Cannabis_sativa_Koehler_drawing.jpg

Joy Beckerman is the President Hemp Ace International LLC, and the director of the Hemp Industries Association, Washington Chapter

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ACTION ALERT: This bill supports opening up the growing of industrial hemp to all of Hawaii!

Aloha Hempsters…please submit testimony and share with your lists
The Hemp Bill we’ve been waiting for!!!
The first hearing for Hawaii’s Industrial Hemp Bill HB2555 has been set. This bill supports opening up the growing of industrial hemp to all of Hawaii! The bill was introduced by Rep Ing and has been signed by 35 House Reps!!!!12671625_431028277090875_1803971848835389594_o MStatement.pages

 

TESTIMONY NEEDED NOW
The first hearing for Hawaii’s Industrial Hemp Bill HB2555 has been set. This bill supports opening up the growing of industrial hemp to all of Hawaii! The bill was introduced by Rep Ing and has been signed by 35 House Reps!!!!

Your voice is greatly needed!
Please take 5 minutes and submit testimony…it’s easy and necessary for this bill to become law.

Copy and Paste link below to submit testimony:
http://tinyurl.com/zd8n7fy <http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Ftinyurl.com%2Fzd8n7fy&h=mAQFjauJCAQFwU3gVrp4spT1yCY8RWLWp0niSugXhiXtoew&enc=AZO24WstAOi7NMlyGobSn48jgNBSBkXCndGndSNGTeGjxeIvxYKmFdR-Xm7lmRbAoB7lY7shL0aQ1nu8PjZG6ojnl9RW5N_kyrmjtyVi4z0P09o1YCnScf2McAa1TQ-wBTo3N0KwAqDRXYjpAu2jM-t6gSanb_K98emDUPsyTkU3jKlc5JAYajc49mWgm1jZluwXSFGlOUmvnVnidCgq79dA&s=1>

When submitting testimony Remember to check the SUPPORT button or it defaults to comment only
If you would like to write in testimony you can copy and paste the sample testimony below or write your own.
You can also just click support and not add a testimony.

Sample testimony:

I strongly support HB2555
27 US states have already passed industrial hemp legislation. Hawaii is in a unique position to grow industrial hemp year round proven by the research done by UH over the past 2 years with it’s pilot program .It’s time to expand this program to all Hawaii’s Farmers and Ag companies alike. If Hawaii is to be on the leading edge of this multi-million dollar industry Hawaii farmers and Large Agriculture companies need to be able to grow this crop now!
Expanding the growing of industrial hemp to all Hawaii will give farmers the opportunity to grow this crop and develop seed and strains that will boost our economy while helping to clean our soil and reduce our dependency on imports.

Respectfully yours

(your name)

Please submit your testimony by Thursday 2/11/16 , 2 PM

Steve Rose
President / C.E.H.

Maui Hemp Institute for Research & Innovation
95 Lipoa Street  Kihei, HI 96753
“It’s Hempin’in …Maui Style”
808-357-4564



 

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Maui’s GM Moratorium NOT DEAD YET! Appeals court to hear SHAKA’s moratorium case.

Hokua-w-enforceThe 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments about whether to overturn a federal judge’s ruling last year that struck down a Maui County voter-approved moratorium on genetically modified organisms.

Reposted without permission from the Maui News!

In a ruling Thursday, the appeals court denied a motion to dismiss the appeal by the SHAKA Movement, opening the door for arguments before the court headquartered in San Francisco.

SHAKA attorney Michael Carroll called the ruling “really good news.”

“The court denied the motion to dismiss, allowing the court to hear full arguments on the appeal,” he said Friday. “Now the court will have to consider all our substantive arguments.”

Carroll said he also was pleased that the court ruled in favor of allowing consideration of the Center for Food Safety to file an “amicus curiae,” or “friend of the court” brief, in the case, which he called “another plus for our joint efforts.”

The 9th Circuit also will be considering requests for amicus briefs from Moms On a Mission Hui, Moloka’o Mahi’ai and Gerry Ross.

On Friday afternoon, Monsanto said its motion to dismiss the appellant’s case challenged the appeal, unsuccessfully, for lack of standing, but that the denial of the motion was without prejudice, meaning the case had not been decided on its merits.

“The court of appeals for the 9th Circuit will now move to consider the merits of the case and instructed that the standing arguments could be raised in the merits phase of the case,” the company’s statement said. “Monsanto believes the federal district court in Hawaii reached the correct conclusion invalidating the ballot initiative, and we will vigorously defend this position.”

There was no immediate comment from Maui County.

The appeals court scheduled deadlines for briefs in the case.

The SHAKA appeal stems from last year’s ruling by U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway to declare the Maui County GMO moratorium invalid and unenforceable. She said that the moratorium exceeded the county’s authority and was pre-empted by federal and state law.

SHAKA attorneys argued that Mollway erred in the ruling by citing a federal law that is not applicable to the Maui County moratorium ordinance.

The judge’s ruling “overrode (the people’s) rights guaranteed under the Hawaii State Constitution and invalidated the election results of county residents trying to protect themselves from unique harms affecting health, safety, the environment, natural resources, as well as Native Hawaiian rights,” the appellants’ brief says.

Mollway’s ruling shelved a SHAKA attempt to implement the moratorium that voters narrowly approved in November 2014. The ordinance would have outlawed the cultivation, growth or testing of genetically engineered crops until scientific studies determined their safety and benefits.

The moratorium initiative drew more than 23,000 votes, or 50.2 percent, in favor. Those opposed were 47.9 percent. The vote came despite biotech companies and their allies spending nearly $8 million – the most ever in a Hawaii election by far – to oppose it.

Nine days following the general election, the moratorium ordinance was challenged in court by Monsanto, Dow Agrigenetics, other seed companies and their supporters. Mollway ruled in their favor June 30.

Leaders of the SHAKA Movement, a citizens group that gathered enough signatures for the first-ever ballot initiative in the county in 2014, filed an appeal Nov. 30 with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Maui County is “ground zero” for the testing and development of genetically engineered seed crops because of Hawaii’s long growing seasons, SHAKA attorneys say. GMO agricultural operations use more than 80 different chemicals, creating “chemical cocktails” with unknown health and environmental impacts, they say.

* Brian Perry can be reached at bperry@mauinews.com.

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Maui’s Lungs Win a Big Victory as Judge Upholds 4 of 6 Complaints Filed by Citizens to Stop Cane Burning – Says Disallowed Complaints Can Be Modified.

Much to A&B’s dismay,  Judge Cordoza rules that the court WILL decide whether the DOH breached the public trust when issuing agricultural burn permits.
Next hearing Feb 26th  on Preliminary Injunction to Stop The Burn while the cases run their course.
Support this community-based legal action with a donation.  StopCaneBurning.org

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What happened in court today (Feb 5, 2016) – this is the accurate and definitive summary by Karen Chun.

Judge Cardoza dismissed Counts I and II. Count I claimed that HRS 342B, the Air Pollution Control Act, and HAR 11-60.1, the implementing regulations, constituted an unlawful delegation of legislative power. Judge Cardoza concluded that as a matter of law, the delegation of power was lawful.

Count II claimed that HRS 342B violated the Art XI, Sec 9 of the Hawaii State Constitution. We relied on the Ala Loop Owners case which recognizes a private right of action to enforce environmental statutes based upon Art XI, Sec 9. He held, however, that that private right of action to enforce does not include invalidating statutes.

He also indicated that potentially these two dismissed claims could be modified and submitted anew for his consideration.

He ruled that A&B’s argument that Counts III, IV and V must be submitted to the Department of Health for resolution first and our failure to exhaust those administrative remedies barred the claims was erroneous because these counts implicated matters of law and not technical fact finding. Matters of law are for the courts to decide. He ruled we didn’t need to exhaust remedies. He ruled the court can and will decide whether the DOH breached the public trust and whether it failed to consider the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act without requiring us to go to DOH first.

Count III is the claim that the Department of Health has violated its public trust duties by issuing agricultural burn permits. Count IV claims that the issuance of burn permits violates the equal protection section of the state constitution. Count V claims that the Director of Health was required but failed to consider HRS 344, the Hawaii Environmental Policy Act, when she adopted the open air agricultural burn permit rules.

He also ruled that we are not challenging the EPA approved State Implementation Plan and therefore the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ original, exclusive jurisdiction over challenges to the SIP did not apply to Counts III, IV and V.

As to Count VI, he ruled that the question of the 120 day statute of limitations (related to whether the lawsuit was brought within that window) to challenge the lack of an environmental assessment was fact specific and the operative facts regarding when the 120 days was triggered could not be resolved in a motion to dismiss — which only looks at the law.

He then indicated that insofar as the lawsuit challenges all open air agricultural burning, the other 144 permit holders are necessary parties the case. He has given us until February 16 to decide whether to amend the complaint to avoid the interests that make them necessary parties or to come up with a plan to at least give notice to the 144 permit holders that the regulations that authorize their permits are being challenged.

The case will continue and the hearing for the motion for preliminary injunction will be heard on February 26.

Our next big deal is Feb 26 when Judge Cardoza will hear arguments on our request for an injunction to stop burning. Things are heating up and we really, really need $$$. How much money determines how aggressively we can go after A&B (e.g. take their depositions to uncover all their bad actions)

Donate here: StopCaneBurning.org

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Demise of power-purchase deal is final blow for HC&S

 

As we’ve been saying – electricity sales is why A&B kept farming sugar long after it became difficult to make a profit. So this is a double win for the environment: Shutting down the coal plant (that didn’t have proper pollution control because of it being a sugar mill) and stopping the cane burning.
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January 10, 2016  Honolulu Star-Advertiser  By Andrew Gomes

Two heavy body blows and maybe a near knockout punch.

That’s what Hawaii’s only remaining sugar plantation took before its owner decided last week to throw in the towel and close the 36,000-acre Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. farm on Maui by year’s end.

The body blows — low sugar production and prices — were nothing new in the sugar farming industry. But the other punch was an unusual one with a stinging impact.

Alexander & Baldwin Inc., the kamaaina owner of HC&S, said its main reasons for ending 146 years of sugar cane farming and shuttering the plantation with 675 employees was two bad years of low sugar production and prices that put a roughly $33 million dent in net income last year and had little prospect of being turned around.

But the company also lost a lucrative deal late last year to supply Maui Electric Co. with power that would have provided HC&S with $19 million in projected revenue this year and next year, according to documents filed with the state Public Utilities Commission.

HC&S generates electricity by burning the fiber known as bagasse left over from processed cane, as well as coal, in a boiler to power its sugar mill and irrigation pumps. A smaller hydroelectric system on the farm also provides power. Historically, HC&S sold extra power to Maui Electric on terms that significantly helped the agricultural operation.

For instance, Maui Electric used to pay HC&S $1.8 million a year just for its commitment to provide power.

However, Maui Electric, which once relied on HC&S for about 10 percent of its electricity supply, sought in recent years to amend the power-purchase agreement in part due to its effort to move electrical generation toward more renewable sources and reduce use of dirtier sources such as coal.

HC&S, which ships raw sugar to California on a company-owned ship, would fill the ship with coal for the return trip to Hawaii. In 2014 the company burned 57,100 tons of coal, according to A&B’s most recent annual financial report.

Efforts to amend the power-purchase agreement resulted in HC&S reducing its power supply to Maui Electric at the beginning of last year to 8 megawatts from 12 megawatts. Then in October, Maui Electric stopped buying power altogether from HC&S except in emergencies under another amendment the PUC approved in September.

A loss of millions

According to the amendment request, Maui Electric is expected to pay HC&S $323,936 this year instead of $19.5 million under the prior agreement. Next year the expected payment is $94,736 instead of $19.4 million.

A&B declined to confirm the cuts described in the Maui Electric filing but said the loss of power sales, taken together with challenging sugar production volume and anticipated prices near 30-year lows, made prospects for continued losses high.

“…

Like other plantations, HC&S used technology to reduce labor. The company’s workforce of 675 is down from 776 in 2008, 1,300 in 1985 and 3,390 in 1949.

The yearly sugar production goal for HC&S had been 225,000 tons, which was last achieved in 1999. Benjamin said the “magic number” to generate more revenue than costs is around 200,000 tons. Last year production totaled 136,000 tons, and the operating loss for A&B’s agribusiness division, mainly HC&S, was $30 million.

The year before, production was 162,100 tons, and the operating loss was $12 million.

Benjamin said he doesn’t expect the recent weather patterns to change. And on top of the production outlook, low prices and lost power sales, changing regulatory restrictions and growing community opposition to historical practices such as burning cane added to HC&S’ headaches and resulted in the decision to shut down.

2

HC&S to End Sugar Cane Production after 45 Million dollars lost these last two years, costing hundreds of jobs – It didn’t have to be so bad.

power-politics
Sugar cane production on Maui is ending, nearly 350 jobs will be lost and as many more are at risk. The sad truth is that it didn’t have to happen this way.

For decades members of the Maui community have been trying to engage HC&S in a dialog to carefully construct an intelligent exit strategy to move away from sugar cane burning. HC&S steadfastly refused to seriously consider alternatives to sugar cane production and they now find their backs up against an economic wall because of, they say, rainy weather.

Cane burning may indeed stop before the end of 2016 if, as expected, Judge Cardoza grants in February a preliminary injunction resulting from a current lawsuit that shows that the regulatory process through which HC&S is granted it’s burn permits is unconstitutional.

They blame the weather. I blame their arrogance and greed.

If the company really cared for the community here, the way they claim, they would have long ago embarked down the diversification road they are now being forced, and are ill prepared, to take.

If left to their own devices HC&S will surely continue to exploit the natural resources and people of Maui with no regard to what is righteous or pono. The company is, after all, in business today as a result of the shameful and illegal practices of the colonial, plantation takeover of Hawaiian lands and indentured servitude (slavery).

For example:

The company pays next to nothing for water that EMI diverts away from streams. Water that would otherwise support indigenous farming. They do little to maintain the integrity of the water system such that much of the water that is diverted is lost to anyone’s use.

The company and regulators refuse to acknowledge years of proof that the poisonous chemicals that are regularly sprayed leave the fields and adversely effect agricultural practices and lives elsewhere on Maui.

The company and regulators also refuse to acknowledge that the air monitors they have placed to monitor cane smoke are the wrong type and poorly placed to do the job.

Predictably, signs are already showing of new forms of exploitation being devised. In anticipation of expanding the cattle industry here The Cattleman’s Association recently removed from their website their oath (written in 1996) to provide protection from the elements for cattle. President Alex Franco has reportedly already approached the Council to remove animal welfare protections on Maui so they won’t have to provide shade.

What’s next, changes to Maui’s zoning laws that would allow A&B more real estate to develop? Leases to Monsanto for more under-regulated, mixed-chemical, open-field experimentation?

Our hope is that with the power of the internet and social activism this community will be able to reveal, track and block each new ugly attempt the company makes to transfer profits off the island and avoid doing what is right for Maui.

With the end of sugar cane mono-cropping the extremely depleted soils in those fields will need remediation before other diversified crops will grow there. Erosion control will be essential. If HC&S’s narrow-minded practices persist and A&B continues to withhold infrastructure investments, the transition out of cane will surely be a disaster for Maui.

What will happen to Maui’s energy costs and air as they keep their ancient power plant going by burning more and more coal instead of sugar cane?  That plant is near the end of its life and after all these years of taking profits out of Maui they have made zero investments in what comes next.

Not so long ago very little food had to be imported here. Today Maui eats 85% to 95% imported food. As well, the islands are already saturated with more agricultural chemicals than what our delicate ecosystem can tolerate. HC&S wouldn’t bother to consider it before but now they must be led into developing crops like industrial hemp, bamboo and regenerative food producing agriculture that are decidedly not dependent on chemicals.

There are many, many options that can evolve our agricultural economy in sustainable, non-chemically dependent ways that don’t require federal subsidies, so that Maui’s agricultural workers can stand proudly and not on the backs of taxpayers.

We support legislation that would allow Hawaii’s public school lunches to stop serving millions of pounds of imported apples and off-island bananas, to be replaced with tropical fruits that can be grown here.

Shame on HC&S for arrogantly refusing change, for ignoring the obvious, eventual demise of sugar on Maui and for not doing what they could sooner to protect those 675 jobs.

 

4

Was the COP 21 a success or a failure?

Many pundits say both. On the positive side, 185 global leaders have finally acknowledged a unified understanding of the scope and seriousness of the climate crisis.

Here is a photo of climate activists in a demonstration at the Eiffel Tower demanding the shift to 100% renewable energy.

Join GO GREEN at the Sustainability Summit 2016.

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 8.47.32 PM

The COP 21 gathering was the largest global gathering of climate and sustainability activists of all time. If you missed being there, don’t miss being part of next year’s Sustainability “Solutions” Summit 2016.
There are just 15 days until the December 31, 2015 discount deadline.
To learn more about the Summit and to see your discount level, go to:
http://www.gogreenculture.org/2016-sustainability-summit/

Many say that the levels of CO2 reduction set by the voluntary national programs of COP 21 are not enough. Left at their current levels, this will result in ecological disasters, severe and broad scale human suffering, and costs that are expected to exceed $250 billion per year. We need to do more than our leaders have set out for us.

Bill McKibben stated in Paris, “Now the real work must begin in earnest.” 

The global leaders have spoken. Many experts are saying it will be up to sustainability leaders and professionals on the local and regional levels to make the substantive shifts needed in carbon output, renewable energy, restored ecosystems, and more.

The Sustainability Summit 2016 is designed to support the accelerated success of local sustainability professionals and activists. Hundreds of proven projects and programs, including the 100 Top Best Practices of Sustainable Communities, will be shared at the Summit in July, a mere 8 months away. Don’t miss out on this important information. You will be empowered to more rapidly and cost effectively advance your corporate, organizational, and/or municipal sustainability goals. We expect Delegates to use this knowledge and wisdom to save their companies and local governments hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars on future sustainability investments.

Sign up now to be a Delegate at the Sustainability “Solutions” Summit 2016. Help your group avoid being part of the $250 billion short fall next year.

Here is a photo of San Francisco modified to show what the city could look like in 2050 based on a 12 foot rise in sea level.

Join GO GREEN at the Sustainability Summit 2016. Let’s advance the sustainability of our local cultures together over the coming year. 
There are just 15 days until the December 31, 2015 discount deadline.
To learn more about the Summit and to see your discount level, go to:
http://www.gogreenculture.org/2016-sustainability-summit/
Join GO GREEN on Maui, Hawaii ~ July 17-22, 2016

Go Green Membership

Please visit our web site and consider becoming a Go Green Member ~ starting at $3 per month or any financial level you choose.

Go to:  www.GoGreenCulture.org and click on one of the Join Us boxes.

Thank you for all you are doing to advance sustainability in our world.

Aloha ~

Gerry Dameron                  Deborah Smith

Executive Director            Education Director

Copyright © 2015 Go Green Culture Foundation, Used by permission. 

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A Huge Thanksgiving Gift To The World: EPA Pulls Registration for Dow’s Enlist Duo Herbicide Citing High Toxicity Levels

duo-pulled2
Toxic pesticide banned on genetically engineered crops  From The Pesticide Action Network

Washington D.C. — The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), responding to litigation, has announced it is revoking the registration of “Enlist Duo.” Approved by the agency just over a year ago, Enlist Duo is a toxic combination of glyphosate and 2,4-D that Dow AgroSciences created for use on the next generation of genetically engineered crops, designed to withstand being drenched with this potent herbicide cocktail. In its court filing, EPA stated it is taking this action after realizing that the combination of these chemicals is likely significantly more harmful than it had initially believed.
This action resolves a year-long legal challenge filed by a coalition of conservation groups seeking to rescind the approval of the dangerous herbicide blend. EPA had approved use of Enlist Duo in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and North Dakota, and had intended to approve it in additional areas in the near future.
Earthjustice and Center for Food Safety, on behalf of Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides, Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Working Group, the National Family Farm Coalition, and Pesticide Action Network North America, had challenged EPA’s failure to consider the impacts of Enlist Duo on threatened and endangered plants and animals protected under the Endangered Species Act. The Act requires that every federal agency consider the impacts of its actions on our nation’s most imperiled plants and animals and seek input from the expert wildlife agencies before plunging ahead, which EPA had refused to do.
“The decision by EPA to withdraw the illegally approved Enlist Duo crops is a huge victory for the environment and the future of our food,” said George Kimbrell, Center for Food Safety’s senior attorney. “We will remain vigilant to ensure industry does not pressure the agency into making the same mistake in the future.”

“With this action, EPA confirms the toxic nature of this lethal cocktail of chemicals, and has stepped back from the brink,” said Earthjustice Managing Attorney Paul Achitoff. “Glyphosate is a probable carcinogen and is wiping out the monarch butterfly, 2,4-D also causes serious human health effects, and the combination also threatens endangered wildlife. This must not, and will not, be how we grow our food.”

Dow created Enlist crops as a quick fix for the problem created by “Roundup Ready” crops, the previous generation of genetically engineered crops designed to resist the effects of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Just as overuse of antibiotics has left resistant strains of bacteria to thrive, repeated use of Roundup on those crops allowed glyphosate-resistant “superweeds” to proliferate, and those weeds now infest tens of millions of acres of U.S. farmland. Enlist crops allow farmers to spray both glyphosate and 2,4-D without killing their crops, which they hope will kill weeds resistant to glyphosate alone. But some weeds have already developed 2,4-D resistance, and the escalating cycle of more toxic pesticides in the environment will continue unless EPA stops approving these chemicals, and USDA stops rubber-stamping new genetically engineered crops.
“This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for EPA taking this important action to protect people, rare plants, and animals from Enlist Duo,” said Lori Ann Burd, Environmental Health director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “As we gather with our families for the holiday feast, we can all breathe a little bit easier knowing that EPA has protected our food from being drenched with this poisonous pesticide cocktail.”
Judy Hatcher, executive director of Pesticide Action Network, commented: “EPA is taking a step in the right direction, but Enlist Duo shouldn’t have been given the green light in the first place. Too often, GE seeds and the herbicides designed to accompany them are rushed to market without thorough evaluation of their real-world impacts on community health and farmer livelihoods.”

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Monsanto Burns: Arson Suspected

 

MonsantoArsonEarlier this week, a Monsanto research facility in France was burned to the ground. Monsanto and investigators suspect an arsonist was responsible for the blaze.

Monsanto representative Jakob Witten told Reuters that investigators “strongly suspect it was a crime as no electrical or other sources were found.”He added that “No Monsanto sites in Europe have so far been the victim of fires of criminal origin, this is unprecedented violence.”

The fire had multiple points of origin, meaning it is unlikely the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction or other natural causes. Investigators also noticed a strong smell of gasoline in different areas of the site.

France announced in June that it was banning sales of Roundup, Monsanto’s flagship herbicide, amid public pressure and the World Health Organization’s announcement that the product is probably carcinogenic. Further, last month the country announced it was strengthening its ban on genetically modified crops. Monsanto is one of the most hated corporations on the planet and faces particularly strong resistance in France. If the fire is confirmed to have been arson, it is possible this vociferous opposition might have been a motivating factor.

Nevertheless, the recent fire is merely the tip of the iceberg with regard to Monsanto’s recent problems.

The company recently moved to close three different research facilities to save money in the face of declining profits. As Reuters reported last week, Monsanto research centers in Middleton, Wisconsin, Mystic, Connecticut, and Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, will soon be closed to cut costs.

Last month, the infamous company announced it would be cutting 2,600 jobs — 12% of its workforce — in order to lower costs. Monsanto also announced a loss of 19 cents per share in the most recent quarter. Profits are expected to remain low throughout the year.

The Associated Press reported that Monsanto lost $156 million in the final quarter of last year alone, and this year is expected to be even worse.

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The EPA broke the law when it approved a new pesticide

Living on Earth October 06, 2015 · 8:45 AM EDT Writer Adam Wernick bees_cjb_top_photoMinnesota beekeeper Steve Ellis stands in front of once bee-filled boxes that were left empty after being hit by colony collapse disorder. Credit: Chris Jordan-Bloch/Earthjustice

The EPA failed to follow its own rules for ensuring chemical safety and illegally approved a powerful insecticide linked to declining numbers of honeybees, a federal appeals court has ruled.

This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found the EPA failed to get enough evidence from the manufacturer, Dow AgroSciences, to approve the safety of Sulfoxaflor. Sulfoxaflor is a neonicotinoid, a systemic insecticide that becomes embedded in a plant’s tissues and is poisonous to insects.

“The court found that EPA approved Sulfoxaflor without any reliable information about the risk that it would present to honeybee colonies,” explains Greg Loarie, a staff attorney for Earthjustice, one of the plaintiffs in the case. “That, of course, is a huge shortcoming when we’re in the midst of this crisis in which we are losing over one-third of our honeybee colonies every year, and science is pointing to these sorts of insecticides as a primary cause.”

The case began in the summer of 2013, shortly after EPA approved Sulfoxaflor. EarthJustice was approached by several US commercial beekeeping trade groups, including the American Honey Producers Association and the American Beekeepers Federation.

“They asked, ‘Is there anything we can do about this latest neonicotinoid coming onto the market,’” Loarie says. “We took a look at the registration and found that indeed EPA had not met its own guidelines. It didn’t have the information that it was supposed have in hand — and so we filed suit.”

Under the law, this type of case bypasses the lower courts and goes straight to the court of appeals. Courts typically give EPA a great deal of deference in these matters because they involve a fair amount of scientific expertise; the courts are often recluctant to second-guess the science.

But in the case of Sulfoxaflor, Loarie says, “the science was so lacking and it was so clear that EPA just didn’t have this fundamental information, the court found that the registration had to be overturned unless and until that information is brought to bear.”

The way the law is set up, when a company wants to register a chemical with the EPA, the manufacturer of the chemical does the testing and then submits the results to the EPA for review. Dow submitted six studies to the EPA. EPA found that all six of the studies had numerous scientific flaws and were inherently unreliable, Loarie says.

“For instance, most of them studied an exposure to Sulfoxaflor that was well below what would actually be happening in the field and several of them lacked control groups of any kind,” he explains. “Yet, EPA decision-makers decided to register Sulfoxaflor, notwithstanding the flaws inherent in the studies.”

To determine the impact a insecticide will have on what they call “non-target insects,” like honeybees, EPA looks at what it calls the “acute toxicity” of a pesticide. “Essentially that means they take a honeybee into the laboratory, they expose that individual adult honeybee to the pesticide, and they figure out how much of the pesticide it takes to kill that adult honeybee,” Loarie explains.

If they find that bees will be exposed to less than that lethal dose, they conclude the pesticide will not cause any problems to the bee population. But this process falls to pieces when you factor in the systemic insecticide overlay, Loarie says.

“It may not kill on contact, but the adult bee might go out into the field, collect pollen that has the Sulfoxaflor or the systemic insecticide in it, and bring the pollen back into the hive.”

Over time the build-up of the systemic insecticide within the hive causes the whole colony of bees to sicken, weaken and ultimately collapse. The law says EPA needs to consider this possibility, Loarie explains.

“EPA has to consider what happens when we put a hive out in the real world and put it in a situation where it is feeding on crops that have been sprayed with the systemic insecticide,” Loarie says. “That’s the information EPA so desperately needs and the information that it certainly lacked in the case of Sulfoxaflor.”

Now that the court has set aside EPA’s decision to register Sulfoxaflor, the pesticide is off the market unless and until Dow submits to EPA the proper information and EPA goes through the review process again — and follows the law this time around, Loarie says.

This story is based on an interview that aired on PRI’s Living on Earth with Steve Curwood

http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-06/epa-broke-law-when-it-approved-new-pesticide

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Yep. What kids eat matters.

Kid eating healthy

A new study in Environmental Health Perspectives confirms that when children eat organic, the levels of pesticides in their bodies — including the brain-harming variety — go down. This seems a common-sense conclusion for many of us, but the more science we have to document the case, the better.

Join the Pesticide Action Network

As we’ve discussed earlier in GroundTruth blogs, residues found on food are an important source of pesticide exposure for children. Earlier, smaller scale studies have also shown that switching to an organic diet reduces pesticide breakdown products in children’s bodies.

This new study, conducted by researchers at UC Berkeley, compares a larger group of children of similar ages and socio-economic backgrounds in rural and urban California cities — Salinas and Oakland — and the results confirm food as a source of kids’ pesticide exposure. Given what’s known about the impacts oflow-level exposures to these chemicals, it also confirms the importance of doing something about it.

Toward healthier school food

Throughout the month of October, parents, teachers, farmers and “healthy school food” advocates are celebrating National Farm to School Month. This week is National School Lunch Week as well, and as we mark the exciting progress in these areas, it’s important to keep these pesticide studies in mind. If we’re serious about supporting the good health of children — it’s also National Children’s Health Month, after all — we must remember that pesticides have been linked to brain harm, autism, developmental delays and childhood cancers, among other health impacts.

And these child-harming chemicals are commonly applied to fruits and vegetables across the country.

Fruits and vegetables are of course core sources of nutrition for our children, and while we always wholeheartedly encourage eating fresh fruits and veggies, these studies underscore that the healthiest version for our kids will be organic or as close to pesticide-free as possible.

School lunches are a great place to start making this change, and it doesn’t need to break the bank. Just look at this example fromConscious Kitchen, an organization that converted the school lunch program in one school district in northern California to one that serves “Fresh, Local, Organic, Seasonal” and GMO-free food every meal at their school cafeterias. They produce meals from scratch at the schools throughout the district at an affordable average cost of $0.70 per meal for breakfast and $1.73 per meal for lunch.

Celebrating progress

National initiatives like Farm to School offer a proverbial win-win, helping to bring nutritious food to schools while supporting local farmers. Some of the Farm to School partnerships support organic farmers, putting their fresh, pesticide-free produce on cafeteria trays. We’re hoping that over time, this growing movement will focus even more on ensuring healthy, local, organic or pesticide-free foods are being served in schools across the country.

As I wrote in an earlier blog, several Minnesota and Wisconsin schools have already moved towards healthy and organic lunches, including extensive salad bars and as much organic food as possible. And initiatives, like those led by the Chef Ann Foundation, have helped to move thinking about school lunches towards healthier, more diverse menu options. In some school districts, like Berkeley, California, not only is pesticide-free food served whenever possible, but children are also encouraged to grow their own healthy produce in organic gardens.

There’s a lot of good work happening out there — it’s exciting! But as parents, we do need to roll up our sleeves and pressure our school districts to provide safer, pesticide-free school food for our children. Hopefully by the time next year’s National School Lunch Week rolls around we’ll have even more success stories to share!

Medha Chandra is PAN’s Campaign Coordinator. Her work focuses on pesticide impacts on maternal and children’s health as well as international pesticide campaigns. She works closely with network members from other PAN regional centers around the world. Follow @ChandraMedha

0

Last week, WikiLeaks released the final text of the TPP’s intellectual property rights chapter, and it’s absolutely terrifying.

tpp-protestThese are just a few of its most dangerous pieces:

Compel ISPs to take down websites without any sort of court order, just like SOPA. (Appendix Section I)

Extend the US’s copyright regime to require copyrights stand for life plus 70 years, preventing anyone from using works that belong in the public domain. (Article QQ.G.6)

Criminalize whistleblowing by extending trade secrets laws without any mandatory exemptions for whistleblowers or investigative journalists. (QQ.H.8)

End anonymity online by forcing every domain name to be associated with a real name and address. (Article QQ.C.12)

Make it illegal to unlock, modify, or generally tinker with a device you own. (Article QQ.G.10)

Export the US’s broken copyright policies to the rest of the world without expanding any of the free speech protections, like fair use. (Article QQ.G.17)

The worst part is that this is just one of the TPP’s 30 chapters.

The final text confirms our worst fears — click here to take action demanding Congress vote NO on the TPP.

Hawaii-anti-TPP-protest-Marco-GarciaREUTERS-July-30-2015

Photo courtesy: http://www.maryscullyreports.com

For years, governments have held critics of the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement in a perfect catch 22. Officials brushed off public outcry and concern by claiming that the dissenters didn’t have all the facts.

This was by design—the 12 country trade deal was negotiated entirely behind closed doors by industry lobbyists and government appointees, and even now the text of the agreement is still classified.

But late last week, WikiLeaks released the final text of the Intellectual Property chapter, meaning those excuses won’t work anymore.

We’re planning to go all out against the TPP, but the first step is to make sure Congress knows just how many people oppose the TPP.

Click here to take action demanding Congress vote NO on the TPP.

tpp_protestersTaking action today is just the beginning, because if all we do is send emails and make phone calls, Congress is not going to reject the TPP. Too many giant industries are seriously invested in making sure Congress ratifies the TPP.

If we’re going to win, we need to go big. Which is exactly what we’re going to do.

So take action right now. Contact your Congresspeople now and tell them to vote against the TPP. Then get ready to do more because we’re going to unleash some of our strongest campaigns ever.

Already we have plans to work with hundreds of different groups as a massive coalition to fight the TPP, coordinate gigantic on-the-ground protests in key cities across the country, and produce compelling content to spread the word to as many different audiences as possible just what is at stake in the TPP.

To do all that, we need your help — if you can, pledge to chip in $5 every month between now and when the TPP fight ends so that we can run our biggest, boldest, and best campaign yet.

Thanks for all you do,
Charlie

P.S. Want to read the text of the chapter for yourself? Check it out on WikiLeaks here, or read their overview of it here. It’s long and complicated, so maybe you’ll see something that we didn’t. If you do, send us an email.

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Want to use more pesticides than the law allows? No problem. Just ask, they’ll change the label for you.

Trick or Treat? The Good Neighbor Program – A Masquerade Of Disclosure
Posted on October 9, 2015 by garyhooser, Guest Blogger
pesticide-application

Read through to the end please. You will see that disclosure is not really disclosure and the label is not really the law because these companies disclose only a fraction of what they use and change the label without telling us.

A win of sorts was announced today in Civil Beat.

http://www.civilbeat.com/2015/10/hawaii-to-expand-voluntary-pesticide-reporting-by-big-ag-companies/?cbk=56180df6ccad4&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=hawaii&utm_content=

It is an inadequate win, but a small win none-the-less for those who worked so hard on Bill 2491 and continue to work hard around our State on related issues over the past few years.

While the Good Neighbor Program of “volunteer disclosure” and 100′ buffer zones is woefully inadequate, there is no question that the amount of disclosure and the amount of public education that exists today is far more than what it was two years ago.

Many will say that the Good Neighbor Program is “better than nothing” and though sometimes I have mixed feelings about this, at the end of the day my conclusion is yes, it is better than nothing and is a step in the right direction.

Now we press to make it mandatory with government over-sight and have it include ALL of the pesticides used by these large multinational agrochemical companies.

The companies, their lobbyists and their State regulator/enablers think this will buy them some time. They can and now will say that they do disclose and they do have buffer zones. This statewide move is from the same 2491 playbook – offer voluntary industry self regulation to pacify the public and dilute the political need to pass a Bill mandating true disclosure and real meaningful buffer zones.

Why is the Good Neighbor Program not adequate? Why is it in large part a trick of non-disclosure masquerading as full disclosure?

The two main points which make the Good Neighbor Program entirely inadequate are:

1) The voluntary nature of the program means there is no government oversight, no verification of the accuracy of the reporting, no accountability and no penalty for providing false information. This is industry self-regulation and is insufficient. The industry has a local and global history of repeatedly misrepresented their actions and operations. To be meaningful any disclosure program requires independent verification.

9 MOST FREQUENT MISSTATEMENTS MADE BY CHEMICAL COMPANIES IN HAWAI’I http://tinyurl.com/9Misstatements-07-07-15

Read this New York Times story about how Syngenta misrepresents the facts: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/24/business/international/a-pesticide-banned-or-not-underscores-trans-atlantic-trade-sensitivities.html?_r=0

2) The Good Neighbor Program includes only a small fraction of the total pesticide usage by the large agrochemical companies.

a. Restricted Use Pesticide’s (RUP’S) are the most highly regulated but represent 25% or less of the total pesticides used by these companies. Approximately 18 tons of RUP’s are used annually on Kauai alone based on State Department of Agriculture historical sales data (the ONLY verifiable data available). See the exact calculations and the source documents for the 18 ton figure here: https://garyhooser.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/one-of-the-largest-and-most-credible-news-source-in-the-world-reports-on-kauai-and-the-chemical-companies/

The companies continue to refuse to disclose General Use Pesticide (GUP). Glyphosate was recently declared a “probably carcinogen” and one of the primary crops grown/tested is “Round-Up Ready” corn which requires the application of large amounts of glyphosate, yet the companies refuse to disclose their glyphosate use and it is not included in the Good Neighbor Program.

b. There are a dozen or more GUP’s being used by these same companies however the exact types and quantities used are unknown because there is no disclosure required. These additional GUP’s are also often labeled as hazardous to humans, animals and aquatic creatures, not to mention bee’s and other organisms.

c. A third group of pesticides being used by these companies and not being disclosed in the Good Neighbor Program are those pesticides referred to as “Special Local Need Label Registrations”.

These are pesticides in which the seller/user of the pesticide requests and receives from the State Department of Agriculture special consideration and exceptions to the existing Federal label requirement’s. These “special exceptions” include allowing the pesticides to be used in wind conditions double the recommended wind speed on the existing label, and increasing the frequency of pesticide applications above and beyond the federal recommendations.

These pesticides carry strong warnings as to health and environmental impacts, yet there is no public disclosure when the labels are changed/amended and no public disclosure via the Good Neighbor Program.

i. One of the pesticides where the label has been changed is Evik (herbicide where allowable windspeed was doubled (10mph to 20mph) for application on Maui sugar cane).

The Maui sugar industry complained to the State Department of Agriculture (SDOA) that it was too windy on Maui to use Evik and alternatives would be too costly and requested that the SDOA change the label on Evik to double the allowable wind speed from a maximum of 10mph to 20mph. The SDOA complied. There was no requirement to inform the public of the proposed change, no questions were asked as to the quantity of the herbicide being used, nor any in depth investigation as to the location of population centers, nor any discussion about the impact of burning the cane and the consequently the burning of that herbicide. Conditions were placed to minimize drift and the applicator admonished to not apply when drift might occur, but bottom line is the allowable wind speed was doubled, there was no public notification and little due diligence went into the decision making

Amended label for Evik is here: http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/labels/sln/1204_2017.pdf

The regular Evik label is here: http://www.syngentacropprotection.com/pdf/labels/scp786al19g1209.pdf

EvikDF-label
This label warns Evik is toxic to aquatic animals and to not use near waterways. There are numerous other warnings including warnings about burning the empty containers as a means of disposal.

ii. Another of the pesticides where the label has been changed is Tilt and is a fungicide used on corn.

The amended label allows for an additional application of this fungicide by shortening the break between a pre-harvest application from 30 days to 3 days is here: http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/labels/sln/1202_2017.pdf

The regular label is here: http://www.syngentacropprotection.com/pdf/labels/scp617al2m0509.pdf

This label warns that because of residue issues, no food crops or animal grazing should be done for 100 days after application. In addition there are numerous additional warnings.

iii. A third pesticide where the label has been amended without any disclosure or public notification is Admire Pro.

That amended label is here: http://hawaii.gov/hdoa/labels/sln/1102_2016.pdf

The regular label is here: http://www.cdms.net/LDat/ld74S003.pdf

Admire Pro is “highly toxic to bees” (and other organisms as well). This label also carries the below warnings:

IMPORTANT: THIS LABEL IS ONLY FOR USE BY AUTHORIZED BAYER CROPSCIENCE PERSONNEL, MEMBERS, OR THEIR GROWERS UNDER THE HAWAII CROP IMPROVEMENT ASSOCIATION AND MAY NOT BE COPIED OR RE-TRANSMITTED IN ANY FORM. NO PART(S) OF THE CROP TREATED WITH ADMIRE PRO Systemic Protectant SHALL BE DIVERTED AS FOOD FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION OR FEED FOR ANIMAL CONSUMPTION.

IMPORTANT: Bayer CropScience has not investigated the use of ADMIRE PRO Systemic Protectant for potential adverse interactions with any other crop protection or fertilizer products used in seed corn production, nor across potential commercial breeding lines. Therefore, adverse effects arising from the use of ADMIRE PRO Systemic Protectant on seed corn cannot be predicted and are therefore the responsibility of the User.

d. A fourth group of pesticides that are not disclosed in the Good Neighbor Program are those that require a “Experimental Pesticide Use Permit”. While the fact that these permits exist is known, the quantity and nature of the permits and experimental pesticide use is not known as there are no disclosure requirements.

Permit samples are here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B43mvAFMJQpcejRHVW8wbUE2SjQ/view

and also here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B43mvAFMJQpcOWI5MFVvY1kxeFk/view

Read The Actual Good Neighbor Program Requirements Here: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/files/2014/01/Voluntary-reporting-guidelines_11-12-13_FINAL.pdf
1) The voluntary buffer zone of 100’ is woefully inadequate. In addition the buffer does not apply to other areas where people regularly congregate such as businesses, parks, and roadways. In addition the buffer does not apply to streams or other sensitive environmental waterways. In any case 100’ is nothing.

2) Pre-application notices are only for schools, hospitals and medical clinics who register.

What about everyone else? Other homes and businesses or people traversing the area? There should be pre-notification for the entire community so people can avoid the area if they are concerned or represent an especially sensitive population (pregnant women, young children etc).

3) There is no provision of immediate disclosure in the case of suspected exposure by any resident who might be in the area.

A list of Special Local Need Label Registrations is here: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/files/2013/01/List-of-Active-SLNs-By-SLN-Number-with-Labels_01302015.pdf

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Anaergia files complaint against Maui Electric over a proposed energy project

Anaergia Services LLC has filed a complaint with Hawaii regulators against Hawaiian Electric Co. and its subsidiary Maui Electric Co. over a proposed energy project on Maui, according to public documents.

The projects include the Mahinahina Energy Park project, now known as Maui Energy Park, which would have been located near Maui County’s Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility, and a waste-to-energy project at the Central Maui Landfill in Puunene, the largest of four county-run landfills on the Valley Isle.

On Friday, the California-based company filed its complaint with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission claiming that the companies refused to accept its offer to sell and deliver renewable energy despite clear public interest benefits and energy policy goals its projects would achieve.

Anaergia also said that the companies refused and failed to forward requests for preferential rates for the purchase of firm renewable energy produced from agricultural crops to the commission for approval as required by law.

Anaergia said it has been and continues to be financially harmed and damaged by the companies’ refusal to accept its offers.

“In addition, the County of Maui, the general public, and MECO’s ratepayers have been, and will continue to be, financially harmed and damaged by HECO and MECO’s failures and unreasonable refusal to accept firm renewable energy from the Anaergia Cos.,” the company said in its complaint.
Anaergia is asking the commission to approve the preferential rates for the purchase of renewable energy by MECO and issue an order to MECO to negotiate a biogas fuel supply contract, among other requests.

“The projects we are pursuing are in the public interest,” Arun Sharma, president of Anaergia Americas, told PBN. “Our view is that our pricing is very competitive with the current cost of fuel. We tried very hard to negotiate a contract with MECO. Overall, the pricing saves customers a lot of money.”
Maui Electric, through its spokeswoman Kaui Awai-Dickson, told PBN that it has worked very hard with Anaergia to negotiate a contract that was in the best interests of its customers.

“However, in the end, the pricing they offered was too high and would have resulted in increased costs to our customers,” she told PBN in an email. “The contract also did not meet the legal requirements for preferential rates. Therefore, we could not responsibly submit such a contract to the PUC for approval.”
Earlier this year, Maui Electric decided to hold off on submitting to the PUC a power purchase agreement with Anaergia for a proposed agricultural energy project that would generate up to 6 megawatts of biogas energy.

In March 2014, Maui Electric received approval from the PUC to begin working on a power purchase agreement with Anaergia on the Mahinahina Energy Park project, now known as Maui Energy Park, which would have been located near Maui County’s Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility.
The PUC gave Maui Electric a waiver from the competitive bidding process and said that a fully executed power purchase agreement for the project must be filed within six months, which would have been in September 2014.

In a letter sent to the PUC earlier this year, Sharon Suzuki, president of Maui Electric, said that the two companies are continuing to discuss and explore the alternative option of Anaergia providing biogas to Maui Electric in lieu of selling power.

The project would have grown sorghum, an energy crop native to Hawaii, which is able to grow using the quality of water produced at the wastewater facility. The mature crops would have been harvested and converted naturally into a methane-rich gas called biogas in large tanks called anaerobic digesters.

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Maui’s One Chance To Get The Cable Service We Deserve

slow_internet-maui

Download Info:
CABLE-HEARING-TOOLKIT

Flyer-FINAL-8-2-15

 

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS ON TRANSFER OF OCEANIC TIME WARNER CABLE TO CHARTER

 

LAHAINA Tuesday, September 8  – 4:30PM West Maui Senior Center

WAILUKU – Friday, September 11 – 4:30PM Cameron Center Auditorium

LANAI    – Tuesday, September 15 – 12:00PM Lanai Senior Center

HANA – Wednesday, September 16 – 12:00PM Hana Community Center

MOLOKAI – Thursday September 17 – 4:00PM Kaunakakai Gym

 

Good News! The State DCCA has the power to require the new owners of the cable company to provide tangible benefits for Maui Nui residents as a condition of sale. If YOU speak up and be heard, you may finally have a chance to get the cable and Internet service you pay for. Please review the transfer documents on the DCCA website: http://cca.hawaii.gov/catv/cable_operators/charter-time. And feel free to use the following TALKING POINTS as a guide in preparing your testimony.

 

1. We want DCCA enforced service level agreements and rate transparency in Cable TV and Internet contracts so they cannot lie to us and charge us for fast Internet speeds and other services without actually delivering advertised performance.

 

2. Make digital cable TV, Fiber to the Home, and affordable, gigabit Internet available to EVERY resident and business in Maui County by 2020

 

3. Guarantee by contract that Akaku/PEG channels will be fully funded for the term of the franchise and displayed in the same manner and accessibility as PBS and Oahu local broadcast channels in analog, digital, HD, on every tier and on-demand on every device.

 

4. Customer service call centers, locations, field technicians and technical assistance must be available locally 24/7 x 365 with response times regulated by service agreements that include automatic refunds for lost service or outages.

 

5.  Free Wi-Fi, live transmission capability and high speed broadband service to, public and private schools, government buildings, hospitals, libraries, community centers, community media centers, non-profit agencies and public parks.

 

6. Guarantee that Charter matches the best public benefits it provides to any other location in the nation.

Send written testimony before Friday, September 25, 2015 to:

DCCA-CATV. P.O. Box 541. Honolulu, Hawai’i 96809

Email:  cabletv@dcca.hawaii.gov Fax:  808-586-2625

 

Go to akaku.org for more information

 

STATE TO HOLD PUBLIC HEARINGS ON TRANSFER OF OCEANIC TIME WARNER’S CABLE FRANCHISES TO CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS

 

SHOW UP AND BE HEARD!

 

LAHAINA Tuesday, September 8  – 4:30PM West Maui Senior Center

WAILUKU – Friday, September 11 – 4:30PM Cameron Center Auditorium

LANAI    – Tuesday, September 15 – 12:00PM Lanai Senior Center

HANA – Wednesday, September 16 – 12:00PM Hana Community Center

MOLOKAI – Thursday September 17 – 4:00PM Kaunakakai Gym

 

THERE IS GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS

FIRST, THE BAD NEWS

 

The Feds would not let the biggest cable company in America, Comcast buy the second biggest, Time Warner. Now all Oceanic Time Warner Cable systems in Hawaii are

about to be swallowed up by what, based on the evidence, could possibly be the worst cable company ever created, NEW CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS. But don’t take our word for it. Check out what cable consumers all over America are saying about the Old Charter. Below are some links to review in anticipation of the hearings. Holy mackerel! You won’t believe what you find here. Everything from through the roof pricing, to horrendous service, to slow Internet, to rude customer service… you name it.

If you can’t handle strong language, better not read these.

 

http://charter-communications.pissedconsumer.com/complaints.html

http://www.yelp.com/biz/charter-communications-glendale-3

http://www.charter-sucks.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CharterComplaints

http://www.complaintsboard.com/bycompany/charter-communications-a192.html

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/cable_tv/charter.html

BE INFORMED go to: http://cca.hawaii.gov/catv/cable_operators/charter-time-warner-cable-merger/ and review the posted documents. Check out FCC Form 394 Exhibit 6.

 

NOW FOR THE GOOD NEWS

 

Because this is a TRANSFER of CONTROL from Time Warner to Charter and not a rubber stamped, Franchise Renewal, the State DCCA has powerful discretion in requiring by force of contract, enforceable, tangible public benefit for Maui residents in exchange for Charter’s use of our valuable PUBLICLY OWNED RIGHTS OF WAY. DCCA is granting a telecommunications monopoly that is worth billions over the franchise term.

 

Akaku has reviewed and analyzed the transfer documents on the DCCA website and prepared these recommended TALKING POINTS you, the consumer, can use as a guide to inform your testimony and spec out the multichannel video service and fast Internet system you want for the next fifteen or twenty years!

 

TALKING POINTS ON THE OCEANIC TIME WARNER/CHARTER MERGER

 

1. CHARTER APPLICATION FOR TRANSFER OF CABLE SERVICE IS INCOMPLETE

In its Response to DCCA questions in its application, Charter refused to answer questions re: Section IV.C (1) listing names and locations of current franchises, and number of subscribers and gross revenues for each. It has claimed in several incidences that essential information requested by DCCA is “not within the DCCA’s scope of review”, “not reasonably necessary”, “burdensome”, “non-jurisdictional”, “overbroad” or “unrelated to the Transaction”. Charter has not adequately explained character issues regarding sexual discrimination and discrimination against people with disabilities cited in Section IV.B of their Application and in FCC Form 394 Exhibit 6., Charter has not adequately explained its legal, financial or technical capabilities. The Charter Application lacks specificity and detail in multiple responses to DCCA questions i.e. Response in Section II.G, General Information regarding changes, is deficient and incomplete. Response to IV.E, Technical Qualifications and Plans, are so incomplete that their lack of specificity makes them almost meaningless.

 

2. WE WANT A COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM FOR THE 21st CENTURY WITH ENFORCABLE SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENTS.

We want DCCA to put concrete language in ironclad contracts in addition to the franchise agreement that enforce rate transparency and service level agreements with Charter so they cannot lie to us and charge us for fast broadband Internet speeds and MVDS/OTT services without actually delivering advertised performance. We want cable programming service agreements as well. These agreements should contain penalties for non-compliance and be reviewable by DCCA every two years.

 

3. DCCA MUST NOT ALLOW CHARTER TO USE MULTICHANNEL VIDEO PROGRAMMING DISTRIBUTION SERVICES (MVPDS) OR OTHER TECHNICAL MEANS TO CIRCUMVENT FRANCHISE FEE PAYMENTS

Everyone knows technology is evolving at blinding speed and what we used to call “TV” is being delivered everywhere and on every device. Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) delivery of multichannel distribution of video content Over the Top (OTT) should not be used to circumvent franchise fee funding of community communication and cable regulation. DCCA must recognize this and mandate by contract that Akaku/PEG channels are fully funded for the term of the franchise at minimum present day levels and displayed in the same manner and accessibility as PBS and Oahu local broadcast channels in analog, digital, HD, on every tier and on-demand on every device.

 

4. CHARTER’S NON-COMMITMENT TO PEG ACCESS IN RESPONSE TO SECTION IV.E 10 and NOTE 13 NOTWITHSTANDING, CHARTER NEEDS TO AGREE TO FULLY FUND AKAKU, PBS, AND DCCA CABLE AND BROADBAND REGULATION AT AMOUNTS EQUIVALENT TO NO LESS THAN PRESENT (2015) FRANCHISE FEE LEVELS ADJUSTED FOR INFLATION FOR THE FRANCHISE TERM. THIS MINIMUM LEVEL OF FUNDING MUST BE PROVIDED REGARDLESS OF CHANGES IN FEDERAL OR STATE LEGISLATION DURING THE TERM OF THE FRANCHISE.

 

5. CHARTER MUST PROVIDE MINIMUM BROADBAND SPEEDS BY CONTRACT

Upload and download Internet speeds must be guaranteed by contract at affordable rates. Currently Internet service from Oceanic Time Warner is inconsistent, unreliable and erratic in most areas of Maui Nui making it difficult to move large media, data or medical files. In its application, Charter has promised minimum download broadband speeds of 60 mbps and a 300 mbps rollout on Maui. In the era we are entering called the “Internet of Things”, this is simply not good enough. Charter needs to demonstrate concrete plans to meet the State of Hawai’i’s stated broadband goal of Symmetrical Gigabit Internet Service to all Hawaii residents by 2018. These speeds need to be codified by contract in enforceable service agreements with its customers and all rural areas including Hana, Lanai and Molokai must be included in the expansion. A three-year rate freeze should be put into effect as well.

 

6. THE CHARTER APPLICATION PROMISED TRANSITION TO ALL DIGITAL NETWORKS WITHIN 30 MONTHS OF CLOSE OF TRANSACTION with a caveat that 1% of homes will not be upgraded to digital within this timeframe. Charter must agree by contract that Maui, Molokai and Lanai subscribers will not be part of this 1% digital divide and that Akaku PEG channels and channel designations will be preserved and transitioned to digital and HD in the same manner as PBS and local broadcast with channel placement and compression algorithms approved by Akaku and by DCCA in advance of transition.

 

7. CHARTER MUST COMMIT TO PUBLIC INTEREST BANDWIDTH AND FIBER TO THE HOME.  Charter must set aside a minimum of 10% of its total bandwidth for HD and on-demand options for all PEG channels. Charter must also agree to a 100% Fiber build out to the home (FTTH) for all voice, data, cable and Internet subscribers within 4 years of close of transaction or by the end of 2020 whichever comes first.

 

8. LOCAL CUSTOMER SERVICE STANDARDS MUST BE MAINTAINED

Customer service call centers, locations, field technician and technical assistance must be available locally 24/7 x 365 with prompt response times regulated by service agreements. Agreements must include automatic refunds for lost service or outages.

 

9. CHARTER MUST PROVIDE FREE Wi-Fi AND UPSTREAM VIDEO CONNECTIONS TO COMMUNITY ANCHOR INSTITUTIONS AND DESIGNATED FACILITIES. To support economic development and education, Charter Communications must provide live upstream transmission capability and high speed broadband service to designated Community Anchor Institutions, public and private schools, government buildings, hospitals, libraries, community centers, community media centers, non-profit agencies, and public parks.

 

10. CHARTER MUST MATCH BEST PUBLIC BENEFIT DEAL  A “most favored nation” clause should be included in the franchise agreement that would require Charter to meet or exceed any public benefit service provided by Charter in any of its markets at the request of the DCCA if the DCCA determines the service to be in the best interest of the public.

 

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Mahalo to The Center for Food Safety for Suing the USDA over censorship of GMO records.   We will take back our food supply eventually.  Our nation too.

U.S. regulator sued for withholding information on GMO crops

 A food safety advocacy group sued an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday, saying it illegally withheld public information on genetically engineered crops.

The lawsuit, brought by the Center for Food Safety (CFS) against the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), claims the regulator has routinely failed to respond as required to requests for records that relate to many concerns with the GMO crops.

The lawsuit accuses the agency of violating the Freedom of Information Act dozens of times, unlawfully withholding information for more than 13 years. APHIS had no immediate response.

In particular, the lawsuit alleges that the agency failed to respond as required to requests for records related to new GMO regulations that APHIS proposed in 2008 but withdrew earlier this year.

The lawsuit also accuses the agency of failing to respond as required to inquiries about the handling of experimental genetically engineered wheat that was found growing uncontrolled in an Oregon field in 2013. That incident led to lost U.S. wheat export sales as foreign markets feared contaminated supplies.

The lawsuit says APHIS has also failed to respond to requests or withheld records it sought about the handling of other experimental crops that the group believes have escaped review and regulation.

The requests have covered GMO wheat, rice, alfalfa, sugar beets, bent grass, corn and other GMOs. Delays in providing information have run years for some requests, and violated federal law covering the release of public information, according to the lawsuit.

For years, advocacy groups, lawmakers and others critics have harshly criticized U.S. regulation of GMOs as too lax. APHIS has been cited in government auditing for oversight lapses. Some GMO contamination events have led to food recalls and disrupted trade.

In July, the White House directed APHIS and the two other U.S. agencies that oversee biotech crop products, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration, to improve and modernize their regulatory framework to boost public confidence.

The CFS lawsuit, filed in federal court in Washington, asks the court to declare APHIS’s actions unlawful and order the agency to produce the records by date to be set by the court. CFS also asks that the court supervise the regulator for compliance.

The Freedom of Information Act provides for the release of federal agency records when requested, with certain exemptions and provisions, and imposes strict deadlines on government agencies to respond.

(Reporting by Carey Gillam; Editing by David Gregorio)

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Pesticides in paradise: Hawaii’s spike in birth defects puts focus on GM crops

Local doctors are in the eye of a storm swirling for the past three years over whether corn that’s been genetically modified to resist pesticides is a source of prosperity, as companies claim, or of birth defects and illnesses

By Christopher Pala in Waimea for The Guardian

Pediatrician Carla Nelson remembers catching sight of the unusually pale newborn, then hearing an abnormal heartbeat through the stethoscope and thinking that something was terribly wrong.

The baby was born minutes before with a severe heart malformation that would require complex surgery. What worried her as she waited for the ambulance plane to take the infant from Waimea, on the island of Kauai, to the main children’s hospital in Honolulu, on another Hawaiian island, was that it was the fourth one shehad seen in three years.

In all of Waimea, there have been at least nine in five years, she says, shaking her head. That’s more than 10 times the national rate, according to analysis by local doctors.

Nelson, a Californian, and other local doctors find themselves in the eye of a storm swirling for the past three years around the Hawaiian archipelago over whether a major cash crop on four of the six main islands, corn that’s been genetically modified to resist pesticides, is a source of prosperity, as the companies claim – or of birth defects and illnesses, as the doctors and many others suspect.

After four separate attempts to rein in the companies over the past two years all failed, an estimated 10,000 people marched on 9 August through Honolulu’s Waikiki tourist district. Some signs like, “We Deserve the Right to Know: Stop Poisoning Paradise” and “Save Hawaii – Stop GMOs” (Genetically Modified Organisms), while others protested different issues.

“The turnout and the number of groups marching showed how many people are very frustrated with the situation,” says native Hawaiian activist Walter Ritte of the island of Molokai.

Seventeen times more pesticide
Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 1.02.11 PM
Waimea and the GMO fields. The two orange-roof buildings at bottom left are the Middle School. The one to its right is the hospital. Photograph: Christopher Pala for the Guardian

Waimea, a small town of low, pastel wood houses built in south-west Kauai for plantation workers in the 19th century, now sustains its economy mostly from a trickle of tourists on their way to a spectacular canyon. Perhaps 200 people work full-time for the four giant chemical companies that grow the corn – all of it exported – on some 12,000 acres leased mostly from the state.

In Kauai, chemical companies Dow, BASF, Syngenta and DuPont spray 17 times more pesticide per acre (mostly herbicides, along with insecticides and fungicides) than on ordinary cornfields in the US mainland, according to the most detailed study of the sector.

That’s because they are precisely testing the strain’s resistance to herbicides that kill other plants. About a fourth of the total are called Restricted Use Pesticides because of their harmfulness. Just in Kauai, 18 tons – mostly atrazine, paraquat (both banned in Europe) and chlorpyrifos – were applied in 2012. The World Health Organization this year announced that glyphosate, sold as Roundup, the most common of the non-restricted herbicides, is “probably carcinogenic in humans”.

The cornfields lie above Waimea as the land, developed in the 1870s for the Kekaha Sugar Company plantation, slopes gently up toward arid, craggy hilltops. Most fields are reddish-brown and perfectly furrowed. Some parts are bright green: that’s when the corn is actually grown.

Both parts are sprayed frequently, sometimes every couple of days. Most of the fields lie fallow at any given time as they await the next crop, but they are still sprayed with pesticides to keep anything from growing. “To grow either seed crops or test crops, you need soil that’s essentially sterile,” says professor Hector Valenzuela of the University of Hawaii department of tropical plant and soil science.

When the spraying is underway and the wind blows downhill from the fields to the town – a time no spraying should occur – residents complain of stinging eyes, headaches and vomiting.

“Your eyes and lungs hurt, you feel dizzy and nauseous. It’s awful,” says middle school special education teacher Howard Hurst, who was present at two evacuations. “Here, 10% of the students get special-ed services, but the state average is 6.3%,” he says. “It’s hard to think the pesticides don’t play a role.”

At these times, many crowd the waiting rooms of the town’s main hospital, which was run until recently by Dow AgroSciences’ former chief lobbyist in Honolulu. It lies beside the middle school, both 1,700ft from Syngenta fields. The hospital, built by the old sugar plantation, has never studied the effects of the pesticides on its patients.

The chemical companies that grow the corn in land previously used for sugar refuse to disclose with any precision which chemicals they use, where and in what amounts, but they insist the pesticides are safe, and most state and local politicians concur. “The Hawai‘i legislature has never given the slightest indication that it intended to regulate genetically engineered crops,” wrote lawyer Paul Achitoff of Earthjustice in a recent court case.

As for the birth defects spike, “We have not seen any credible source of statistical health information to support the claims,” said Bennette Misalucha, executive director of Hawaii Crop Improvement Association, the chemical companies trade association, in a written statement distributed by a publicist. She declined to be interviewed.

Nelson, the pediatrician, points out that American Academy of Pediatrics’ report, Pesticide Exposure in Children, found “an association between pesticides and adverse birth outcomes, including physical birth defects”. Noting that local schools have been evacuated twice and children sent to hospital because of pesticide drift, Nelson says doctors need prior disclosure of sprayings: “It’s hard to treat a child when you don’t know which chemical he’s been exposed to.”

Her concerns and those of most of her colleagues have grown as the chemical companies doubled to 25,000 acres in a decade the area in Hawaii they devote to growing new varieties of herbicide-resistant corn.

Today, about 90% of industrial GMO corn grown in the US was originally developed in Hawaii, with the island of Kauai hosting the biggest area. The balmy weather yields three crops a year instead of one, allowing the companies to bring a new strain to market in a third of the time.

Once it’s ready, the same fields are used to raise seed corn, which is sent to contract farms on the mainland. It is their output, called by critics a pesticide delivery system, that is sold to the US farmers, along with the pesticides manufactured by the breeder that each strain has been modified to tolerate.

Corn’s uses are as industrial as its cultivation: less than 1% is eaten. About 40% is turned into ethanol for cars, 36% becomes cattle feed, 10% is used by the food industry and the rest is exported.

‘We just want to gather information’

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 1.00.51 PM
A march against pesticides in Hawaii. Photograph: Christopher Pala for the Guardian

At a Starbucks just outside Honolulu, Sidney Johnson, a pediatric surgeon at the Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children who oversees all children born in Hawaii with major birth defects and operates on many, says he’s been thinking about pesticides a lot lately. The reason: he’s noticed that the number of babies born here with their abdominal organs outside, a rare condition known as gastroschisis, has grown from three a year in the 1980s to about a dozen now.

“We have cleanest water and air in the world,” he says. So he’s working with a medical student on a study of his hospital’s records to determine whether the parents of the gastroschisis infants were living near fields that were being sprayed around the time of conception and early pregnancy. He plans to extend the study to parents of babies suffering from heart defects.

“You kind of wonder why this wasn’t done before,” he says. “Data from other states show there might be a link, and Hawaii might be the best place to prove it.”

Unbeknownst to Johnson, another two physicians have been heading in the same direction, but with some constraints. They’re members of a state-county commission appointed this year to “determine if there are human harms coming from these pesticides”, as its chairman, a professional facilitator named Peter Adler, tells a meeting of angry local residents in Waimea earlier this month. Several express skepticism that the panel is anything but another exercise in obfuscation.

The panel of nine part-time volunteers also includes two scientists from the chemical companies and several of their critics. “We just want to gather information and make some recommendations,” Adler tells the crowd of about 60 people. “We won’t be doing any original research.”

But one of the two doctors, a retired pediatrician named Lee Evslin, plans to do just that. “I want see if any health trends stand out among people that might have been exposed to pesticides,” he says in an interview. “It won’t be a full epidemiological study, but it will probably be more complete than anything that’s been done before.”

The panel itself, called the Joint Fact-Finding Study Group on Genetically Modified Crops and Pesticides on Kauaʻi, is the only achievement of three years of failed attempts to force the companies to disclose in advance what they spray and to create buffer zones – which they do in 11 other states, where food crops receive much less pesticides per acre.

The pushback from the expansion of the GMO acreage first emerged when Gary Hooser of Kauai, a former state senate majority leader who failed in a bid for lieutenant governor in 2010, ran for his old seat on the Kauai County council in 2012.

“Everywhere I went, people were concerned about GMOs and pesticides. They were saying, ‘Gary, we gotta do something’,” he recounts over coffee at the trendy Ha Coffee Bar in Lihue, the island’s capital. “Some were worried about the GMO process itself and others by the threats of the pesticides, and it became one of the dominant political issues.”

Once elected, Hooser, who has a ruddy complexion, piercing blue eyes and arrived in Hawaii as a teenager from California, approached the companies for information about exactly what they were spraying and in what amounts. He was rebuffed.

In the process of what he called “doing my homework”, he discovered that the companies, unlike regular farmers, were operating under a decades-old Environmental Protection Agency permit to discharge toxic chemicals in water that had been grandfathered from the days of the sugar plantation, when the amounts and toxicities of pesticides were much lower. The state has asked for a federal exemption for the companies so they can avoid modern standards of compliance.

Screen Shot 2015-08-23 at 1.00.38 PMHe also found that the companies, unlike regular farmers, don’t pay the 4% state excise tax. Some weren’t even asked to pay property taxes, worth $125,000 a year. After pressure from Hooser and the county tax office, the companies paid two years’ worth of back taxes.

So with the backing of three other members of the seven-member Kauai council, he drafted a law requiring the companies to disclose yearly what they had grown and where, and to announce in advance which pesticides they proposed to spray, where and when. The law initially also imposed a moratorium on the chemical companies expanding their acreage while their environmental impact was assessed.

After a series of hearings packed by company employees and their families wearing blue and opponents wearing red, the bill was watered down by eliminating the moratorium and reducing the scope of the environmental study. The ordinance then passed, but the companies sued in federal court, where a judge ruled that the state’s law on pesticides precluded the counties from regulating them. After the ruling, the state and the county created the joint fact-finding panel officially committed to conducting no new research.

Hooser is confident the ruling will be overturned on appeal: the Hawaii constitution “specifically requires” the state and the counties to protect the communities and their environment.

In his appeal, Achitoff of Earthjustice argued that Hawaii’s general pesticide law does not “demonstrate that the legislature intended to force the county to sit and watch while its schoolchildren are being sent to the hospital so long as state agencies do not remedy the problem.”

In the Big Island, which is called Hawaii and hosts no GMO corn, a similar process unfolded later in 2013: the county council passed a law that effectively banned the chemical companies from moving in, and it was struck down in federal court for the same reasons. A ban on genetically modified taro, a food root deemed sacred in Hawaiian mythology, was allowed to stand.

In Maui County, which includes the islands of Maui and Molokai, both with large GMO corn fields, a group of residents calling themselves the Shaka Movement sidestepped the company-friendly council and launched a ballot initiative that called for a moratorium on all GMO farming until a full environmental impact statement is completed there.

The companies, primarily Monsanto, spent $7.2m on the campaign ($327.95 per “no” vote, reported to be the most expensive political campaign in Hawaii history) and still lost.

Again, they sued in federal court, and, a judge found that the Maui County initiative was preempted by federal law. Those rulings are also being appealed.

In the state legislature in Honolulu, Senator Josh Green, a Democrat who then chaired the health committee, earlier this year attempted a fourth effort at curbing the pesticide spraying.

In the legislature, he said, it’s an open secret that most heads of the agriculture committee have had “a closer relationship with the agro-chemical companies than with the environmental groups”.

Green, an emergency room doctor who was raised in Pennsylvania, drafted legislation to mandate some prior disclosure and some buffer zones. “I thought that was a reasonable compromise,” he says. Still, he also drafted a weaker bill as a failsafe. “If even that one doesn’t pass, it’s going to be obvious that the state doesn’t have the political will to stand up to the chemical companies,” he said in a phone interview at the time. “That would be terrible.”

The chairman of the senate agricultural committee, Cliff Tsuji, didn’t even bring the weaker bill to a vote, even though Hawaii’s governor had pledged to sign any bill that created buffer zones.

Asked by email what he would do now, Green replied with a quip: “Drink scotch.”

This report was supported by a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

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Jeffrey Smith’s commentary about strategy and the future of non-GMO activism in light of the passage of the DARK Act by the House of Representatives


As of July 23, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would consolidate federal control of labeling initiatives for genetically modified foods. This underscores the importance of consumer education about the health risks of dangerous GMOs.

Listen to Jeffrey Smith’s commentary about strategy and the future of non-GMO activism in the light of the passage of the DARK Act by the House of Representatives last week.

This is a must watch for activists and IRT supporters, as Jeffrey shares some ideas and observations that most have not heard before.

for more info go to www.responsibletechnology.org

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Protesters against the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, including a former agriculture minister of Japan, outside a Maui resort where negotiators are meeting.

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Patent Protection for Drugs Puts Pressure on U.S. in Trade Talks
By JONATHAN WEISMANJULY 30, 2015 NEW YORK TIMES

LAHAINA, Hawaii — With 12 nations pressing to conclude the largest regional trade accord ever, United States officials find themselves squeezed between activists pressing to secure access to low-cost pharmaceuticals and Republicans who say Congress will reject a deal without strong patent protections for the drug industry.

Negotiators gathered this week in Maui hoping the long-sought accord might be finished by Friday. But dozens of issues remain unresolved on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which would link nations like Canada, Chile, Australia and Japan under rules of commerce covering 40 percent of the global economy.

No issue seems to elicit more passion than pharmaceuticals, with both sides using the language of life and death.

“The goal of the pharmaceutical industry is to change the rules internationally, to change global norms with a new monopoly that is cheaper for the companies and stronger,” said Judit Rius Sanjuan, a legal policy adviser for Doctors Without Borders’ medical access campaign, which wants lower-cost drugs on the market faster.

On the other side, Senator Orrin G. Hatch, the Utah Republican who is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, singled out the next generation of pharmaceuticals, called biologics, and warned on Wednesday that “a strong intellectual-property chapter — including strong patent and regulatory data protections for biologics — is vital to securing congressional support for this trade deal.”

The complexity of the pharmaceutical issues illustrates how difficult it will be to agree on broad trade rules for 12 countries, including giants like the United States and Japan and developing counties like Peru, Malaysia, communist Vietnam and tiny Brunei. United States negotiators are using novel arguments to secure positions. For instance, they are pushing to mandate open access to the Internet as an antipiracy measure, so Hollywood can use streaming videos to completely cut out the often copied DVD.

But medicines remain a delicate problem, and if Japan’s last stand is on rice and Canada’s is on dairy, the United States’ might be on pharmaceuticals.

About 5,600 medicines are in development in the 12 TPP countries, with 3,372 of them in the United States, including more than 900 biologics, which are grown from live cells, according to the Senate Finance Committee. The industry contributes nearly $800 billion to the United States economy each year.

United States law protects pharmaceutical patents for 12 years, allowing drug makers to recoup their research-and-development investments before generic companies can come in with far cheaper versions. Negotiators for the United States say they are obligated to defend American law, even though President Obama has been pushing to shorten the patent protection to seven years.

But Congress can always change that window to conform to trade deals, said Representative Sander M. Levin, Democrat of Michigan and an observer in Hawaii.

“It happens all the time,” he said. “That’s what a transition period is for.”

Countries in the negotiations have windows of eight years or less. Australia has dug in at five.

“I’ve got a mandate for five,” Andrew Robb, Australia’s trade and investment minister, said, arguing that with complex biologics, it takes six or seven years for generic-drug makers to develop what are known as “biosimilars.”

Activists here who cut their teeth during the AIDS drug wars 15 years ago want generic-drug makers to compete with pharmaceutical firms as soon as a drug reaches the market.

James Love, an activist with Knowledge Ecology International, and his wife, Manon Anne Ress, of the Union for Affordable Cancer Treatment, who has cancer, spent the flight to Maui pressing Michael B. Froman, the United States trade representative, to secure access to expensive cancer drugs for people like Ms. Ress, who pays $30,000 out of her own pocket for her drugs now.

Negotiators already seem to be backing away from the hard-line United States position. Observers to the negotiations say the 12-year patent window almost certainly will be scaled back to five to seven years, a move that will anger both the pharmaceutical firms and their allies, and the activists. The Pacific accord is structured so that other countries can join in the future, and the belief on both sides of the pharmaceutical fight is that once 12 nations ratify rules, they will become international standards.

Then there are politics. Australian negotiators simply do not believe that their Parliament will accept any patent protection beyond five years for drug companies that are so dominated by the United States. What left-wing members of Parliament see as price gouging also comes straight out of the government’s coffers, because pharmaceuticals are paid for by Australia’s national health service.

But patent protection is only one issue. Drug companies are also pressing to make the data they collect during clinical trials exclusive and protected. That would require generic drug companies to replicate much of the process that created the drugs they seek to copy. “Data exclusivity” is a more ironclad protection than a patent, because smaller pharmaceutical makers cannot afford to file patent applications in every country they do business in.

And they want access to the extrajudicial tribunals envisioned in the TPP’s investor-state dispute settlement chapter. The tribunals are designed to give investors legal recourse if a government changes policies in ways that hurt the value of their investments.

The United States team is trying to find some middle course that preserves pharmaceutical companies’ ability to recoup their research investments and preserves their incentive to innovate while finding alternative ways to ensure access to drugs. That might mean transition periods for poorer countries that let cheap alternatives in and keep older drugs on the market longer. It could also mean incentives for United States drug companies to invest in TPP countries that accept stronger intellectual-property protections.

The activists have been pressing for much more significant changes, such as a mandatory government fund to finance clinical trials, taking that cost off Big Pharma’s balance sheet. But that approach seems to be a restructuring of the pharmaceutical industry that most negotiators cannot accept.

“There’s been no effort on U.S.T.R.’s part to foster innovation outside the private sector, none,” Mr. Love said, referring to the United States trade representative.

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Tulsi Gabbard, Maui’s U.S. Congressional Representative, denounced the TPP this morning on the floor of the House of Representatives

Get info and join tomorrow’s event!

Gabbard: “The people of Hawaii and all Americans are rightfully concerned about how this (secret TPP) trade deal will impact our jobs, our families, our economy, our environment, and our nation’s sovereignty…People from Hawaii and around the world are gathering tomorrow on Maui to protest this secret deal. They are sick and tired of multinational corporations benefiting on the broken backs of working class Americans and they will not stop until their voices are heard.”

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Amy’s Organics Opens Their First Fast Food Restaurant – Support Non-GMO, Non-Chemical Dependent Foods!

The crowds have been non-stop during the first week of business at a California fast food restaurant, with a twist. It’s a drive-through that is actually good for you.

It is the nation’s first organic drive-through restaurant. It has only been open five days and already it is struggling to keep up with demand.

Hungry customers at the new Amy’s drive thru were patient and determined to order lunch. The wait is really long. Some said they heard the wait was 20 minutes long.

The line inside the restaurant was almost out the door, all for a chance to try organic, vegetarian fast food.

Kelsea Baraga is trying a veggie Amy burger and brought her mom along to try it too.

“Processed foods definitely are big on my mind. My daughter keeps bugging me about going vegetarian,” customer Amy Braga said.

You won’t find burgers or fried chicken on the menu, but you will see healthier options such as vegan Mac ‘N’ Cheese and gluten free pizza.

“The actual demand has been a bit overwhelming,” Paul Schiefer from Amy’s Restaurant said.

Schiefer says the local company, which has been making frozen organic foods for years, never dreamed the restaurant would be such a hit.

“So many people have shown up and it’s giving us a lot of hope that this is a concept that works,” Schiefer said.

Carolyn and James Wasielewski came from Petaluma to check it out.

Carolyn said they came to “celebrate good food and be healthy.”

James is still skeptical. He had the vegetarian burrito and said, “It could be better, but it’s edible.”

The food is sustainably grown, including the roof. Employees are paid a living wage with health benefits.

If business stays like this Amy’s plans to open other drive-through across the Bay Area.

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Watch This Young Man Explain Bernie v. Hillary: This Kid is Amazing; WATCH


The Democratic Party Presidential Primaries have produced two clear candidates ready to battle in its early stages: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Hillary is the obvious frontrunner, killing every other candidate in the polls, but Bernie Sanders is rapidly rising at second place.

This young man understands that this isn’t really any choice at all and does a great job of explaining the race to come.

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Roundup (Glyphosate) May Be The Most Biologically Disruptive Chemical in Our Environment – Monsanto has known about research connecting glyphosate to cancer since the 1970s.

anthony-samsel-GMO-summitby Brian Shilhavy – Guest Blogger Editor, Health Impact News

Dr. Anthony Samsel was recently interviewed by Tony Mitra, where he discussed certain documents he has in his possession from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that allegedly show Monsanto knew about research connecting glyphosate to cancer since the 1970s.

Dr. Samsel is a research scientist and consultant who has been studying the toxicity of glyphosate, the world’s most prevalent herbicide used in commercial agriculture on GMO crops, for many years now. He has authored several papers with Dr. Stephanie Seneff on the toxicity of glyposate, including:

  • Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff. “Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases III: Manganese, neurological diseases, and associated pathologies.” Surgical Neurology International 2015, 6:45.
  • Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff, ” Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance.” Interdiscip Toxicol. 2013; 6(4): 159-184.
  • Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff, “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases” Entropy 2013, 15(4), 1416-1463; doi:10.3390/e15041416

The biotech agricultural community has laughed off these studies primarily by attacking Dr. Samsel and Dr. Seneff’s credentials on this topic.

However, they are not laughing anymore.

In March of this year (2015) the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report listing glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic” in causing non-Hodgkin lymphoma and prostate cancer. The news made headlines in most of the major mainstream media outlets.

Dr. Samsel states that glyphosate is not a “probable” carcinogen, but it is a carcinogen, based on studies that were hidden for years as they were classified as “trade secrets.” Here is the trailer for this interview:

In this interview, Dr. Anthony Samsel states that he now has documents received from the EPA which are “trade secret” documents belonging to Monsanto. These documents allegedly are safety studies about glyphosate from the late 1970s to the early 1980s, and others beyond those dates.

The documents reference animal studies, according to Samsel, with short-term and long-term studies conducted on mice, rats, rabbits, and dogs. Monsanto allegedly asked the EPA to seal these documents as “trade secrets” so no one else could review the data from these studies.

Samsel discusses one particular study on rabbits that looked at the effects of glyphosate on the skin. They monitored the rabbits’ blood chemistry, and one of their findings found an increase of lactate dehydrogenase, an enzyme in the blood related to tissue damage.

Another study, according to Samsel, showed that glyphosate went right into the animal’s bone marrow. Samsel claims this is dangerous, because new cells are born in the marrow and pass on to the thymus gland, where T-cells and white blood cells are eventually formed. Samsel considers this significant, especially in light of the recent WHO report that listed glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic” in causing non-Hodgkin lymphoma and prostate cancer.

Next Samsel discussed long-term studies conducted in rats that lasted 26 months. He considers those studies very significant. The reason they are very significant, is because they used a control group and much lower doses of glyphosate. Most people believe that the higher the exposure to the herbicide, the greater the effect. Samsel stated that glyphosate has an “inverse dose response relationship,” and that this is clearly shown in the Monsanto “trade secret” studies.

According to Samsel, these studies from 1978 to 1980 by Biodynamics in New Jersey clearly showed tumor growths in many organs at low doses of glyphosate. These studies were submitted to the EPA in 1981. The studies showed significant tumor growth in organs such as the kidneys, but these studies were dismissed as “not significant,” primarily by allegedly manipulating the control groups.

Here is Part 1 of the interview:

In Part 2, Dr. Samsel explains how one of the ways Monsanto was able to dismiss results of their studies was by using a standard lab animal feed supplied by Purina, which is known to increase carcinomas. This animal feed was in the “control” animals, to minimize the effects of the results in animals exposed to glyphosate. Samsel states that he has “several studies” that show this link between the lab feed and cancers.

Dr. Samsel returns to the topic of the enzyme lactate dehydrogenase, which was found in animal studies among the sealed documents. He states that this particular enzyme can induce cancer, and that significant lactate dehydrogenase increases were confirmed in more than one animal study.

Dr. Samsel stated that he is still sifting through all the data from these sealed documents, and that he is about to write a paper on glyphosate and cancer. He states that these “trade secret” documents are documents that Monsanto had the EPA seal so that nobody could revisit the data. According to Samsel, these documents show:

unequivocally, that glyphosate causes cancer.

Should it be on the market? No. Should it be in our food? No.

He states that taking glyphosate off the market will not necessarily solve the problem if they substitute it with another herbicide.

No herbicide belongs in our food.

Whether it is 2,4-D, Dicamba, Glufosinate…. there should be no herbicides in our food because it disrupts our bacterial homeostasis, and it disrupts our immune system. When we disrupt our bacteria and the microbiota within us, disease ensues. Disease begins with the destruction of our microbiome.

Listen to Part 2:

 

More information about Glyphosate.

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– See more at: http://healthimpactnews.com/2015/glyphosate-causes-cancer-epa-trade-secret-sealed-files-reveal-cancer-link-known-back-in-the-1970s/#sthash.v5ep0zY8.xLhluGnA.dpuf

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GMO Soy Accumulates Formaldehyde & Disrupts Plant Metabolism, Suggests Peer-Reviewed Study, Calling For 21st Century Safety Standards

Study Concludes FDA GMO Approval Process is Flawed, Outdated, and Unscientific

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WASHINGTON, July 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — A new study published today in the peer-reviewed journal AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES reveals genetic engineering of soy disrupts the plant’s natural ability to control stress, and invalidates the FDA’s current regulatory framework of “substantial equivalence” used for approval of genetically engineered food (GMOs).

The study, led by Dr. V.A. Shiva Ayyadurai, Ph.D., an MIT-trained systems biologist, utilizes his latest invention, CytoSolve, a 21st century systems biology method to integrate 6,497 in vitro and in vivo laboratory experiments, from 184 scientific institutions, across 23 countries, to discover the accumulation of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, and a dramatic depletion of glutathione, an anti-oxidant necessary for cellular detoxification, in GMO soy, indicating that formaldehyde and glutathione are likely critical criteria for distinguishing the GMO from its non-GMO counterpart.

Dr. Ayyadurai stated, “The results demand immediate testing along with rigorous scientific standards to assure such testing is objective and replicable. It’s unbelievable such standards for testing do not already exist. The safety of our food supply demands that science deliver such modern scientific standards for approval of GMOs.”

“The discovery reported by Dr. Ayyadurai reveals a new molecular paradigm associated with genetic engineering that will require research to discover why, and how much formaldehyde and glutathione concentration, and what other cellular chemicals relevant to human and animal health, are altered. We need the kinds of standards Dr. Ayyadurai demands to conduct such research,” stated Dr. Ray Seidler, a former EPA Senior Scientist. “Formaldehyde is a known class1 carcinogen. Its elevated presence in soybeans caused by a common genetic engineering event is alarming and deserves immediate attention and action from the FDA and the Obama administration. Soy is widely grown and consumed in the U.S., including by infants fed baby food products, with 94% of soy grown here being genetically engineered,” declared Seidler.

The study concludes the U.S. government’s current standards for safety assessment of GMOs, based on the principle of “substantial equivalence,” is outdated and unscientific for genetically engineered food since it was originally developed for assessing the safety of medical devices in the 1970s. The current criteria for assessing “equivalence” considers only basic nutritional and superficial characteristics such as taste, sight, smell and touch, for declaring GMOs safe for human consumption, allowing them to be fast-tracked to market without independent scientific testing. If formaldehyde and glutathione were criteria, then the GMO would likely not be deemed “equivalent” to its non-GMO counterpart. This finding calls into question the FDA’s food safety standards for the entire country.

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Local Maui Production Wins The Day in GMO Political Effort. B’cast Outlets Win Even Bigger.

Political History was made recently on Maui and Small Wonder Video Services was on the front lines. Sam Small served as the principle Creative Director and Small Wonder Video Services as the principle Production Company for the SHAKA Movement (Sustainable Hawaiian Agriculture for the Keiki and the ‘Aina).

SHAKA made history collecting over 19,000 petition signatures to get the first ever Citizen’s Initiative on a Maui County ballot.  The “GMO Moratorium” temporarily suspends genetically modified crop production and associated open-field chemical testing until an Environmental Public Health Impact Statement shows no harm is being done to the people or any of the Public Trust natural resources.

History was also made when Monsanto and Dow, the only Chemical Companies impacted by the moratorium, contributed nearly $8 Million for local advertising, the most spent in any campaign ever in Hawaii.

In all, only 46,005 votes were cast, 22,005 against the moratorium, so Big Ag spent around $360 for each “No” vote.

“They couldn’t have spent more if they tried” say Small, “They had TV spots on every channel, on every show, half-hour infomercials multiple times daily on multiple channels, and as much radio as a political campaign can legally buy.  Every few days everybody’s mailbox was stuffed with another color, glossy, oversized mailing too. ”

23,082 people voted “Yes”, so SHAKA spent all of $3.70 for each of it’s votes.

“Monsanto and Dow outspent us nearly 100-to-1 and still they lost.” says Small. “Our total budget, for production and placement, across all media, was just $86,000.”

Small Wonder Video Services functioned as a full service agency, generating and placing four TV and a dozen radio spots as well as press releases, bumper stickers, yard signs, brand logos, websites, web banner ads and print ads. They covered a slew of live events with multi-camera setups and Sam hosted 13 weekly, hour-long interview shows on Akaku, Maui’s Public Access TV.

“I’ve three favorite moments from the campaign”, says Small, “When KITV ran a news piece about a staged P.R. event where Monsanto paid employees to show up at the county building to wave signs, the reporter opened with “The big dogs in Public Relations are out in Maui County over the GMO voter initiative.” I just sat back and gave a one-word response: “Woof”.

“The second was the day after we actually got our voter initiative on the ballot. A big P.R. firm called from LA asking to shoot interviews on Maui and Oahu. We got pretty far into the planning when they added Molokai to the list. That got me suspicious, as there’s not a lot of reasons to shoot interviews on Molokai.

When I asked he paused and said “I probably should have asked up front where you stand on the whole GMO thing, our client is the Groceries Manufacturers Association. “  The GMA is the lobbying group that Monsanto and the other Agro-Chemical companies fund to fight GMO labeling.

“I laughed and told him I was the Chair of SHAKA’s Media Content and Production Committee and since I hosted a weekly TV show that consistently pounded Monsanto for the environmental and heath risks they create, if I showed up on his shoot we’d both be fired on the spot.  It was nice to be asked for such a high profile gig but not one I could take.” said Small.

“My most favorite moment though was when it was announced that we had won the election. I was so focused on everything leading up to Election Day that I really didn’t have it on my mind what to do if we won or lost. I was in shock. And I was filming the proceedings, so I basically worked during the ensuing celebration. It didn’t really hit me till later, then I cried.”

“What an extraordinary community effort to go up against these corporate giants on such an important and controversial issue, and win. The dedication and love of life and the land shown here, especially by those who reached into Maui’s diverse communities to talk story was humbling. Media helped but people created Maui’s GMO Miracle.” said Small.

Small Wonder also produced 30 second TV spots for Mayoral Candidate Tamara Paltin and a :60 for State Senatorial Candidate Terez Amato.

Predictably, lawsuits were filed two days after the election. The ripple effects of Maui’s Miracle Victory will continue to spread, perhaps all the way to the Supreme Court.

Fueled by Maui’s community activism Sam created a new local initiative called Maui Causes. Maui Causes is a crowd-funded media group providing production services to not-for-profit, environmental and progressive causes on Maui.

The Maui Causes weekly TV show airs on Akaku’s Channel 55 with new episodes every Monday at 7PM and replays on Sunday at 7PM. View it too at www.MauiCauses.org. Maui Causes is currently seeking underwriters, so it’s a great opportunity to get your company name in front of this community and support Maui’s causes that make a difference.

 

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Stop Cane Burning Files Legal Action to Invalidate HC&S Burn Permit – First Case for New Environmental Court

burnVSstackFor Immediate Release July 2, 2015

PressRelease_StopCaneBurningFilesLawsuit-v4

Wailuku, Maui – On July 1 Stop Cane Burning filed suit against the Hawaii Department of Health (DoH) alleging that the regulatory system which allows open air agricultural burning is unconstitutional. Their attorney, Lance D. Collins, is asking for an injunction to immediately stop agricultural burning on Maui. This is the first case on Maui to be filed in the new Environmental Court.

Cane burning in Hawai’i was adopted during the territory period as an industry wide practice after indentured servitude was abolished.

In 1971, the DoH gave sugar plantations three years to end cane burning. Then head of the Air Sanitation Branch (now called Clean Air Branch) Robert S. Nekomoto cited a 1967 study which found a high incidence of asthma among people who breathed cane smoke. In 1973 backyard burning was banned on O’ahu and DoH banned it on all islands in 2012 saying “Open burning creates an unnecessary nuisance and possible health risk due to the smoke and air pollution it produces.”

“Does it make sense that backyard burning is banned as a health risk but HC&S is allowed to burn 36,000 acres six days a week, nine months per year?” asked plaintiff, Karen Chun who heads up Stop Cane Burning.

“HC&S has been dragging their feet and promising the end of cane burning is just around the corner for 44 years,” added plaintiff Brad Edwards. “We don’t believe them any more.”

The lawsuit has been filed in the Environmental Court.
The lawsuit asserts five separate counts.

•First, the state Air Pollution Control Act lacks any standards upon which the DoH may lawfully adopt rules and the rules that have been adopted constitute an unlawful delegation of legislative power in violation of Article III, Section 1 of the State Constitution.

•Second, permitting of agricultural burning violates Article XI, Section 9 of the State Constitution’s right to a clean and healthful environment.

•Third, permitting of agricultural burning constitutes a breach of the public trust protected under Article XI, Section 1 of the State Constitution.

•Fourth, exempting agricultural burning from the general ban on open air burning is an irrational classification in violation of the equal protection clause of Article I, Section 5 of the State Constitution.

•Fifth, DoH failed to consider the Hawai’i Environmental Policy Act (HRS Ch. 344) when it promulgated the rules for permitting of open air agricultural burning and are invalid.

The plaintiffs are:
Stop Cane Burning:
Stop Cane Burning was founded in 2011 and continues a 40 year fight to clean up the air on Maui and stop the six days per week cane burning for nine or ten months a year. This smoke often drops on schools, homes, businesses and roads, causing acute breathing problems and long term health damage. As the trades have decreased and population downwind has increased, the smoke is affecting the health of more and more people. Stop Cane Burning is working to end this archaic and damaging practice.

Trinette Furtado:
Born and raised on Maui , Trinette Furtado is the product of plantation ‘ohana. Three generations of her ‘ohana have worked for the sugar mill; her tūtūkane even having worked as a personnel manager, receiving one of the first houses of a housing project off Lāhainaluna Rd on Pauoa St. She graduated from Maui High and UH-Mānoa and currently works as a web designer.
Now a web developer and community activist living in Ha’ikū, Trinette is concerned about the health and well being of her 10-year old daughter who attends Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Pā’ia, a school surrounded by cane fields and inundated by cane smoke on burn days.
She is adamant that “the sugarcane industry is not ‘a Hawaiian institution’. It was not KĀNAKA who industrialized it”. She seeks to improve the health of ALL the residents of Maui.

Brad Edwards:
Brad Edwards was born on Oahu. His great grandparents arrived in Hawaii in the late 1800’s from Portugal and worked hard to make a living by opening up a Portuguese bakery on the town side of the island. Brad attended college in California, earning a degree in Environmental Science and Social Work, and he has been working with at-risk children and families for almost 15 years.

In his work with children and families on Maui, Brad says he has become all too familiar with many of the challenges and struggles that families on Maui face and sees firsthand the negative health effects that children, including his hanai son, face when they have no choice but to breathe in smoke from local cane fires.

“I’ve heard the countless promises made by HC&S over the past 30 years to find alternative harvesting methods and crops, only to be disappointed year after year by their lack of effort to implement necessary changes.” Brad values the employment opportunities that sustainable farming offers here on Maui and looks forward to a time when all of Maui can benefit from clean, healthy, and sustainable farming jobs that keep our air clean and our island green.

Karen Chun:
Karen Chun believed HC&S when they said their smoke was harmless until she got Reactive Airway Disease from a bad burn in 2011. She vowed she’d do everything possible to prevent smoke from ruining anyone else’s health and founded Stop Cane Burning that same year. Her kids are descendants of cane workers who came from Japan in the very early 1900s. She has a MS degree in engineering and is an avid outrigger canoe paddler and state medalist. Although lung disease has damaged her competitiveness in the last four years, she still paddles as much as she is able.

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Links:
Complaint: http://Stopcaneburning.org/pdf/scbcomplaint150701.pdf
Honolulu Star Advertiser: State Orders End To Cane Burning on Feb 9,1971
Link: http://tinyurl.com/1971Stop
Trinette Furtado Photo: http://tinyurl.com/trinetteF

Contact:
Lance D. Collins, Esq (808) 243-9292 lawyer@maui.net
Karen Chun (808) 283-3049 info@stopcaneburning.org
Trinette Furtado (808) 2148157 pelesgrrl@gmail.com

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Maui’s right to know if Monsanto and Dow really are killing us has been Pre-empted by the long tentacles of Corporate Greed and Corruption. It’s on to appeals.

Federal Judge Rules Maui County Ban on GMO Crops Invalid
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HONOLULU — Jun 30, 2015, 8:11 PM ET By AUDREY McAVOY Associated Press Plus More

A federal judge says a ban by Maui County on the cultivation of genetically engineered crops is pre-empted by federal and state law and invalid.

U.S. District Court Judge Susan Oki Mollway said in a ruling Tuesday that the ordinance creating the prohibition exceeds the county’s authority.

Maui County spokesman Rod Antone says the county will abide by the judge’s ruling.

Mollway emphasized that the ruling is not a statement on whether genetically modified organisms are beneficial or detrimental.

“The court recognizes the importance of questions about whether GE activities and GMOs pose risks to human health, the environment, and the economy, and about how citizens may participate in democratic processes,” she said. “But any court is a reactive body that addresses matters before it rather than reaching out to grab hold of whatever matters may catch a judge’s fancy because the matters are interesting, important, or of great concern to many people.”

“The court stresses again, so that no lay party has any misapprehension on this point, that it is ruling purely on legal grounds. No portion of this ruling says anything about whether GE organisms are good or bad or about whether the court thinks the substance of the Ordinance would be beneficial to the County.”

Maui voters passed the ordinance when they approved a ballot initiative last November. The measure imposes a moratorium on the growing of genetically engineered crops until scientific studies are conducted on their safety and benefits. The ordinance would only allow the moratorium to be lifted after a vote by the Maui County Council.

Mark Sheehan, one of five citizens who sponsored the ballot initiative, said his group will appeal the order. He expressed disappointment that Mollway ruled on what he called procedural issues instead of addressing the substance of their argument.

He said the ordinance was specifically written to address issues not found in state statue. Further, he said the law requires the county to protect the health of the environment and the public, said Sheehan, who is a member of the group Sustainable Hawaiian Agriculture for the Keiki and the Aina Movement, or SHAKA.

“That was lost on the judge, so we will have to move along and have to find justice for the constitutional rights of the people of Maui at another level,” he said.

Hawaii’s year-round warm weather makes the islands a favorite research spot for companies that use genetic engineering to develop new types of corn and other crops. The weather allows researchers to grow more generations of crops and accelerate their development of new varieties.

Monsanto has two farms in Maui County, on Maui and Molokai islands. Agrigenetics, which does business as Mycogen Seeds, has a farm on Molokai.

There has been little scientific evidence to prove that foods grown from engineered seeds are less safe than their conventional counterparts. But fears persist in Hawaii and elsewhere. In the islands, these concerns are compounded by worries about the companies’ use of pesticides.

The measure imposes a moratorium on the growing of genetically engineered crops until scientific studies are conducted on their safety and benefits. The ordinance would only allow the moratorium to be lifted after a vote by the Maui County Council.

Monsanto Co. and Dow Chemical Co. unit Agrigenetics Inc. have farms in the county to research genetically engineered crops.

Maui’s right to know if Monsanto and Dow really are killing us has been Pre-empted by the long tentacles of Corporate Greed and Corruption. It’s on to appeals.

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Judge more interested in who’s got authority and her love of Papayas than doing anything about the risk of exposure to dangerous chemicals you suffer everyday. She continues delay, to Monsanto’s benefit.  

 

Published June 15, 2015 Associated Press

HONOLULU – A federal judge said Monday that the key question before her in lawsuits related to a Maui County ban on the cultivation of genetically modified crops is whether federal and state law trump county law.

Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway of the U.S. District Court in Honolulu said she

GMO demonstrators on the first floor of the Capitol building during opening ceremonies at the legislature. 21 jan 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

GMO demonstrators on the first floor of the Capitol building during opening ceremonies at the legislature. 21 jan 2015. photograph Cory Lum/Civil Beat

.

Michael Carroll, a lawyer for a citizens group that sponsored a Maui County ballot initiative creating the ban, told Mollway that the federal and state governments aren’t regulating genetically engineered crops, so the county has the authority to regulate them.

But an attorney for Monsanto Co. and Dow Chemical Co. unit Agrigenetics Inc. — both of which research genetically engineered crops in Maui County — told Mollway the state and federal governments already regulate the crops. Margery Bronster said the county doesn’t have the authority to do so.

Mollway is considering two separate lawsuits on the issue.

The first, filed by the seed companies and their allies, challenges a Maui County law created when voters passed a ballot initiative last year. The law imposes a moratorium on GMO crops until scientific studies are conducted on their safety and benefits.

The second, filed by five citizens who sponsored the ballot initiative, seeks to compel the county to enforce the ordinance.

Both Bronster and Carroll pointed to work performed by a Hawaii state Department of Agriculture biotechnology specialist to support their arguments.

Bronster said the specialist’s mandate was to inspect every regulated field in the state, and he conducted more than 1,000 inspections on fields during the last fiscal year.

“The regulations at both the state and federal level set out elaborate requirements of what needs to be done,” Bronster told Mollway.

But Carroll countered that the same state worker testified he found dozens of herbicides during his inspections, but he didn’t know what they meant because there weren’t any Environmental Protection Agency benchmarks or health standards for the substances.

Mark Sheehan, one of the five citizens, was disappointed that Mollway’s questions focused on whether state and federal law pre-empt county law.

“That the people might have a right to health was of no concern,” said Sheehan, who is a member of the Sustainable Hawaiian Agriculture for the Keiki and the Aina Movement or SHAKA.

There has been little scientific evidence to prove that foods grown from engineered seeds are less safe than their conventional counterparts. But fears persist in Hawaii and elsewhere. In the islands, these concerns are compounded by worries about the companies’ use of pesticides.

Hawaii’s year-round warm weather makes the islands a favorite research spot for companies that use genetic engineering to develop new types of corn and other crops. The weather allows researchers to grow more generations of crops and accelerate their development of new varieties.

Monsanto has two farms in Maui County, on Maui and Molokai islands. Agrigenetics, which does business as Mycogen Seeds, has a farm on Molokai.

“I don’t know if this is quotable, but it sucked,” Mark Sheehan, a member of the SHAKA Movement, said of Monday’s hearing.

The SHAKA Movement is the grassroots organization that advocated to get the moratorium approved last fall despite Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences spending over $7 million to defeat the initiative.

The bill hasn’t gone into effect due to a legal challenge from biotech companies and local businesses who argue that federal, state and county laws preempt the ordinance. The SHAKA Movement filed a separate case seeking to force the county to enforce the bill. Monday’s hearing dealt with both cases.

Observers said Mollway spent much of the hearing grilling Michael Carroll, the attorney representing the SHAKA Movement, about whether the county has the authority to regulate agriculture.

Within the past year, another federal judge, Barry Kurren, has struck down Kauai County and Hawaii Countys attempts to regulate pesticide use and genetically modified farming. Kurren ruled that state law doesn’t give counties that authority.

“I’m optimistic that if we don’t win at the district court level then we’ll win on appeal,” Carroll said in a phone interview after the hearing.

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“OutGrow Monsanto” GMO Free Maui’s Event, Visited by Neil Young, Daryl Hannah, Lukas and Micah Nelson.  Planting and Performance of Neil’s New Song “The Monsanto Years” Ensues.


We have marched against Monsanto. We have petitioned, we have testified, we have VOTED, and we have WON an election against Monsanto.

Saturday May 23rd, while the world marches against Monsanto, on Maui we go a step further: we actively work toward a Maui future without Monsanto.

We plant the solution to Out Grow Monsanto!

Join GMO Free Maui, Alika Atay, and Simpli Fresh Farms as we spend this world-wide day of action against Monsanto with our hands in the soil, planting food that will bring Maui one step closer to food sovereignty, and a future that doesn’t depend on predatory, toxic agriculture.

GMO Free Maui is also announcing new leadership this week, new goals for the coming year, and a new website and community involvement plan. Mahalo to hundreds of supporters who came to be a part of this incredible day!

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Maui Causes TV Show #3 Not-For-Profits at Earth Day on Maui 2015 Part 2

akaku-show-3 Join us as we talk story with the Maui Not-For-Profits at Maui’s Earth Day Festival 2015

Find out what’s going on with Hospice Maui, Doorway Into Light, Maui Whale Trust, Ahimsa Farm Sanctuary, Patients Without Time, Maui Farmers Union United, Kū’ē Petition, Dr. Joe Marshalla (founder of the Shaka Movement), and more….

Replay on Akaku CH 55 Sunday 5/17 and on the web right here soon.

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Hawaii Poised to Become the First State to Ban Wild Animal Entertainment Acts

Posted by Davi Lang, Animal Legal Defense Fund Legislative Coordinator on May 12, 2015

circus-elephants-cc-ana-gremard-article-image-1200-630-1024x538Last week, Hawaii Governor David Ige announced his pledge to cease issuing permits for wild animal performances in the State of Hawaii. This would make Hawaii the first state in the U.S. to effectively ban wild animal entertainment acts.

 

Governor Ige’s announcement comes twenty years after the tragic incident in Honolulu involving an elephant named Tyke, who was trained and used by the notorious Hawthorn Corporation—an exhibitor with a lengthy history of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act. Despite Tyke’s history of escapes and attacks, Hawthorn still provided her to be used in Circus International at the Neal Blaisdell Center in Honolulu in 1994. While in Honolulu, Tyke went on another rampage, trampling a groomer, killing a handler, and injuring a dozen bystanders on the streets of downtown Honolulu. Local police ended up opening fire on the panicked and frightened Tyke, who sustained 86 gunshot wounds before she finally collapsed. Tyke then suffered for another two hours as she slowly died on the street from her injuries. A new documentary about the incident, called Tyke the Elephant Outlaw, currently is appearing at major film festivals around the world.

Dozens of U.S. cities have banned the use of bullhooks and other cruel training devices, and some have banned exotic or wild animal performances altogether. Just last month, San Francisco became the largest U.S. city to enact such a ban, and a Pennsylvania state senator has introduced a similar ban on traveling exotic animal acts. According to company officials, such measures played a significant role in Ringling Bros. recent decision to phase out the use of elephants in its circus.

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture plans to place the proposed policy change on its June agenda. But because that rulemaking process could take several months, Gov. Ige’s has ordered the Department of Agriculture to immediately deny all further permits for wild animal performances.

ALDF applauds Governor Ige for this progressive and compassionate decision to make Hawaii the first U.S. state to end the cruel and outdated practice of using wild and exotic animals for entertainment. Recognition is also due to those advocates and organizations on the ground who engage with decision-makers to lay the groundwork for such victories. ALDF will continue to assist in these efforts by employing all litigation and legislative means help to bring an end to all further use of animals in entertainment acts.

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Humanized Chimpanzees – How Far Will Genetics Go? How Much Human DNA Will Make a Person?

Animal Legal Defense Fund Opens New Frontier for Animal Personhood as Scientists Create Human-Animal

Posted by Christopher A. Berry, ALDF Staff Attorney on May 15, 2015

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What are the legal implications for splicing human cells into nonhuman animals? When does an animal become a person—how much human material is required? Where do we draw the legal line? Cutting-edge research in “chimera” science blurs traditional morality and raises critical new questions. And human protection laws may provide the clues we need to solve this puzzle.

Many people would be surprised to discover that for more than a decade scientists have been creating human-animal chimeras by grafting human stem cells into animal bodies. This results in purely human cells replacing some of the animal parts. The effect of this process cannot be totally predicted, but is largely determined by the type of human stem cell, where the stem cells are grafted, and the youth of the animal. Scientists have also been creating transgenic human-animal creatures where human DNA is added to an animal’s genetic sequence. A traditional use of these chimeric and transgenic creatures involves grafting human immune cells into mouse bodies because this is thought to produce more accurate results in biomedical research that uses the mice to study human diseases. But a string of recent revolutionary new research involves humanizing animal brains, resulting in chimeras and transgenics with significantly enhanced cognitive abilities.

In one study from 2013, researchers implanted human glial progenitor cells—a type of brain cell that supports neurons in the brain and contributes to cognitive function—into mice brains, causing a significant increase in mouse learning ability and change in behavior. In another example from 2014, researchers replaced an animal gene with the human FOXP2 gene which is understood to be strongly associated with human language ability. Remarkably, the researchers found that the mice with the humanized FOXP2 gene learned certain information faster than their non-humanized litter mates. Other published experiments have resulted in human glial progenitor cells completely overtaking mice brains, and the human HARE5 gene causing mice to grow significantly enlarged brains. More dramatic experiments are already underway.

Shockingly, there are no laws generally regulating this type of research involving animals with humanized and augmented intelligence. There is no special oversight, no prohibition against creating apes or monkeys with humanized brains, and no requirement that any animals that might eventually exhibit human-like intelligence receive human-like rights. Thus, mere self-restraint holds researchers back from conducting research with even more moral ambiguity than the research already being done. A team that created chimeras where human glial progenitor cells completely overtook mouse brains said that they considered doing the experiment with monkeys but simply “decided not to” because of the ethical issues.

To fill this regulatory void, ALDF filed a formal rulemaking petition with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) asking that agency to enact regulations under the Public Health Services Act. The Public Health Services Act imposes a duty on HHS to protect the rights of human research subjects in all federally-supported research. 42 U.S.C. § 289. These protections include informed consent, assessment of risks and benefits, and equitable selection of subjects. 45 C.F.R. §§ 46.101, et seq. Specifically, ALDF’s rulemaking petition asks HHS to enact regulations that (1) require special oversight of all research involving human-animal chimeras and transgenics, and (2) require that animals exhibiting human-like intelligence as a result of those experiments be granted all protection normally given to human research subjects. HHS has until December 2017 to respond to ALDF’s petition.

While the adoption of ALDF’s rulemaking proposal helps promote the welfare of human-animal chimeras and transgenics by requiring additional oversight, the real value is in obtaining personhood status for those animals exhibiting human-like intelligence. As it stands now, the only member of the animal kingdom with personhood status is the human species. By compelling the legal system to recognize that biologically manipulated animals with human-like intelligence and at least a drop of human DNA ought to receive the same rights as human research subjects, we can build a bridge between rights for humans and rights for all the other animals.

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We, the jury: “Pioneer failed to follow generally accepted agricultural and management practices.”  Awards Kauai residents $500K  – Company officials are “Disappointed”.

tractor-webGet used to disappointment Dupont/Pioneer, Monsanto, Dow and all the others: This is just the beginning of the people fighting back against Big Ag’s illegal exploitation of Hawaii’s land and people.

To paraphrase the jury: Pioneer failed to follow generally accepted agricultural and management practices.   Pioneer’s farming operation was the legal cause of damage, significantly interfering with Waimea residents’ use and enjoyment of their property.

BAM!

Company officials are “disappointed”.   Screw them! They knew what they were doing and are criminals. Pioneer has done and is doing worse. This is just the beginning of the people fighting back.

A federal court jury awarded a total of $507,090 in damages to 15 Wai­mea residents who say they can’t enjoy their homes because of red dust from test fields operated by DuPont Pioneer on Kauai.

The average settlement per person awarded damages was $33,806 per person or $56,343 per household. Only 10 households took part in the trial portion, and the judgements awarded will be used in negotiations for a mass settlement for over 150 people and could total over $5 Million. Though it does not address the health and environmental impacts, which are our greatest concerns, today is a huge victory in the courts for all the people of Hawaii in Kauai, Maui, Molokai and Oahu who are affected by the chemical test fields. This is the first class action lawsuit against the chemical companies regarding the pesticide dust and we doubt it will be the last. Expect an appeal from the DuPont/Pioneer legal team who spent some of the case having giggling exchanges and cracking quiet jokes to each other in the courtroom.
After a four-week trial, the seven-member jury reached its verdict Friday: $191,315 for property damage and $315,775 for loss of use and enjoyment of property.
The residents filed lawsuits in 2011 and 2012 against the seed company formerly called Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. in state court on Kauai, claiming the red dust from the company’s Wai­mea Research Center field caused extensive damage to their properties, but both cases were moved to federal court in Hono­lulu.

After the verdict, residents’ attorney Patrick Kyle Smith said he was elated for his clients. “We hope it makes things better in Wai­mea,” said Smith outside the courtroom.

DuPont Pioneer’s attorney, Clem­ent Glynn, declined to comment on the verdict. But in an emailed statement, DuPont Pioneer spokes­woman Laurie Yoshida said company officials are disappointed in the verdict and will evaluate their options in the coming days.

 

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THE ORGANIC EFFECT: What happens when a family that usually doesn’t eat organic food suddenly starts? Startling Results!

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Want to know what happens in your body when you switch from eating conventional food to organic? Watch this! The study was conducted by the Swedish Environmental Research Institute IVL, and the full report is available here:
https://www.coop.se/organiceffect

From COOP.SE:
We wanted to know more about what happens in the body when switching from conventional to organic food. The result was so interesting that we made a film to share with the masses.  We want to inspire more people to eat organic – we think it’s good for both people and the environment.

The study shows that choosing organic food can reduce the level of pesticides in the body. When the family switched to organic food, both the occurrence and the number of pesticides were reduced.

Read MORE:

 

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UPDATE: BRIAN MURPHY OUT ON PROBATION!!! Should be home today. Interesting Timing???

freed-BrianOur Question is: Were they holding Brian so he couldn’t participate in the legislative process that just created Dispensaries rather than Full On Legalization? Hawaii’s Pot Mafia protected their Billions of profits in Black Market Recreational Pot by steering the debate towards Dispensaries for Medical Marijuana that are a Financial Burden for Sick People. Now that they see the light at the end of that tunnel they could afford to release Brian???? The corruption of this state is sickening.

Brian’s hearing for early parole is this Thursday at 8:30AM at the Wailuku courthouse in Courtroom 3 (Justice Cardoza’s courtroom). We at “Justice for Brian Murphy” are guardedly optimistic that he will be released but we do not want to take the power of the people, in this case his (local) supporters for granted.

We ask you to PLEASE write the Judge a letter of support if you have not already. If you live in the islands you can still mail it in the next 24 hours and it should get to the judge before Brian’s hearing, these are important and they do matter! It does not have to be more than a few sentences; polite and supporting letters asking for his immediate release on medical and ethical grounds.

Please mail them to: Judge Joseph Cardoza 2145 Main Street Wailuku, Hawai`i 96793-1679

Also, Brian has asked his supporters to please attend his hearing on Thursday. Please help us pack the seats of the courthouse by coming out to support Brian! Please come out for Brian and show your support in a respectful manner to let him know you care if you are able.

Thank you so much for all your support!

(Please feel free to share the contents of this to your wall or use to email to your own friends and feel free to sign your name and remove mine.)

Justice for Brian Murphy

freed-Brian

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EPA regulator set to release key herbicide report, lauds biopesticides. May signal direction change away from synthetic chemicals…

With Commentary From Zen Honeycutt from Mom’s Across America:
Who urges us all to Call the EPA 703-308-8187 Neil Andersen and demand that they REVOKE the license of glyphosate. Demand that they include the levels of glyphosate in mother’s breast milk in their draft assessment of glyphosate, of whether to approve it for another 15 years, which will be announced in July. Now is the time everyone, make sure we are LOUD for the next month.

Click on Zen’s Picture to watch her video posted on facebook

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WASHINGTON By: Carey Gillam, Reuters • The Environmental Protection Agency has wrapped up its review of the world’s most widely used herbicide and plans to release a much-anticipated preliminary risk assessment no later than July, the regulator’s chief pesticide regulator told Reuters.

The EPA review of the health and environmental impacts of glyphosate comes at a time of intense debate over the safety of the chemical, and after the World Health Organization’s cancer research unit declared in March that glyphosate was “probably carcinogenic.”

Jim Jones, assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, said the agency’s review of the health and environmental impacts of glyphosate was concluded months ago, but its report was delayed to allow the agency to learn more about the WHO findings.

Jones said he expects the preliminary risk assessment to generate extensive public interest and comment.

Glyphosate is an ingredient in Roundup herbicide and more than 700 other products sold globally. It is popular with farmers, and is used broadly on genetically altered corn, soybeans and other crops. Creve Coeur-based Monsanto Co., the maker of Roundup, made roughly $5 billion in revenue last year from glyphosate.

Jones declined to provide details about the conclusions.

Consumer and environmental groups cite a range of concerns about the chemical and have been demanding restrictions on its use, but agribusiness companies say there are no valid safety concerns and that the chemical is a key agricultural tool.

After the EPA issues the preliminary risk assessment for glyphosate, the agency will take public comments before formalizing a final regulatory proposal.The EPA’s upcoming draft risk assessment on glyphosate comes at a time when Monsanto and other agrichemical companies are developing biopesticides, which are based on natural organisms like plant and soil microbes rather than synthetic chemicals, and seen by some as alternatives to traditional pesticides.

Jones said the EPA is encouraging development of biopesticides because they “have very favorable human health and environmental profiles.” He said they are likely to overtake synthetic chemicals in agriculture at some point if their use continues what he called “dramatic” growth.

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Union Of 30,000 Doctors In Latin America Wants Monsanto Banned!  ““We believe the precautionary principle should be applied…”

It was announced this week that over 30,000 doctors and health experts throughout Latin America are demanding that Monsanto’s products be banned. One of the primary cases that these doctors are bringing against Monsanto is the recent confirmation that their main herbicide RoundUp is actually responsible for causing cancer.

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“In our country glyphosate is applied on more than 28 million hectares. Each year, the soil is sprayed with more than 320 million liters, which means that 13 million people are at risk of being affected, according to the Physicians Network of Sprayed Peoples (RMPF),” Argentina’s union of medical professionals, Fesprosa said in a statement.

The Fesprosa union is comprised of over 30,000 medical health professionals, most of whom wish to enact the ban on Monsanto products, and specifically the chemical glyphosate, the active chemical in RoundUp.

“We believe the precautionary principle should be applied, and that we should stop accumulating studies and take decisions that could come too late. We advocate a ban on glyphosate which should take effect in the short term with restrictions on purchasing, spraying and packaging,” Javier Souza, coordinator of Latin American pesticide action network said.

We cannot allow the business interests of a North American multinational to be more important than the health of the people of our region. Governments should promote the technology and practices of organic farming to protect growers, consumers and the environment,” Franco Segesso, coordinator of the campaign at Greenpeace Andino said.

As we reported earlier this year, Monsanto is continuing to lose profits into the second quarter of 2015, shedding an exceptional 15% profit amid falling GMO seed sales — even more than most experts projected.


John Vibes writes for True Activist and is an author, researcher and investigative journalist who takes a special interest in the counter culture and the drug war.
Read More: http://www.trueactivist.com/union-of-30000-doctors-in-latin-america-wants-monsanto-banned/?utm_source=fb&utm_medium=fb&utm_campaign=antimedia

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Mayor Arakawa wants PUBLIC TO PAY $400,000 for NON-SCIENTIFIC, FAKE “GMO STUDY”  $50K from Maui. Testimony needed this week to STOP THIS CHARADE

Thanks to the wonderful Autumn Rae Ness:monsanto-puppet

Phone calls and testimony needed from NOW until FRIDAY.

The Mayor proposed a line item grant for $50,000 to the State Department of Agriculture to be used as matching funds (meaning the State would throw in $50k as well) for participation in a “GMO study”.

a. Since the proposal was first received by the Council, a few important facts have come to light. ie:

i. Turns out this is not a “study” at all, but instead a Joint Fact Finding working group (JFF) being led by a mediation company called Accord 3.0.

One look at their website and you will learn that they are not led by scientists qualified to conduct a GMO study, but are instead “social scientists” specializing in mediation and negotiation problem solving.

The website admits that this “JFF group will not produce original research.”

This is important to note because what we really need is original research, soil and water samples and a study that is specific to what is occurring here, in Hawaii.

Given the track record of these companies, with this kind of a fact finding group, and in the absence of any new, Maui specific data, Monsanto and Dow will pressure the group to find “no harm” and then use that against any future oversight, on county AND state levels. When dealing with these companies, it’s actually dangerous to participate in any study in which the integrity of the data isn’t carefully protected.

ii. DOA is requesting matching funds to extend this JFF Statewide from what is already underway for Kauai. In doing the math that is a grand total of $400k for a Statewide JFF, that will give us absolutely no new data specific to Hawaii for the chemical testing operations conducting business here today.

iii. Currently, (2) Council members (Cochran & Couch) have “proviso’d” the $50k line item to read: “Provided that the $50k shall be used for a GMO study and shall not be used for a JFF or for mediation services.”

The members have requested a response from the Office of Economic Development, as to whether or not this type of provision would be accepted by the DOA.

If the response is not returned in the affirmative, the plan is then to recommend deletion of the funding all together.

How you can help?

1) Testify in person any day this week at 9:00 a.m., in the Council chambers- that the $50,000 line item to State DOA not be used to fund mediation services or a JFF, but instead shall be used to fund an EIS, specific to Hawaii that collects soil and water samples around the Monsanto and Dow test fields and their effects.

2) Testify my email: This week BF.Committee@mauicounty.us

3) Politely call the member’s offices this week to express the same sentiments.

Baisa 270-7939

Carroll 270-7246

Crivello 270-7678

Guzman 270-5501

Hokama 270-7768

Victorino 270-7760

White 270-5507

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“MAUI CAUSES” TV Show (From Earthday) Replays Sunday On Akaku Ch 55 at 7PM  New Show Monday at 7PM: Dr. Lorin Pang confronts the EPA!


Join us as we tour Maui’s Earth Day Festival

Learn what’s new with The Kū`ē Petition, Locals for Local Change,
Go Green Hawaii, Maui Farmer’s Union United, The SHAKA Movement,
Trinette Furtado, Ke’eaumoku Kapu and Alika Atay

New Shows EVERY MONDAY at 7PM with Replay SUNDAY at 7PM
Live Stream on the Web on AKAKU BLUE CH55 at http://akaku.org/akaku-channel-live-stream/

We’re looking for Underwriters for this show.
Call Sam Small at (973) 271 0788
It’s a great way to get in the public eye and support a variety of
Maui’s Environmental, Progressive and Cultural causes.MC-on-Akaku

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The Daily Show’s

Aasif Mandvi looks at GM Potatoes

Aasif Mandvi drills Jeffrey Smith and a pro-GMO scientist about the safety of the recently approved GMO potato.

Don’t worry, you haven’t been eating it yet. The potato is due to be released in a year or two. But it and the also-approved GMO apple use a technology that’s probably even more dangerous than the traditional methods of genetic engineering…NOW you can worry.

Better yet, get informed and spread the word. If enough consumers learn the truth, the market for these GMOs might completely disappear. Watch and share the short video below about the potato and the apple, read the article by Jeffrey Smith, and then enjoy the Daily Show’s spoof of the whole thing.

Sign Jeffrey’s petition:

Link to The Institute for Responsible Technology

Why-Scientists-are-worried-about-the-GMO-potato-and-apple-4.8.15-Final

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Lawyers’ emails revealed in the Monsanto vs. Maui lawsuit: More Stalling while We on Maui are Exposed to God Knows What…

NoMoreFakeNews Exclusive: lawyers’ emails revealed in the Monsanto vs. Maui lawsuit

Monsanto/Dow still refuse to open up secret court documents

trash-justiceThink about it. You’re locked in a high-stakes lawsuit against major corporations, and you can’t see document-material the corporations have filed in order to make their argument with the Judge.The Judge has seen the redacted blacked-out material, and she will, in part, base her ruling in the case on it. There is no jury.

But you can’t see the blacked-out material, you can’t argue your position with full knowledge.

Welcome to a rigged process.

As my readers know, I exposed the fact that, in the Monsanto/Dow vs. Maui lawsuit, the corporations filed documents with the court that contained large amounts of blacked-out redacted material.

The lawyers representing the people, whose vote to block Monsanto/Dow experiments in Maui was suspended by this lawsuit, have not yet seen those redacted lines and paragraphs.

Therefore, they can’t argue their case from full knowledge.

In the last few days, one of the lawyers, Sharon Kim, who represents the Shaka Movement against Monsanto/Dow, made a request to Nick Kacprowski, a lead attorney for Monsanto/Dow, to see the redacted material.

Their exchange of emails concludes with Kacprowski writing:

“We should note that nothing in this message should be construed as conceding that Shaka has any right to access the sealed information. For example, Plaintiffs [Monsanto, Dow, and others] are concerned by the hostility that Shaka has shown toward the [GMO] seed companies in the past and thus by the risk that it will use this confidential and sensitive information publicly for improper purposes.”

Absurd. How Shaka “would use this material” is a speculative hypothetical. The material’s relevance to the lawsuit can only be assessed by allowing Shaka’s lawyers to read it.

The Judge in the federal case, Susan Oki Mollway, should long ago have ordered that the redactions be removed.


Here is the email exchange. The first email is from attorney Sharon Kim, representing the Shaka Movement. The reply is from Nick Kacprowski, representing Monsanto/Dow. His reply is dense with legalese, but you’ll get the point of it.

Nick,

This email is serves as a request for unredacted copies of the documents that were filed under seal in Civ No. 14-00511. As you are aware, our Opening Brief for the Ninth Circuit Appeal is due on April 30, 2015, and we need the unredacted documents to aid in the preparation of our Opening Brief. Thus, we are requesting copies of the unredacted documents by Wednesday, April 22nd. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,
Sharon

Sharon A. Lim
Bays Lung Rose & Holma

From: Nick Kacprowski […]
Sent: Tuesday, April 21, 2015 5:02 PM
To: Sharon A. Lim […]
Subject: Re: Ito v. County of Maui

Dear Sharon:

This will respond to your request that Plaintiffs provide Shaka with unredacted versions of the sealed documents in this case by April 22. As you know, Plaintiffs have filed a Motion to Vacate the Expedited Briefing Schedule on your appeal, Case No. 15-15641. As our motion notes, your appeal of the preliminary injunction order will be mooted when the Court rules on the merits of the pending summary judgment motion, which it has indicated it will do by the end of June. If the Ninth Circuit grants the Motion to Vacate, Shaka will have no need for the unredacted documents in the near future, and possibly never, in order to pursue an appeal in this case.

Our proposal is that the parties stipulate to a protective order that provides that the sealed documents will remain sealed, without access for Shaka, unless the Ninth Circuit denies Plaintiffs’ motion that the briefing schedule should be vacated in Case No. 15-15641. It makes sense to defer Shaka’s request to access the sealed documents given that: 1) the sealed documents contain highly sensitive and proprietary information; 2) there is no protective order in place and there will be tricky issues to work out regarding what, if any, information in the documents Shaka should be allowed to access and what the restrictions governing the use of the documents will be; and 3) the Ninth Circuit’s ruling on the Motion to Vacate may soon moot the issue of needing those documents for the appellate record.

We realize that Shaka’s appellate brief is due on April 30, 2015, and that the Ninth Circuit may not rule on the Motion to Vacate before then. Therefore we are amenable to stipulating to extend the time to file Shaka’s appellate brief until 30 days after the Ninth Circuit rules on the Motion to Vacate. If the Ninth Circuit denies the Motion to Vacate, we can then meet and confer further about your request.

We should note that nothing in this message should be construed as conceding that Shaka has any right to access the sealed information. For example, Plaintiffs are concerned by the hostility that Shaka has shown toward the seed companies in the past and thus by the risk that it will use this confidential and sensitive information publicly for improper purposes.

Please let me know if you agree with this proposal, and we can prepare the draft protective order. If not, please let me know if there is a time tomorrow when we can meet and confer in person or by telephone about this issue.

Best Regards,
Nick

Justice? Transparency? Never heard of it.

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com or OutsideTheRealityMachine.

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The Resistance Rises: Monsanto Sued in LA County for False Advertising Claim That Glyphosate Targets Only Plants, Not People or Pets

Glyphosate was originally patented as an antibiotic. It kills beneficial bacteria in everyone’s guts and in women’s vaginas. That ain’t just plants.

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Exhibit #1
T. Matthew Phillips Source: www.examiner.com

Today a class action lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles County, California against the Monsanto corporation. The suit alleges that Monsanto is guilty of false advertising by claiming that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, targets an enzyme only found in plants and not in humans or animals. Monsanto makes this claim to support the contention that glyphosate is harmless to humans.

In the lawsuit, the argument is made that the targeted enzyme, EPSP synthase, is found in the microbiota which reside in our intestines and therefore this enzyme is found in humans and animals. It is further stated in the lawsuit that there are many human and animal health problems associated with the disruption of our intestinal microbes.

“Because it kills-off our gut bacteria, glyphosate is linked to stomach and bowel problems, indigestion, ulcers, colitis, gluten intolerance, sleeplessness, lethargy, depression, Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, allergies, obesity, diabetes, infertility, liver disease, renal failure, autism, Alzheimer’s, endocrine disruption, and the W.H.O. recently announced glyphosate is ‘probably carcinogenic’.”

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization (WHO), last month declared that glyphosate is Group 2A carcinogen. The American Cancer Society quickly followed suit, also listing glyphosate as a Group 2A carcinogen.

An Environmental Protection Agency memo dated October 30, 1991 states that the EPA classified glyphsate as a possible carcinogen in 1985. In this 1991 memo, without any justification, this classification was changed to Not Carcinogenic. Three scientists refused to sign, two of whom wrote beside their name: Do Not Concur. This document contains data that clearly shows a statistically significant increase in tumors in laboratory animals treated with glyphosate. But because there weren’t more tumors in the group of animals who received a higher dose of glyphosate than there were in the group that received a lower dose, Monsanto made the claim that the tumors could not be related to glyphosate.

Today’s lawsuit may be the beginning of an avalanche. Earlier this month, Beijing resident Yang Xiao-lu filed a lawsuit against the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture requesting information disclosure of the toxicology report submitted to the Chinese government for glyphosate pesticide registration in China. The case has been accepted and the collegiate panel of the court has informed the plaintiff that, considering that Monsanto is a stakeholder to the case, they have added Monsanto as an involved party to the case. Chinese citizens had previously petitioned the Ministry of Agriculture for this toxicology report but were denied. The Ministry cited “trade secrets” as the reason for denial. It is difficult to comprehend how a toxicology report would contain trade secrets since trade secrets generally constitute ingredients or a recipe for a compound or manufacturing procedure.

In today’s lawsuit, Monsanto is accused of deliberate falsification to conceal the fact that glyphosate is harmful to humans and animals. “Defendant intentionally misleads consumers by misrepresenting and concealing the true and correct facts concerning glyphosate…” Attorney T. Matthew Phillips says, “We are not trying to prove that Roundup is harmful or carcinogenic, we are merely pointing out that Monsanto is lying about the enzymes that Roundup targets. Roundup kills the weeds in your backyard and the weeds in your stomach.”

Judgment is sought against Monsanto to prohibit the company from continuing to make the claim that glyphosate targets an enzyme not found in humans and for compensation to the plaintiffs, including attorney fees.

Residents of California can become members of the class in this action by contacting T. Matthew Phillips attmatthewphillips@aol.com. Phillips has indicated that he hopes other attorneys in other states will follow suit [pun intended].

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Neil Young Announces Monsanto-Themed LP Recorded With Willie Nelson’s Sons

The Monsanto Years features a song called “Rock Starbucks”

By Jeremy Gordon, Guest Blogger

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Neil Young has teamed up with Promise of the Real, a band featuring Lukas and Micah Nelson (sons of the legendary Willie Nelson), to record an album titled The Monsanto Years, as Rolling Stone reports. As you might guess, the album is composed of songs criticizing food industry giant Monsanto, which Young has spoken out against for years. The record will be out June 16, with Young and Promise of the Real touring to support it. (Band of Horses will open on a handful of dates.) Check out their schedule below.

Some songs that might appear on the album debuted at a recent show in San Luis Obispo, California. They include titles such as “Rock Starbucks”, “Monsanto Years”, “Too Big to Fail”, and “Seeds”, as fan site Sugar Mountain points out. Below, you can watch a few videos from that show, comprising some of the new songs along with older ones like “Walk On”, via Stereogum.

Last year, Young urged his fans to boycott Starbucks over their alleged ties to Monsanto.

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Judge Mollway to Maui Voters and all of Hawaii: “F@#k You. You Don’t Count. Neither Does Your State Constitution”

NoMoreFakeNews.comOn April 15, Federal Judge Susan Oki Mollway dropped a bomb in Monsanto vs. Maui.She ruled that the case cannot go to Hawaii State Court, but will remain under her federal jurisdiction.The federal government’s support for Monsanto is even greater than the State Government of Hawaii’s.

And the will of Maui County voters—to put a temporary block on Monsanto’s toxic, local, GMO/pesticide experiments—is now diluted at a new remote level.

Maui County can’t enforce the vote, and neither can the State of Hawaii. Now a federal court will decide whether to nullify the will of Maui voters.

This is dictatorship.

Among the obvious reasons for refusing to allow this matter to be settled at a state level, there is a hidden factor: a guiding principle invoked in the Hawaii State Constitution:

“Each person has the right to a clean and healthful environment, as defined by laws relating to environmental quality, including control of pollution and conservation, protection and enhancement of natural resources. Any person may enforce this right against any party, public or private, through appropriate legal proceedings, subject to reasonable limitations and regulation as provided by law.”

“For the benefit of present and future generations, the State and its political subdivisions shall conserve and protect Hawaii’s natural beauty and all natural resources, including land, water, air, minerals and energy sources, and shall promote the development and utilization of these resources in a manner consistent with their conservation and in furtherance of the self-sufficiency of the State.”

That’s what Judge Mollway is avoiding—the possibility that, at the State level, a Hawaii court might base its decision on this principle of protecting the land and the people, and therefore rule that Monsanto’s GMO/pesticide human experimentation must stop.

It comes down to:

“We, the voters of Maui, decided—”

“We, the federal court, don’t care what you voted on or decided. It’s null and void. Go home. We rule. You’re irrelevant.”

No need to rig the vote. Just cancel it retroactively. As any police state would.

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com or OutsideTheRealityMachine.

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Monsanto Denies Seeking Patent for GMO Marijuana – They Deny Having Undue Influence Over Regulators Too. Yeah, Right!

Monsanto denies a recurring urban legend that suggests the controversial agribusiness giant has patented a GMO marijuana strain. Yet, as the cannabis industry continues to grow, it only seems more and more likely that Big Ag should be trying to cash in.

Jake DimmockJake Dimmock works with flowering plants in a grow room, in Seattle. (Ted S. Warren/AP)

Did Monsanto just become the first corporation to patent a strain of genetically modified marijuana?

That’s what a recurring Internet legend suggests. “Monsanto Creates First Genetically Modified Strain of Marijuana!” announced World News Daily Report last week.

But World News Daily Report is a fake news site. “Don’t be fooled,” said About.com’s Urban Legends expert David Emery, who then quoted from the World News Daily Report’s disclaimer page:

“All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people –  are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle.”

But in publishing this hoax, World News Daily Report is merely capitalizing on what appears to be a popular urban legend.

In 2013, Tracy Glesz-Ramsay wrote in Cannabis Culture magazine, “Monsanto, Syngenta, BASF, Bayer, Dow and DuPont have … developed a keen interest in this still-illegal plant as well.”

Last year, Israeli agribusiness BreedIT quoted the urban legend as fact in a press release that was then reprinted widely.

None of these articles cite sources, and a MintPress search of public patent databases proved fruitless. Monsanto marijuana is an urban legend, much like the belief that Marlboro is developing mass-produced joints for sale.

It’s so popular that Monsanto even debunked the myth on their website: “Monsanto has not and is not working on GMO marijuana. This allegation is an Internet rumor and lie.”

Urban legends like these reflect a growing awareness that cannabis is becoming big business — and that awareness is based in fact. With the success of legalization efforts in states like Colorado, hundreds of small business from dispensaries to chefs have made fortunes on marijuana. These successes have even caught the attention of larger corporations as well.

In 2011, the Wall Street Journal’s Dana Mattioli reported that Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. hoped to target the medical marijuana market.

“I want to target the pot market. There’s no good reason we haven’t,” said Scotts Chief Executive Jim Hagedorn.

The Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. is the exclusive marketer of Monsanto’s Roundup weed-killer for the North American consumer market.

Monsanto is investing heavily in new agricultural technologies, including a 2013 $1 billion buy-out of agtech startup Climate Corp. Other agricultural startup investments have centered on cannabis. In February, Snoop Dogg announced the launch of a $25 million weed venture capital fund. Privateer Holdings, another cannabis investment fund, has ties to Bob Marley’s heirs and was recently valued at $425 million, with holdings in companies like Leafly, which TechCrunch called “a Yelp for pot.”

Monsanto and marijuana do have one other, real connection: Fezisa Mdibi, writing for Africa’s Mail & Guardian, reported last month that police in South Africa used Kilo Max — an herbicide based on glyphosate, the chemical Monsanto developed for use in Roundup — to destroy cannabis fields grown by traditional farmers, who call the plant “dagga.”

Nearby villages found their “maize fields destroyed and people complaining about falling ill” after police sprayed Kilo Max.

Mounting evidence suggests glyphosate can be linked to cancer, including a recent study by the World Health Organization.

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So Much for Monsanto Feeding The World: U.S. Forced to Import Corn as Shoppers Demand Organic Food

by Alan Bjerga, Guest Blogger Bloomberg.com
April 15, 2015
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Who’s Supplying the U.S. With Organic Corn?

A growing demand for organics, and the near-total reliance by U.S. farmers on genetically modified corn and soybeans, is driving a surge in imports from other nations where crops largely are free of bioengineering.

Imports such as corn from Romania and soybeans from India are booming, according to an analysis of U.S. trade data released Wednesday by the Organic Trade Association and Pennsylvania State University.

That shows a potential market for U.S. growers willing to avoid the use of artificial chemicals and genetically modified seeds, said Laura Batcha, chief executive officer of the association, which includes Whole Foods Market Inc., Whitewave Foods Co. and Earthbound Farm LLC.

The report is “a help-wanted sign” for U.S. farmers, Batcha said. “There are market distortions that are pretty striking.”

Most of the corn and soybean shipments become feed for chickens and cows so they can be certified organic under U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines. Organic poultry and dairy operators shun feed made with seeds from Monsanto Co. and other domestic suppliers in favor of foreign products even as the U.S. remains the world’s top grower of corn and soybeans.

As a result, imports to the U.S. of Romanian corn rose to $11.6 million in 2014 from $545,000 the year before. Soybean imports from India more than doubled to $73.8 million.
Rapid Growth

Sales of foods certified by the U.S. as free of synthetic chemicals or genetic engineering reached $35.9 billion in 2014, an 11 percent increase over 2013 and about 5.1 percent of U.S. grocery spending. The organic sector’s average annual growth of about 10 percent is triple that of overall food sales, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture and trade association data.

Rising consumer demand in what’s been a niche market is creating shortages, pushing companies that supply farms needing organic feed to seek out foreign sources.

About 90 percent of U.S. corn and soy is bioengineered, thus automatically ineligible for the organic label.

Just north of the Minnesota-Iowa border, on a dirt road closed to heavy truck traffic by the late-spring mud, Hy View Feeds has seen its sales quadruple since winning organic certification a decade ago. Unlike nearby conventional feed stores that buys mostly from suppliers within a half-hour drive, Hy View gets some from Canada, more than 500 miles from its Mabel headquarters, to make up for domestic shortages.
Limited Data

“It’s a market that not everyone is going to get into because it’s done on a different scale,” said Kit VandeMark, owner and founder of Hy View, which categorizes its feeds as conventional, organic and non-GMO. “So we end up with both buyers and sellers from a broader area.”

The USDA only began collecting data on organic crops in 2011. Most of what’s tracked is fresh produce and major grains – – processed foods and meats, for example, aren’t reported in an organic category.

The four years of records show rapidly growing trade relationships. In 2014, U.S. organic exports were $553 million, almost quadruple the 2011 total. Imports last year were $1.28 billion, led by $332.5 million of organic coffee.

Imports of two crops, corn and soybeans, that also are the leading U.S. exports underscore gaps in the market, said Miles McEvoy, deputy administrator of the USDA’s National Organic Program.
Romania, China

Soybeans are the second-biggest U.S. organic import, with $184 million shipped last year. India is the No. 1 source, followed by China. For corn, with overall sales of $35.7 million in 2014, Romania is the biggest seller to the U.S., followed by Turkey, the Netherlands and Canada.

The totals are tiny compared with the combined $92.7 billion value of the two crops last year. That also means that the domestic market could easily meet organic needs, McEvoy said. In reality, U.S. farming isn’t structured to meet some of its highest-dollar consumers’ needs, he said.

“There just hasn’t been enough development of the organic feed supply in the U.S.,” he said. Organic-foods certifiers are in short supply in some regions, he said.

A requirement that all organic farms be free of non-organic seeds and chemicals for three years means farmers give up profit before gaining any price benefit. Recent high prices that fed record farm profits also gave growers less reason to switch, he said.
Organic Prices

“If there were a market incentive for more people to produce organic corn, there would be more of it,” said Paul Bertels, vice president for production and utilization with the National Corn Growers Association in St. Louis. Even though organic corn is selling for about $12.50 a bushel, more than triple the cash price for regular corn, lower yields and the three-year transition period makes GMO- and synthetics-free grain not worth the risk, he said.

“It’s not worth the headache or the cost” for most producers, he said.

In some cases, nations where farming is less industrial are seizing the advantage. Genetically modified seeds are largely absent from Romania and Ukraine, putting their farmers closer to organic certification for sales in the U.S., McEvoy said.

Still, as commodity prices tumble and growers seek higher profit margins, U.S. farmers may seek out more organic acreage, said Lynn Clarkson, founder of Clarkson Grain Co. in Cerro Gordo, Illinois.

“With the markets at break-even prices for many farmers, we’re seeing more interest in organic land,” he said. “I’m not predicting a tidal wave, but I’m seeing twice as much interest in this as I have in the past.”

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Alarming New Study: Insecticide contamination of global surface waters substantially higher than expected

Agricultural insecticides threaten surface waters at the global scale

Date: April 14, 2015 Source: Universität Koblenz-Landau  ScienceDaily.com

Summary:
A new study evaluated for the first time comprehensive global insecticide contamination data for agricultural surface waters using the legally-accepted regulatory threshold levels (RTLs) as defined during the official pesticide authorization procedures. The results are alarming: more than 40% of the water-phase samples with a detection of an insecticide concentration, exceeded respective RTLs. Concerning the exposure of sediments (i.e., deposits at the bottom of the surface water bodies), more than 80% of the insecticide concentrations exceeded RTLs, which, however, often are less binding from a regulatory perspective. Overall, the results of this study indicate that insecticides pose substantial threats to the biodiversity of global agricultural surface waters and that the current regulatory risk assessment schemes and pesticide authorzsation procedures fail to protect the aquatic environment.

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A study performed at the Institute for Environmental Science of the University of Koblenz-Landau evaluated for the first time comprehensive global insecticide contamination data for agricultural surface waters using the legally-accepted regulatory threshold levels (RTLs) as defined during the official pesticide authorization procedures. The results are alarming: more than 40% of the water-phase samples with a detection of an insecticide concentration, exceeded respective RTLs. Concerning the exposure of sediments (i.e., deposits at the bottom of the surface water bodies), more than 80% of the insecticide concentrations exceeded RTLs, which, however, often are less binding from a regulatory perspective. Overall, the results of this study indicate that insecticides pose substantial threats to the biodiversity of global agricultural surface waters and that the current regulatory risk assessment schemes and pesticide authorization procedures fail to protect the aquatic environment.

The results of this study fundamentally challenge the current regulatory risk assessment procedures for pesticides and indicate threats to the freshwater biodiversity at the global scale. “Potential reasons for these findings are failures of current risk assessment procedures or farmers` non-adherence to pesticide application prescriptions” says Ralf Schulz, one of the authors of this study. Fundamentally reforming global conventional agricultural systems and the adoption of promising approaches from organic farming are possible ways to meet the twin challenges of providing sufficient food for a growing human population and reversing the adverse impacts of agricultural pesticides on global ecosystems such as surface waters.

The environmental risk assessment for pesticides, which is mandatorily conducted by regulatory agencies prior to their authorization, is generally perceived as highly elaborated. These risk assessment procedures should ensure that the agricultural pesticide applications do not lead to unacceptable adverse effects on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems or on the human health. During the authorization procedure of a given pesticide, a specific concentration level (i.e., the RTL) is defined at which the ecological effects are considered to be acceptable, e.g., at which no unacceptable effects on the ecological integrity of surface waters and aquatic organisms are expected to occur. After a pesticide is authorized and in use, farmers must adhere to specific application prescriptions, e.g. a 20 m no-spray buffer zone next to a surface water body. These prescriptions should ensure that the RTL is not exceeded in the field. In essence, pesticide registration in the US or the EU is granted only if all risk assessment requirements are met and assuming that farmers adhere to the respective application prescriptions. However, it is important to note that the RTLs defined during the prospective pesticide authorization procedures do not denote official water quality criteria as the regulatory risk assessment is based on the assumption that these RTL are never exceeded in the field due to the comprehensive risk assessment schemes and farmers application prescriptions.

The meta-analysis performed by the researchers from the University Koblenz-Landau considered 28 insecticide compounds, of which the majority is currently authorized in the EU or the US, respectively, and it comprised in total 11,300 insecticide concentrations detected in more than 2,500 surface water sites located in 73 countries and that were reported between 1962 and 2012 in 838 peer-reviewed, scientific studies. Overall, 8,166 insecticide concentrations were detected in the water-phase and 3,134 in sediments of global water bodies. However, out of all 11,300 insecticide concentrations, more than 52% (5,915 cases, more than 68.5% of the surface water sites analyzed) exceeded the RTL, in parts up to a factor of 10,000 and beyond. According to the authors, these findings indicate substantial threats to global surface waters as insecticide concentrations equaling the RTL (i.e., those considered still acceptable from a regulatory perspective) already led to a 30% reduction of freshwater biodiversity.

The researchers from the University Koblenz-Landau list in their study several reasons why the actual situation in the field potentially is even worse: First, insecticide contamination data could be retrieved for only about 10% of global agricultural surface waters, which indicates that there is no scientific knowledge on the insecticide contamination of surface waters in large parts of the world, especially concerning Russia or large parts of South America. Moreover, insecticide concentrations in surface waters are very hard to detect as they occur even in highly contaminated surface waters only very briefly, i.e. only during a few days per year. However, due to the high toxicity of insecticides for aquatic organisms, these short-term peak concentrations, which occur repeatedly each year in agricultural surface waters, lead to substantial and long-lasting adverse effects on aquatic communities. Further on, in more than 80% of the samples that were analyzed for various pesticide compounds, more than one, in some cases even up to 30 further pesticides were detected. Although the resulting adverse effects of these pesticide mixtures potentially are substantially higher compared to those of single compounds, they are, however, not considered in the regulatory risk assessment procedures. In general, aquatic organisms are highly susceptible already to insecticide surface water concentrations far below benchmark levels defined, for example, those for drinking water. However, as stated above, legally binding environmental quality criteria are available for only very few insecticide compounds.

The study, that was just published in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, evaluated also whether newer insecticide compounds pose lower risks to surface waters compared to older compounds. However, the opposite was true: Newer, increasingly used insecticides, such as pyrethroids, exceeded the regulatory threshold levels by even 66%, whereas the older and due to other environmental concerns currently banned or less frequently used organochlorine insecticide compounds, led to only 24% RTL exceedances. The authors conclude that the acute environmental risk for surface waters apparently even increased with the development of newer insecticide classes. In addition, the risks of insecticides for aquatic ecosystems are unacceptably high even in highly regulated countries such as the EU or the US although currently used major pesticide legislations were enforced in the regions already at the beginning of the 1990s. Moreover, an in-depth analysis showed that in less regulated countries (e.g., countries in Africa or Asia), 42% of the insecticide concentrations exceeded the RTL; surprisingly, this figure is only slightly lower (i.e., 40% RTL exceedances) in highly regulated countries such as the US, EU, Canada, Japan or Australia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universität Koblenz-Landau. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Sebastian Stehle, Ralf Schulz. Agricultural insecticides threaten surface waters at the global scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015; 201500232 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1500232112

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NEW SCANDAL FOR USDA & MONSANTO: Whistle Blowers at USDA say MONSANTO Influences Agency Suppression of Critical Science.

130604_US_Monsanto_MapThis petition, filed by the watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), demands that the USDA reform its so-called “scientific integrity policy,” which PEER claims contains broad language that enables the agency’s managers to suppress and alter research that has negative policy implications for big business, regardless of its merit.

The petition alleges that companies like Monsanto “have access to top agency managers” and are “invited to lodge complaints” about the work of USDA scientists.

In response, USDA scientists told PEER that managers order employees not to publish data and even rewrite and retract some scientific papers, while indefinitely delaying the approval of others. Scientists producing work that could cause regulatory headaches for the industry faced disciplinary actions and lengthy, intimidating investigations.

“If true, this is a major scandal at the USDA,” wrote Gary Ruskin, director of the pro- labeling group US Right to Know, in a March 30 letter to the US House and Senate agricultural committees demanding an investigation. “It is not the proper role of the USDA to engage in a cover up for Monsanto and other agrichemical companies.”

READ MORE At Truth-Out.org

From The Petition:

“The stated purpose of USDA’s scientific integrity policy is to ensure “the highest level of integrity in all aspects of the executive branch’s involvement with scientific and technological processes and analyses.” However, the Policy fails to clearly prohibit political suppression and interference.  While the Policy defines political suppression and interference, it does not include these acts in its definition of misconduct. The USDA, by its own admission, has yet to develop procedures for handling scientific integrity complaints.

Further, unlike many of its sister federal agencies, the USDA scientific integrity policy lacks any process or mechanism for preventing politically motivated suppression or for challenging it once it occurs.

Moreover, there are no cogent safeguards for whistleblowers in the Policy, which contains no clear process for protecting scientists raising integrity concerns or filing complaints.  Instead, the agency punishes scientists for research that the agency deems controversial, and the Policy lacks procedures for these scientists to seek or receive redress.

Finally, matters of scientific integrity within USDA are shrouded in secrecy. USDA has not even posted a
website for scientific integrity information, as stated in the 2013 policy.

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Monsanto Admits “An Entire Department” to Discredit Any Science That Shows GMO’s or Round-Up Are Harmful

money_corrupt_deal_monsanto_735_350Dare to publish a scientific study against Big Biotech, and Monsanto will defame and discredit you. For the first time, a Monsanto employee admits that there is an entire department within the corporation with the simple task of ‘discrediting’ and ‘debunking’ scientists who speak out against GMOs.

EXCERPT: As far as I know this is the first time that a Monsanto functionary has publicly admitted that they have such an entity which brings their immense political and financial weight to bear on scientists who dare to publish against them. The Discredit Bureau will not be found on their official website.

Monsanto’s “Discredit Bureau” really does exist

Stephanie Hampton Writes on Community Issues for the Daily Kos. Her recent post is most revealing:
Recently, I attended a talk by Monsanto’s Dr. William “Bill” Moar who presented the latest project in their product pipeline dealing with RNA. Most notably, he also spoke about Monsanto’s efforts to educate citizens about the scientific certainty of the safety of their genetically engineered products. The audience was mostly agricultural students many of whom were perhaps hoping for the only well-paid internships and jobs in their field.

One student asked what Monsanto was doing to counter the “bad science” around their work. Dr. Moar, perhaps forgetting that this was a public event, then revealed that Monsanto indeed had “an entire department” (waving his arm for emphasis) dedicated to “debunking” science which disagreed with theirs. As far as I know this is the first time that a Monsanto functionary has publicly admitted that they have such an entity which brings their immense political and financial weight to bear on scientists who dare to publish against them. The Discredit Bureau will not be found on their official website.

The challenge for Monsanto’s Discredit Bureau is steep in attacking the unimpeachably respected Lancet and the international scientific bodies of WHO and IARC. However, they have no choice but to attack since the stakes are so very high for them. Glyphosate is their hallmark product upon which the majority of their profits are based. Make no mistake, this is extremely bad news for Monsanto.

Monsanto holds up the sheer abundance of their own well-funded studies citing the safety of Glyphosate, done over only the past twenty years which is a short period of time in scientific inquiry particularly when dissenting research is actively suppressed.  They also hold up the findings of regulatory bodies, particularly in the United States where the revolving door between agrochemical corporations and government spins at high speed.

The company will stop at nothing to discredit and devalue the contributions of unimpeachably respected Lancet and the international scientific bodies of WHO and IARC, among others.

The stakes are high – after all, an entire industry of GMO seed (for which they currently hold more than a three-fourths monopoly share) is based on being Roundup ready. Glyphosate is their hallmark product, and it accounts for billions in sales when you account for the seed they sell to go with their best-selling herbicide.

In a single publicly made phrase, Moar has admitted that the Monsanto-funded science is sheer propaganda – essentially that they indeed have dozens, if not hundreds of employees out making sure that no science which tells the truth about their cancer-causing products ever garners any credibility whatsoever in the information age.

Monsanto has also held up the findings of regulatory bodies, particularly in the United States where the revolving door between agrochemical corporations and government seems never ending.

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Monsanto forced to pull advertisement in South Africa. Unable to Substaiate Claims of Sustainability.

acb-logo monsanto1Monsanto was recently forced to withdraw one of its advertisements after The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of South Africa determined that the information in the advertisement was unsubstantiated.

The commercial boasted the many benefits of GMO crops, but The African Centre for Biosafety (ACB) filed a complaint because they believed that Monsanto’s claims were false.

In the advertisement, Monsanto claimed that GMO crops “enable us to produce more food sustainably whilst using fewer resources; provide a healthier environment by saving on pesticides; decrease greenhouse gas emissions and increase crop yields substantially.”

After the complaint was filed, Monsanto was unable to provide sufficient evidence to support their claims, and were thus forced to pull the advertisement.

Here’s a link to the press release from The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of South Africa 

Monsanto was given an opportunity by ASA to respond to the ACB’s complaint but was according to the ASA, only able to provide the ASA with links to documents on its website but was unable to provide, as it is required to in terms of South African law governing advertising, inputs from an independent and credible expert confirming the various studies that Monsanto relied upon showing the ostensible benefits of GM crops.

“We are elated with this decision. Monsanto has already been warned by the ASA as far back as 2007, that it needs to substantiate its claims from an independent and credible expert in the matter of GM Food/M Wells/ 8739 (18 June 2007) regarding its claims of the so called benefits of GM crops. However, it appears Monsanto does not have much regard for South African law as it is hell bent on disseminating false information to the South African public, “ said Mariam Mayet, Executive Director of the ACB.

The ASA has warned Monsanto that “it should ensure that it holds proper substantiation for its advertising claims” or risk attracting further sanctions.

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Upcountry Sustainability Presents “Garbage on Maui: Let’s Talk Trash”  On AKAKU Ch 54  Video Provided by MAUI CAUSES Powered by Your Donations….

Akaku Channel 54 Monday 4/13 12:22 AM
Akaku Channel 54 Monday  4/13 5:50 PM
Akaku Channel 54 Tuesday 4/14 4:10 AM
Akaku Channel 54 Tuesday 4/14 9:37 PM


PUKALANI – Upcountry Sustainability is proud to present “Garbage on Maui: Let’s Talk Trash.” Representatives from local recycling companies will lead the discussion on what is currently happening on Maui to divert waste from landfills. Presenters include Kelly King (Pacific Biodiesel), Brittany Smart (Maui EKO Systems), and Tom Reed (Aloha Recycling).

Kelly will clarify the benefits the County has realized through it’s current recycling model. Brittany will focus on compost and organics recycling. Tom will address what happens to recycled material, and the current challenges faced by recycling processors. Concerns about the County’s new waste-to-energy project may also be discussed.

King serves as the Vice President of Pacific Biodiesel Technologies. Since its inception in 1995, Pacific Biodiesel has kept more than 21 million gallons of fats, oils, and grease out of Maui’s landfills. They pioneered the model of using waste cooking oils as biodiesel feedstock, and is the oldest biodiesel company in America. They have been named one of the “Top 25 Most Influential Companies in Hawaii” by Pacific Business News, and have won national and international awards.

Smart serves in Marketing & Public Affairs at Maui EKO Systems. Established in 1995, EKO is Maui County’s most successful landfill diversion program. They operate the County’s green waste recycling and co-composting facility. Their accomplishments has also earned them awards.

Reed is President and Majority Owner of Aloha Recycling. The company was formed in 1992, and operates several Certified Redemption Centers as well as a full service Material Recovery Facility (MRF).

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Maui Causes Starting A New Hour Long TV show on Akaku.  Seeking Underwriter for Two 30 Sec “Sponsorship Acknowledgments” per show.

i-want-you-speak-up-2Soon to air, Maui Causes’ new hour-long public issues Interview TV Show on Akaku’s Channel 55. A new show every Monday Eve from 7 to 8 PM following Democracy Now, replay Sunday at 7PM.

Seeking corporate or commercial sponsor to underwrite the show. Two 30 second acknowledgements per hour.  Great exposure for a great cause: Maui Causes…Crowd Funded Media for Maui’s Not for Profits, Environmental and Progressive Causes.  That’s us!

Reach Sam Small for details.  (973) 271 0788  info@mauicauses.org

 

 

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Monsanto Files Secret Documents on Maui Case, For Judge’s Eye Only. Secret Locations, Secret Processes, Secret Chemicals. WHY SO MANY SECRETS?

Revealed: a secret Monsanto document in the Maui GMO case

Justice withheld: justice denied

A scandal that needs to come to light now

by Jon Rappoport

April 10, 2015

NoMoreFakeNews.com

Imagine you are a lawyer arguing a case before a judge. There is no jury. The judge will decide the outcome.

The judge tells you, “Look, the other side, your opponents in this case, have filed documents with me. These documents are at the heart of their argument. I can’t allow you to read the documents. I can only give you access to heavily redacted versions. You’ll have to do the best you can. I have read the full documents. Your opponents, of course, know every word of those documents. But you don’t. And you won’t. Good luck. Limp along as well as you can.”

That’s what we’re talking about here.

(The link to the document is located at the bottm of this article.)
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Last Election Day, the people of Maui County voted to halt all local GMO and pesticide experimentation being carried out by Monsanto and Dow.

During the temporary halt, a complete independent investigation would be done, to find out exactly how harmful the pesticides and GMOs were.

But the legal and binding vote was suspended, because Monsanto and Dow immediately sued.

The case is now hung up in Federal Court.

I’ve just learned that Monsanto filed documents “under seal,” to make its case in the proceeding now before Federal Judge Susan Oki Mollway.

Monsano requested the court make the documents secret, and the previous Judge, Barry Kurren, agreed to it.

Here, in legalese, is Kurren’s decision:

“ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS’ EX PARTE APPLICATION TO FILE UNDER SEAL IN PART THE DECLARATIONS OF SAM EATHINGTON, JESSE STIEFEL, AND ADOLPH HELM IN SUPPORT OF PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER AND PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION re 13- Signed by Judge BARRY M. KURREN on 11/14/2014.
‘IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ ex parte application is GRANTED. Accordingly, the subject declarations shall be filed by the Court under seal, and redacted versions may be filed with the Plaintiffs’ Motion.’”

That means the lawyers for the voters of Maui can’t see those Monsanto documents. Not in full. They can only read redacted versions of Monsanto making its case for continued GMO/pesticide experiments on Maui—contravening the demands of Maui voters.

What kind of court is this?

Judge Mollway, who will decide the case, can read everything Monsanto offers in its defense, but the lawyers against Monsanto have no full access and, therefore, can’t argue their side from full knowledge.

This echoes of cases where prosecutors claim “national security” as an issue. In those instances, documents are either excluded as evidence, or only redacted versions are allowed in.

Is this what we’re dealing with here? Monsanto’s concerns have become, in a federal court, a matter of national security?

Below, you will see a link to one such redacted Monsanto document. You will see the many blacked out lines.

One section (no.7) states: “…Monsanto currently owns or leases approximately 784 acres of farmland on the island. Certain specific locations on Maui are uniquely suitable to multi-season/cycle breeding and research.” The next 14 lines of the section are blacked out.

It’s not much of a stretch to infer those 14 lines are blacked out to conceal Maui locations of Monsanto facilities. You mean the addresses and names of Monsanto stations and growing fields on Maui are a secret?

Suppose, in your city, in your region, a major corporation was carrying out, on a regular basis, experiments with new, non-commercial, toxic pesticide chemicals and genetically altered organic materials. And suppose you were told that the permanent facilities of that corporation in your region were located at secret sites. How would you feel about it?

Wouldn’t that raise significant suspicions in your mind? Wouldn’t you want to know exactly what was going on at each and every one of those facilities? And if you were denied that information, as well as the names and addresses of the locations, wouldn’t you infer the secrecy was covering up something harmful to you?

Whole sections of the Monsanto court document are blacked out (e.g., no. 8 and 9). What do they say? Only the Judge and Monsanto know. The lawyers representing the voters of Maui don’t have a clue.

Section 10 states: “The current [Monsanto] workforce in the County [of Maui] has been trained over many years at the precise pollination techniques required and to perform other specialized tasks.” The next two lines are blacked out. Why? Because Monsanto considers further explanation of what these workers do to be proprietary secrets? This is what the Maui voters want to know about, because they, the people of Maui, are on the receiving end of the secret wind-blown pesticide and GMO experiments.

Section 11 of the court document is quite strange. It states: “And the US Department of Agriculture [USDA] sets requirements for how regulated field trials of new GE [genetically engineered] crops must be conducted.” The next 12 lines are blacked out. Why? Are the USDA regulations themselves a secret? Is there something about these regulations Monsanto doesn’t want the public to know? The “field trials” are at the heart of what the people of Maui are objecting to. How toxic are the secret experimental pesticides? How dangerous to health are the secret experimental GMOs?

Section 13 mentions a corn-crop disease called Goss’s Wilt. Then, six lines are blacked out. Why? What is Monsanto hiding from the people of Maui?

 


How in the world can the lawyers representing the voters of Maui argue their case in federal court when all this information is being withheld from them? The answer: they can’t.

Is some of Monsanto’s federally funded biowarfare research (contracted by the US National Institutes of Health)—the details of which Monsanto won’t disclose—taking place on Maui?

The lawyers representing the people of Maui should be filing new motions to declare this case an impossible travesty. Until the lawyers can read every word of the documents Monsanto has filed with the court, there is no case, there is no proceeding, there is only a con job, with Monsanto the preordained winner by default.

And until the alternative media covers the Monsanto-Maui case and blows it up into the scandal it is, there will be no chance of justice.

Here is a link to the Monsanto court document I’ve been referring to:

Declaration of Sam Eathington, Vice President of Global Plant Breeding, Monsanto

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com or OutsideTheRealityMachine.

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Former “9/11” New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik Predicts a Criminal Justice ‘Implosion’. Fears America’s criminal justice system is creating a permanent underclass.

Ex-Top Cop Kerik Predicts a Criminal Justice ‘Implosion’From Jailer to Jailed - Kerik

Perhaps best known as Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s top adviser during 9/11, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard B. Kerik was just a hairbreadth from taking over the Department of Homeland Security in 2004 when he was battered by a flurry of allegations and probes that some saw as politically motivated.

Now, Kerik is using his new memoir, “From Jailer to Jailed: My Journey From Correction and Police Commissioner to Inmate #84888-054,” to launch a high-profile campaign for criminal justice reform.

Kerik and his new book have been featured on NBC’s Today, Morning Joe and many other outlets. Already the book has skyrocketed in sales, hitting #1 on the Amazon bestseller list.

Kerik says his own experience has given him a new view. He fears America’s criminal justice system is creating a permanent underclass, especially among young African-Americans who are treated too harshly for minor drug crimes.

The system is simply out of control, he argues.

In an exclusive Newsmax interview, Kerik blames the nation’s tangled thicket of laws, mandatory sentences, and its habit of turning young offenders into hardened criminals.

But the real victim, he says, may be the American public that pays the exorbitant cost of a criminal justice system that Kerik warns is on the verge of imploding.

Newsmax: Why put your prison ID and inmate number right there on the cover of your book?

Bernie Kerik: The reality is I’ve made mistakes that I’ve paid a tremendous price for. Those mistakes will live with me for the rest of my life. They have become part of my identity, which is the reason for that inmate ID and the number.

What was your reaction to the circumstances you witnessed while incarcerated?

No one in the history of our country with my background and experience — and more importantly, my success — has ever actually been a target of the system. That gives me a perspective that, realistically, no one else has. I’ve seen the inside as someone extremely knowledgeable of how the system is supposed to work. … Then to see the system from the inside out was shocking.

Say a 19-year-old is busted for selling a few grams of cocaine. Doesn’t he owe a debt to society?

If that was a really bad guy, and you had to put him away for 10 or 20 years, OK, I get it. But that wasn’t a really bad guy. That guy should have been put in a program … Rehabilitate him and teach him right from wrong, rather than completely, personally and professionally annihilate his life. Because that’s what we did. And you know what? There are thousands upon thousands of people just like him in prison.

Would you do away with solitary confinement?

There is a purpose for solitary confinement — to protect the facility and staff, and administrative segregation if you need to protect people. But we take young men who get caught smoking a cigarette and stick them in solitary confinement for 30 to 90 days. That’s insane.

What’s the system’s biggest flaw in your view?

We take regulatory, administrative violations and we turn them into criminal conduct. In so doing, that person becomes a felon. If they worked in banking, or law, or law enforcement, they can never do it again. If medical, there’s a really good chance they can’t do it again. In some states, you can’t get a barber’s license, or even a job as a garbage man. … A convicted felon basically pays a life sentence for any felony, regardless of the crime.

Give us an example of an absurd law that should be taken off the books.

You have people who kill the wrong animal while hunting, use the wrong weapon, or kill some animal on the wrong day — there are a thousand of these things. Catch too many fish, catch the wrong type of fish, catch too big of a fish. They make these people felons. With some 2.3 million U.S. prisoners, what will happen in your view without serious criminal justice reform?

It is an economic catastrophe for this country. It’s unsustainable, and over time, the system will implode. … The states have budgets they have to adhere to. But the federal government just keeps printing money and throwing it into the system.

Get your copy of Bernard Kerik’s new bestseller “From Jailer to Jailed: My Journey From Correction and Police Commissioner to Inmate #84888-054,” at bookstores everywhere or go online to amazon.com – Go Here Now

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Pineapples That Claim to Fight Cancer? New GMO Approvals May Allow Health Claims. But Nothing’s Been Proven, So Why Would GM Foods Get To Make Claims That Organic Foods Are Denied?

Wait, Organic food growers, growing heirlooms or hybrids, cannot claim health benefits or the FDA comes after them, even though humans have been benefiting from them for thousands of years…. BUT GMOS, foreign proteins injected into DNA via a bacteria or virus, are touting health benefits and they have never been tested on humans? That’s just wrong.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — With recent government approval of potatoes that don’t bruise and apples that don’t brown, a new generation of genetically modified foods is headed to grocery shelves.

What could be next? Cancer-fighting pink pineapples, heart-healthy purple tomatoes and less fatty vegetable oils, among other products, could receive government approval in the coming years.

The companies and scientists that have created these foods are hoping that customers will be attracted to the health benefits and convenience and overlook any concerns about genetic engineering.

“I think once people see more of the benefits they will become more accepting of the technology,” says Michael Firko, who oversees the Agriculture Department’s regulation of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

Critics aren’t so sure. They say there should be more thorough regulation of modified foods, which are grown from seeds engineered in labs. The Agriculture Department has the authority only to oversee plant health relative to GMOs, and seeking Food and Drug Administration’s safety approval is generally voluntary.

“Many of these things can be done through traditional breeding,” says Doug Gurian-Sherman of the advocacy group Center for Food Safety. “There needs to be skepticism.”

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A small British company is planning to apply for U.S. permission to produce and sell purple tomatoes that have high levels of anthocyanins, compounds found in blueberries that some studies show lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. (Photo: AP Photo/Andrew Davis, The John Innes Centre, UK)

Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. has engineered a pink pineapple that includes lycopene, an antioxidant compound that gives tomatoes their red color and may have a role in preventing cancer. USDA has approved importation of the pineapple, which would be grown only outside of the United States; it is pending FDA approval. Some gardeners already grow conventional purple tomatoes, but a small British company is planning to apply for U.S. permission to produce and sell a new genetically modified variety that have high levels of anthocyanins, compounds found in blueberries that some studies show lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. FDA would have to approve any health claims used to sell the products.

Seed giants Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences are separately developing modified soybean, canola and sunflower oils with fewer saturated fats and more Omega-3 fatty acids. The Florida citrus company Southern Gardens is using a spinach gene to develop genetically engineered orange trees that could potentially resist citrus greening disease, which is devastating the Florida orange crop. Okanagan Specialty Fruits Inc., the company that created the nonbrowning apples, is also looking at genetically engineering peaches, cherries and pears to resist disease and improve quality.

A few genetically engineered fruits and vegetables are already available in grocery stores: Hawaiian papaya, some zucchini and squash and a small amount of the sweet corn we eat, for example. But the bulk of the nation’s genetically engineered crops are corn and soybeans that are eaten by livestock or made into popular processed food ingredients like corn starch, soybean oil or high fructose corn syrup.

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The FDA says genetically modified, bruise-resistant apples and potatoes are safe to eat. (AP)

The engineered corn and soybeans have faced resistance from environmental groups and some consumers who say not enough is known about the technology. The FDA has said engineered foods on the market now are safe, but the groups have called for the labeling so consumers know what they are eating. According to a December Associated Press-GfK poll, two-thirds of Americans favor those labels.

Facing that concern, companies developing the new products say their strategy for winning over consumers is to harness the increased interest in healthy eating.

“This is a new wave of crops that have both grower benefits and consumer benefits,” says Doug Cole of J.R. Simplot, the company that developed the potatoes. Many modified types of corn and soybeans are engineered to resist herbicides, which is of little use to the consumer.

A potential benefit of Simplot’s potatoes is fewer black spots, a plus not only for farmers seeking higher yields but also for consumers who wouldn’t have to soak them before cooking. Small amounts of both the potatoes and the apples could be in stores in the next two or three years.

British scientist Cathie Martin has developed the modified purple tomatoes and hopes to eventually sell them as a juice in the United States. She says some of those same health-conscious consumers concerned about GMOs should be attracted to a product with potential to help lower the risk of cancer.

Retailers are still uncertain. McDonald’s buys Simplot’s conventional potato products but said the company does not have “current plans” to source any GMO potatoes. Other retail chains have already pledged not to sell a genetically engineered salmon that is pending approval at the Food and Drug Administration.

Cathleen Enright of the Biotechnology Industry Organization says the industry worries that opposition from advocacy groups will slow development.

“At the end of the day, the marketplace is going to determine what is going to succeed,” Enright said.

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Friends Of Haleakala Seek Volunteers for April 18th – 20th Overnight Service Trip.  Rare Opportunity to Stay 2 Nights in Crater.

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 4.26.07 PMThe Friends of Haleakalā National Park group is looking for enthusiastic and physically fit volunteers for an upcoming service trip into Haleakalā Crater.

Participants will hike in on Saturday, April 18, stay free for two nights in the Hōlua Cabin, and work on protection of native plants in the Crater, before hiking out Monday, April 20.

For more information and to sign up for the trip, interested individuals can find registration instructions and contacts for the April trip leader at the service trip page of the Friends of Haleakalā National Park’s website.

Regular Service Overnights In Haleakala Crater

Service trip participants will backpack into the crater to a cabin or campsite and back.  Depending upon the trip, the group will perform one of a number of tasks ranging from cabin maintenance to native planting to invasive species removal.

For all overnight trips in the Crater, participants need to bring first day’s water, sun and rain protection, work gloves, comfortable boots or walking shoes, sleeping bag, extra socks, breakfasts, lunches, dinner food contributions as coordinated by the leader, personal supplies, a flashlight,  and warm clothing. Volunteers on service trips stay free in the cabins (except $15 for Service/Learning trips) which are equipped with bunks, firewood, dishes and cooking utensils.

HOW TO REGISTER AND JOIN A SERVICE TRIP
Before signing up for a service trip, please create an account (from link in the left column), then log into the account to learn more about the trips and certify your readiness for a service trip. After that, call or email the listed leader for more information and to make reservations to join a trip.

Leader Contact Information

More Info:

 

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Monsanto Makes Billions Bringing Monarch Butterflies to Near Extinction.  Latest PR Stunt Donates $4 Million in Blood Money, Over Three Years, To Try To Save Them.

Screen Shot 2015-04-02 at 4.10.14 PMImage Credits: barkbud, Flickr
Scientists say Monsanto’s RoundUp has directly contributed to a 90% reduction in the monarch butterfly population.

Now they say they will contribute $3.6 million over three years to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Monarch Butterfly Conservation Fund. Another $400,000 will go to universities and conservations groups trying to rescue the species.

Since around 1990, around 970 million butterflies have died off. Experts from around the world have been sounding the alarm since the very beginning. It was relatively recent that the true figures were becoming clear, with reports highlighting Monsanto’s direct role in the population meltdown.

“This report is a wake-up call. This iconic species is on the verge of extinction because of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crop system,” the executive director for the Center for Food Safety, said Andrew Kimbrell, told RT.

RoundUp has infiltrated the groundwater supply, our bodies, and especially our pantry thanks to its major use in mega agriculture. As a result of its toxicity, it now threatens monarchs (and bees) as a whole.

Numerous monarch research groups are furious over the donation — an obvious PR attempt to escape ridicule over decimating the entire population.

Based on research by the Center for Food Safety, around 99% of Milkweed, essential to monarch butterfly life, have been destroyed thanks to Monsanto’s Roundup-based GMO corn and soybean crops that are prolific throughout the Midwest.  Milkweed is the only plants monarchs lay their eggs on to feed their larvae. The disappearance of milkweed thanks to Roundup is at the absolute center of the monarch collapse.

“Glyphosate has wiped out the milkweed they need to survive,” Sylvia Fallon, a senior scientist at NRDC, said at the time. “EPA completely ignored the impact on monarchs when it granted this new approval, and seriously underestimated the toxicity for people.”

The Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Food Safety and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation have petitioned the US Fish and Wildlife Service to list the subspecies of monarch (Danaus plexippus plexippus) as endangered.

Yet we continue to allow Monsanto to sell Roundup with zero boundaries, even after the latest World Health Organization report that classified the toxic herbicide as a substance that is likely to cause cancer.  When will it stop?

READ MORE:

 

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COME CELEBRATE EARTH DAY 2015   Sunday, April 19, from 10 AM till 6 PM at the Keopuolani Park in Wailuku  Opposite War Memorial Stadium

Aloha Friends of the Aina ~

Come join us for another wonderful Maui celebration ~ Earth Day 2015 !

GO GREEN CULTURE FOUNDATION ~ CO-SPONSORS
We at
Go Green Culture are pleased to be co-sponsoring this year’s Earth Day Celebration on Sunday, April 19, from 10 AM till 6 PM at the Keopuolani Park in Wailuku, along with Lovealution, SHAKA Movement, and others.

A DAY OF CELEBRATION
Bring the family, tell your friends, and come join us for a day of delightful music, food, education, fun, and celebration for our glorious and precious aina.  Malama Aina Maui!  Hear speeches by many of our island’s ecological and cultural leaders and enjoy this sacred day of celebration for the future sustainability of a restored, resilient, and sustainable Maui.  Admission is only $8 for adults and kids 12-and-under are free.

MUSIC, FOOD, & EDUCATIONAL EVENTS
We expect many wonderful musicians to be performing all day and there will be organic, natural foods and beverages offered throughout the day.  Come talk story with over two dozen local eco education and action non-profits.  Visit the Healing Zone to nourish your body with massage or essential oils, oil foot rubs, sound healing, and more.  Bring your Keiki to enjoy arts and crafts, face painting, games, story circles, and kid’s music as well as to have your kids enjoy being part of the Kid’s Eco Parade through the park.

WHERE?
The Keopuolani Park entrance is on Kanaloa Avenue, directly across the street from War Memorial Stadium (with lots of free parking) in Wailuku.  When you turn north off of  Ka’ahumanu Parkway, you go about π mile and the entrance will be on the right, parking will be on the left. The entrance to the celebration will be well marked, with Police officers directing traffic at the entrance, and is located just past the Boys and Girls Club of Maui and just before the Maui Botanic Gardens.  A GoogeMap link for directions to Keopuolani Park is provided here:
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Keopuolani+Park/@20.893713,156.482953,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x7954d3246daee01b:0x5f9773c927636a27
GO GREEN CULTURE VISION & MISSION ~
This is a time to share our passion and vision for a clean, healthy, restored, and sustainable Maui in the coming 10 years.  Those of us on the Go Green non-profit team believe we can ~ and will ~ accomplish this in only 10 years, by 2025.  Come join the fun, and come get involved to help save Maui’s beauty and ecological health for our Maui Ohana, for our keiki, and for future generations.  If you want to be a part of the Go Green Culture exhibition and experience: Go Green Maui ~ Vision 2025 then please call Gerry at (808) 298 ~ 2944.  If you want to help out at the Earth Day kid’s tent, please call Deb at (808) 298 ~ 0889.  If your non-profit organization would like to have a booth at the event, please call Gerry (808) 298 ~ 9244, or to be a food vendor or reserve a space in the Healing Arts zone call Shakira at:  (415) 806 ~ 4722.

We look forward to seeing you at Earth Day 2015 ~  a wonderful time is in store for one and all!

~ Mahalo and Aloha ~Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 8.17.17 AM

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BIG AG Buys Hawaii Government. In California, Disclosure Is The Norm But In Hawaii Rep. Clift Tsuji Doesn’t Want You To Know.

Big Ag’s Influence Kills Third Pesticide Disclosure Bill

California Has It, Why Can’t Hawaii?

For more detailed reporting see the article By Anita Hofschneider at Civil Beat

“There seems to be a lot of pushback and a lot of resistance for something that should be a no-brainer in Hawaii.” — Rep. Chris Lee

House Agriculture Committee Chairman Clift Tsuji killed his third pesticide disclosure bill this year.   Tsuji has single handedly ensured that the public won’t be able to find out details about what pesticides are being sprayed in the state and where.

SB 1037, introduced by Sen. Josh Green passed the Senate but Tsuji thinks he knows better. The measure would have required agricultural companies to submit monthly reports of what pesticides they use and in what amounts.

Disclosure here has run up against fierce resistance from members of the local agricultural industry who called the proposed requirements “burdensome:”.
get-another-job

Currently the state collects data on the sales of restricted use pesticides, but not how, when or where they’re applied.

SB 1037, introduced by Sen. Josh Green originally targeted only large farms, reflecting concerns about the environmental impact of large companies like Monsanto that compose the state’s $243 million seed industry.  But Sen. Jill Tokuda from Kaneohe expanded the bill’s applicability before passing it out of the Ways and Means Committee. Tokuda may have set up the bill to fail because Tsuji then said that he was concerned about the bill’s broad application to all farmers and he killed it.

House Environmental Committee Chairman Chris Lee, who introduced a similar bill that also didn’t survive Tsuji’s committee. said that requiring companies to disclose what pesticides they spray would make it possible to conduct meaningful analyses of health problems that have been reported anecdotally in rural areas such as west Kauai.“Without disclosure of what’s being sprayed or in what quantities, we just can’t do that,” Lee said, adding: “There seems to be a lot of pushback and a lot of resistance for something that should be a no-brainer in Hawaii.”

“The idea behind this is that when they report to us what has been used, we will know in detail what has been used, where it’s been used, how it has been used,” said Charlotte Fadipe, spokeswoman for the California Department of Pesticide Regulation.

The data collected is mapped and residents can look up their towns to see what’s being sprayed nearby.

A 2011 study by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley used the state’s data to discover that exposure to a combination of maneb and paraquat increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

A 2014 study by researchers at the University of California at Davis used the state’s pesticide use data to determine that pregnant women who were exposed to several common agricultural pesticides were more likely to give birth to children with developmental delays and autism.

One of the researchers of the UC Davis study, epidemiologist Janie Shelton, said she would recommend a spatially explicit monitoring system in Hawaii where applicators must report “1) what they sprayed (compound and active ingredient), 2) where they sprayed it (address, GPS coordinates, etc.), 3) when they applied it (date and time), and 4) how much was applied.”

Industry lobbies against disclosure:

Renee Pinel president and CEO of the Western Plant Health Association, a trade organization for fertilizer and pesticide manufacturers, agricultural retailers and biotechnology companies in California, Arizona and Hawaii said that even if the disclosure reports were limited to the largest pesticide users, they’re not necessary because studies by the federal Environmental Protection Agency already illustrate the impacts of pesticides.

But activists counter that that federal agencies have been clearly influenced by industry forces and many loopholes exist that allow the companies to spray in open fields chemical combinations that have never been tested together.

Proprietary Versus Transparency

A bill passed two years ago to require the state to make public data about the sales of restricted use pesticides, but the law hasn’t been implemented because officials are afraid the state will get sued.

Anne Lopez, spokeswoman from the state Attorney General’s office, said officials are concerned that companies simply won’t report certain information including what pesticides that are being used and where, even if it’s required by law.

Ashley Lukens, directs the Hawaii chapter of the national nonprofit Center for Food Safety. She said the withholding of data on pesticide use takes concerns “to the level of hysteria.”Lukens supports the Good Neighbor Program, but thinks it should be expanded statewide and made mandatory. “We know that when there’s transparency, the next step is accountability,” Lukens said.

Jim Raelson, a pediatrician from Kauai, says it’s impossible to even begin analyzing whether pesticides are affecting the health of his patients without any data and that the Good Neighbor Program is not enough.

“We’re in a community where a lot of the pesticides are used, there’s every reason to believe that they have a potential of causing problems,” he said, citing an American Academy of Pediatrics report that warned of the dangers of exposing children to certain chemicals. “There is no reason why we should suspect agricultural companies of hiding data from us, nor should we make it a voluntary thing. It should be just a simple obligation of doing business here.”

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Jon Rappoport Asks: Why doesn’t Hawaii Judge become a Monsanto employee?

Why doesn’t Hawaii Judge become a Monsanto employee?

NoMoreFakeNews.com

I can hear people saying, “She’s already working for Monsanto.”

If so, she’s doing a terrific job.

Federal Judge Susan Oki Mollway is doing everything she can to nullify what the voters of Maui legally created on Election Day 2014.

In an historic effort, those voters passed a ballot measure temporarily blocking Monsanto and Dow from continuing their toxic GMO and pesticide experiments in the “open-air laboratory” of Maui.

Monsanto and Dow then turned around and sued to nullify that vote, and the County Government of Maui, betraying their own citizens, joined forces with the two corporate behemoths.

Judge Mollway now has the case before her.

In her very latest stalling move, she’s postponed any action until June 15. Meanwhile, Monsanto and Dow are allowed to continue poisoning the people of Maui.

Mollway’s justification for her latest stall? Between now and June 15, the Hawaii State Legislature MIGHT pass a bill that decides the future of Dow and Monsanto on Maui and thus overrides Maui voters; and therefore waiting is the best option.

This, despite the fact that the relevant agriculture bills now sitting before the State Legislature are receiving zero attention. At the moment, they’re dead ducks. (See also thistime line story).

So what message is Judge Mollway really sending? It’s obvious. She’s nudging and winking at the Legislature, hoping they revive one of these bills or invent a new one and pass it. Soon.

She wants such a bill to make it clear that Monsanto and Dow can continue their GMO/pesticide experiments without interruption, regardless of what the voters of Maui have decided. She wants to destroy the ability of a vote to make any difference.

Since when does a sitting Federal Judge postpone making a judicial decision because another branch of government (the legislature) might enact a law?

In case you’ve forgotten, there are three branches of government, and they’re supposed to limit each other’s power.

What Mollway is doing is absurd. Ridiculous.

This would be like the US Supreme Court stating, “We are about to enter another round of decision-making on Obamacare—but we’re going to wait, because the Congress might possibly enact new legislation that clarifies the points we’re supposed to debate…”

Yes. Might. Possibly. And a hundred UFOs might land on Maui in early June and render, de facto, all governmental decisions null and void.

Why doesn’t Mollway just come out and say, “Look, there is no way I’m going to stop Monsanto and Dow from doing what they’ve been doing on Maui. I’ll employ any strategy to accomplish my objective. If anyone has suggestions on how I can achieve this, please email me. I’m open to all ideas. For example, the Maui voters were temporarily disabled on Election Day because a solar flare hit Hawaii and caused synaptic chaos. Or, Monsanto is actually a group of messianic extraterrestrials here to save us…”

Better yet, Mollway could simply declare Maui a judicial monarchy, appoint herself Queen, and cancel all voting privileges.

Under the cover of court gibberish and rigamarole, that’s what she’s doing.

Is there an appeals court that’s ready to push her off the case and off the bench? Or are they working for Monsanto, too?

Jon Rappoport

1

The Emperor’s New Clothes Trailer – Russell Brand Tells The Truth


Special screenings April 21st followed by AN EVENING WITH RUSSELL BRAND Live event beamed to cinemas nationwide.
BOOK TICKETS NOW: http://scnl.co/TENCBookNow

Synopsis

THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES

Definition: Fairytale, allegorical

1. Collective ignorance of an obvious fact, or deception, despite undeniable evidence.

World-famous British comedian and activist Russell Brand joins forces with acclaimed director Michael Winterbottom on a polemical documentary about the financial crisis and gross inequality we currently face. Starting with the genesis of today’s economic policies, with the arrival of Milton Friedman’s school of thought in Reagan’s leadership and Thatcher’s UK, the film explores how these policies have come to dominate the western world. The rich have got richer; where a CEO of a major British company used to earn 10 times the average wage of his workers, now they earn 200 times. According to Oxfam, the richest 80 people in the world own as much as the poorest 3.5 billion. It would now take 300 years for the average cleaner, cleaning the offices of his senior boss, to earn the same salary taken home by the same boss last year.

Milton Friedman once said that every crisis was an opportunity. The financial crisis of 2008 should have been a chance to reform the system for the benefit of everyone. But instead, austerity for everyone throughout Britain and Europe was the price to be paid for supporting the financial sector, with £131 billion spent by UK tax payers to keep the financial system afloat, while $30 trillion in support and subsidies went to Wall Street in the US.

Using a mixture of documentary, interviews, archive footage and comedy, Russell Brand takes us from his hometown Grays in Essex, to the heart of London ‘City’ and on to the Big Apple. This daring film will shake up the world by revealing the bewildering truth about how the people at the bottom are paying for the luxuries of those at the top.

Things can change…things do change.russle-brand

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Maui’s Mayor Alan Arakawa Finds Yet Another Way to KISS MONSANTO’S ASS

kiss-ass

The Mayor just submitted his FY 2016 Budget proposal to the Council at 2pm and under his:

Economic Development Program -Agriculture Section (page 441 & 442) he proposes a Grant:

TO THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (totally unheard of for the County to budget monies to give to the State)

For: “Funds will be used to support county participation in a statewide GMO study to examine possible health and environmental impacts associated with the use of pesticides applied to genetically modified agricultural products.”

Yes, folks you got that right.

He proposes that the TAX PAYERS pay for the study that the PEOPLE voted THE RESPONSIBLE ENTITIES should pay for!

If anything good comes from this, its that they put a dollar figure on the cost of such a study.

I think its safe to say that the chemical companies operating in Hawaii can scrape together $50k.

2016 Maui Budget (Details on public hearings and all things budget deliberations for this year)

1

World Health Org Says Round Up Linked To Cancer. Monsanto Says It’s Safe When “Used As Directed”. Too Bad Open Air Experiments In Our Midst Are, By Definition, “OFF LABEL”.

monsantoBy Carey Gillam, Guest Blogger

March 24 Tue Mar 24, 2015 3:26pm EDT

(Reuters) – Monsanto Co, maker of the world’s most widely used herbicide, Roundup, wants an international health organization to retract a report linking the chief ingredient in Roundup to cancer.

The company said on Tuesday that the report, issued on Friday by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), was biased and contradicts regulatory findings that the ingredient, glyphosate, is safe when used as labeled.

A working group of the IARC, based in Lyon, France, said after reviewing scientific literature it was classifying glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

“There are a number of independent, published manuscripts that clearly indicate that glyphosate … can promote cancer and tumor growth,” said Dave Schubert, head of the cellular neurobiology laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. “It should be banned.”

“We question the quality of the assessment,” Philip Miller, Monsanto vice president of global regulatory affairs, said on Tuesday in an interview. “The WHO has something to explain.”

Monsanto officials have asked to meet with WHO and IARC members, and Miller said the company wants a retraction.

A representative of the IARC could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Miller said the company provided scientific data to the IARC showing the safety of glyphosate, but that the agency largely ignored it.

Miller said the IARC report should not affect the safety review of glyphosate currently under way by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA, which has the power to limit or ban use of glyphosate, said it would look at the WHO report as part of the review process.

Farmers have been using glyphosate in increasing quantities since Monsanto in the mid-1990s introduced crops genetically engineered to withstand being sprayed with Roundup herbicide.

“Roundup Ready” corn, soybeans and other crops are popular because of the ease with which farmers have been able to kill weeds. But weeds have developed resistance to glyphosate, leading farmers to use more herbicide.

The U.S. Geological Survey estimated agricultural use of glyphosate in 2012, the most recent year available, at more than 283 million pounds, up from 110 million pounds in 2002.

The United States and other international regulatory bodies have backed the safety of glyphosate when used as directed, but the IARC report cited studies that raised concerns about glyphosate and impacts on health.

Monsanto says such studies are invalid. But critics say they merit attention.

“There are a number of independent, published manuscripts that clearly indicate that glyphosate … can promote cancer and tumor growth,” said Dave Schubert, head of the cellular neurobiology laboratory at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. “It should be banned.”

(Reporting by Carey Gillam in Kansas City, Mo.; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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Judge extends delay on Maui GMO-ban law: From The Maui News

March 21, 2015

By MELISSA TANJI – Staff Writer (mtanji@mauinews.com) , The Maui News

A federal judge has pushed back her stay on the implementation of a voter-approved Maui County moratorium on the farming of genetically engineered crops from March 31 to June 15.

In an order issued Thursday, U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway said that she will wait until the state Legislature completes its session before proceeding further. Mollway acknowledged that House Bill 849 and Senate Bill 986 – which would have rendered the county’s anti-GMO ordinance moot – are technically dead because they missed a key legislative deadline last week.

Although unlikely, she said that legislation affecting the case still could find its way into other bills.

“Given the chance, however remote, that legislation might affect the present dispute, a discussion was held on March 10 regarding whether the ordinance should be stayed until the Legislature adjourns in May 2015,” Mollway said in her order.

After the March 10 hearing, citizens group Sustainable Hawaiian Agriculture for the Keiki and the Aina Movement, or SHAKA Movement, urged the court on March 13 to stop the delays. To prolong the case would cause “irreparable harms” to the environment, public health and safety, Native Hawaiian interests and the integrity of the political process, SHAKA said.

In November, Maui voters approved the ballot initiative that called for a moratorium on farming GMO crops until scientific studies are conducted to determine their safety and benefits. The initiative was spearheaded by SHAKA, which maintains that the farming of GMOs is harmful, and that pesticide and chemical drift during cultivation may hurt people and the land.

Monsanto Co. and Agrigenetics Inc., a unit of Dow Chemical Co., filed a lawsuit to prevent the implementation of the voter-approved law. An agreement between the court and plaintiffs late last year called for delaying implementation until March 31 to allow for a hearing on the case.

SHAKA argued that it was not a party to discussions about the stay, so it should be allowed a hearing to oppose the delay.

Mollway countered in her order that SHAKA did not identify facts in its March 13 filing that would be resolved by further hearings. Even if hearings were scheduled, the judge said that they would be heard after March 31.

The judged cited the reasons for holding up the implementation of the ordinance until June 15. She said that both seed companies and their customers could lose business and not be able to compete in the market. The county would waste taxpayer money installing “infrastructure” needed to enforce the law only to have it scrapped if seed companies prevailed. Jobs, particularly on Molokai where unemployment is high, could could be lost if the ordinance were enacted now.

“Unemployment cannot be confined to purely monetary effects. The loss of jobs affects the availability of health insurance and of college and other opportunities for the laid-off worker’s family members. These personal losses could have long-term effects on the county as a whole,” Mollway said.

The judge said that a short delay in the implementation of the ordinance in light of the legislative process and judicial review “does no harm to the integrity of the political process at the county level.”

Mollway also did not accept SHAKA’s arguments regarding the delay’s potential impact on the environment or public health and safety.

* Melissa Tanji can be reached at mtanji@mauinews.com.

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Huge New Challenge to Monsanto’s Round-Up: Glyphosate is “probable human carcinogen” – World Health Org.’s Cancer Agency 3/20/2015

 . From GM Watch

Here’s the link to the statement by the WHO:

Roundup - IARC declare as a probable human carcinogen

IARC’s verdict comes as glyphosate is set to be re-approved in Europe this year

The World Health Organisation’s cancer agency has declared the world’s most widely used weedkiller a “probable human carcinogen” in a move that will alarm the agrochemical industry and amateur gardeners.

The assessment by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of glyphosate, which is used in herbicides with estimated annual sales of $6bn, will be of special concern to Monsanto, the company that brought glyphosate to market under the trade name Roundup in the 1970s.

Over 80% of GM crops worldwide are engineered to be grown with the herbicide.

The IARC has no regulatory role and its decisions do not automatically lead to bans or restrictions, but campaigners are expected to use them to put pressure on regulators.

The IARC reached its decision based on the view of 17 experts from 11 countries, who met in Lyon, France, to assess the carcinogenicity of 5 organophosphate pesticides.

The IARC’s assessment of the 5 pesticides is published in the latest issue of The Lancet Oncology.

Europe is set to re-approve glyphosate this year.

The IARC assessment is here (register to gain free access):
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045%2815%2970134-8/abstract

Financial Times article behind paywall: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/8b79a572-cf14-11e4-893d-00144feab7de.html#axzz3UxYNKYO6

The response by the pesticide industry association, the Glyphosate Task Force, is here:
http://www.wmcactionnews5.com/story/28574811/statement-of-the-gtf-on-the-recent-iarc-decision-concerning-glyphosate

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New Technology, New Concerns: Utah professor urges caution in altering DNA of unborn babies

By KRISTEN MOULTON | The Salt Lake Tribune  GUEST BLOGGERconnect

Genetics » U. scientist among those voicing caution as gene editing gets easier, cheaper.

University of Utah geneticist Dana Carroll, a leader in genomic engineering, is one of 18 scientists, ethicists and legal experts who signed a cautionary paper published Thursday in the journal Science Express.

The group met in Napa, Calif., in January to discuss and formulate its position, which calls for scientists to slow down, better understand the safety and consequences of engineering changes in human DNA and allow time for public discussion of the ethics.

A new tool that is revolutionizing genetics and molecular biology, CRISPR-Cas9, gives researchers the ability to easily and cheaply “snip” DNA in a cell, using an enzyme called a nuclease, and either remove or rewrite genetic information.

While it holds promise for eradicating genetic diseases, the technology also has big implications for the human genome: A person whose DNA is edited would pass the altered genes on to his or her future children.

There’s also a fear the technology could be used in unethical ways, such as “engineering” a baby to look a certain way, or to be athletic or intelligent.

“One of the concerns is that some people may want to use the technology to make trivial or cosmetic changes, rather than using it to prevent devastating diseases,” said Carroll, distinguished professor of biochemistry at the University of Utah School of Medicine.

The paper Carroll co-signed is expected to amplify discussion in the scientific community, which last week heard from another group of researchers who recommend that the new technology never be used on human embryos.

Changing the genome could have unpredictable effects on future humans, and that’s unacceptable, the group says.

Instead, that group, led by Edward Lanphier, chief executive of the biotechnology company Sangamo Biosciences, suggests research focus on somatic, or non-reproductive cells.

CRISPR-Cas9, was developed in the lab of Jennifer Doudna, the University of California-Berkeley scientist who organized the Napa meeting.

Hundreds of papers in the past two years have proven the usefulness of the new tool in research involving mammals.

“The applications to humans are potentially just around the corner,” Carroll said.

CRISPR-Cas9 allows more subtle, precise changes in DNA than was possible with technologies used in genetically modified organisms (GMOs), he added. Such genetic engineering typically involves introducing new genes into an organism.

But caution is in order because scientists cannot be sure there won’t be other consequences to the gene editing, he said. “We could be doing the right thing at the target and the wrong thing somewhere else,” Carroll said. “This is not trivial genetic manipulation.

“That means that we have to be very careful that, first of all, the change is what we intend and nothing else, and that the people who are affected by the change in the short term and the public at large have some comfort with this approach.”

The paper Carroll co-signed says, “Given the rapid developments in the field, it would be wise to begin a discussion that bridges the research community, relevant industries, medical centers, regulatory bodies and the public in order to explore together the responsible uses of this technology.”

While the statement doesn’t suggest who should lead the conversation, Carroll said the National Academy of Sciences would be a logical choice.

Most countries either outlaw or regulate genetic manipulation of human genes, but he acknowledged that the paper might only affect what happens in the United States.

The paper suggests that scientists avoid even attempting, in lax jurisdictions or with regulatory approval, modifying the germ line — reproductive cells — in human beings, “while societal, environmental and ethical implications of such activity are discussed among scientific and governmental organizations.”

By having a public discussion of the ethics, Carroll said, perhaps “enough people around the world will feel the ethical challenges of doing this sort of thing that even the outlaws are given pause.”

kmoulton@sltrib.com

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Understanding the Political Process in Hawai’i: Tools for Grassroots Change” Presentation by Gary Hooser and Kate McMillan

Do you feel passionate about the protection of Hawai’i’s natural resources and want to make a difference?

Upcountry Sustainability presented “Understanding the Political Process in Hawai’i: Tools for Grassroots Change” with Kaua’i County Council Member and President of the Hawai’i Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA) Gary Hooser.

In this workshop, Hooser, was joined by HAPA board member Katie McMillan, will explain:
~the Hawai’i legislative process
~how to track and follow bills
~submit testimony, and present your point of view to the legislature effectively.

As a State Senator and while serving as a Councilmember, Hooser was known for his willingness to be “out in front” on issues. He introduced a “first in the nation law” making Hawai’i the nation’s first state requiring solar hot water heating systems (or equivalent) for all newly constructed homes. He also led the early legislative battle in the Senate in support of civil union legislation and is widely acknowledged for his leadership and hard work on progressive policy initiatives covering a broad spectrum.

Katie McMillan is marketing and public relations consultant and is also the Founder of TEDxMaui. She is an advocate for citizen engagement and participation in the legislative process.

Find out more about the presenters, and the sponsoring organizations via the following links:

Upcountry Sustainability: www.upcountrysustainability.org

The Hawai’i Alliance for Progressive Action: www.hawaiiallianceforprogressiveaction.org

Gary Hooser: www.garyhooser.com

Katie McMillan: www.katiemcmillanpublicrelations.com

About Upcountry Sustainability:
Upcountry Sustainability brings people and groups together creating a collaborative, sustainable Maui community, and thereby helps build a healthy island, state, and planet Earth. Upcountry Sustainability envisions a multi-cultural community that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable that works together in the spirit of aloha to serve as a model of a self-reliant, thriving community. Through monthly meetings, education and training events, Upcountry Sustainability works to
build a balanced local economy, establish healthy relationships with the environment, and share resources and knowledge.

About the Hawai’i Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.)

The Hawai’i Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit whose mission is “to catalyze community empowerment and systemic change towards valuing ʻaina (environment) and people ahead of corporate profit.” H.A.P.A. is committed to revitalizing and supporting grassroots democracy.

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 7.21.14 PM10422165_10152617054656423_5174941479776571585_n

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Anti-GMO, Biotech Factions Clash at Food Summit

Anti-GMO, Biotech Factions Clash at Food Summit

By Jacob Bunge, Wall Street Journal Guest Blogger

A farmer harvests corn in Washington, Ill., in November.

Associated Press

Can genetically modified crops grow in harmony with their non-GMO counterparts?

The debate between the pro-biotech and non-GMO camps increasingly looks more like scorched earth than common ground. Biotech seed makers like Monsanto Co. and Syngenta AG, along with farmer groups, argue that genetically modified crops are critical to feed a growing global population. Organic food companies and consumer groups charge that GMO crops promote a chemical-heavy approach to farming that’s harsh on land and animals and could contribute to human-health problems.

The increasingly polarized debate prompted the U.S. Department of Agriculture to convene Thursday a two-day summit on “agricultural coexistence” that seeks to mend some farmland fence-posts.

“The one thing I am really tired of is division,” said Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, at the event at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. “This is about finding a path forward.”

But finding that path appeared difficult, with some speakers on both sides of the issue offering few signs of compromise.

“Organic is the future of American agriculture,” said Errol Schweizer, executive global grocery coordinator for Whole Foods Market Inc. Organic crops are grown without GMO seeds.

“We’re not going to feed the world with organic foods,” said Dan Glickman, executive director of the Aspen Institute, a public policy think tank in Washington, and a former U.S. secretary of agriculture.

One thing both factions agree on: The discord costs money. Tens of millions of dollars have been spent advocating for and against state ballot initiatives and legislation requiring labels for foods made with GMOs.

Meanwhile, organic farmers spend thousands of dollars creating buffer zones in their fields to guard against the spread of neighbors’ GMO crop pollen and related pesticides, and setting up systems to ensure harvested grain doesn’t mix with GMO varieties, said Laura Batcha, chief executive of the Organic Trade Association, speaking at the event.

Biotech-crop advocates worry the debate over labeling and continued questions over the crops’ safety is slowing scientific advancements and new products that could help farmers raise hardier crops and produce more food, Mr. Glickman said. The Food and Drug Administration and many U.S. health and science groups say food made with the ingredients is safe.

Some farmers at the event said they took the intensified scrutiny of biotech crops personally.

“For retailers to talk about one production system over another as being the gold standard disparages the production system I use, and I don’t think that’s conducive to having a conversation about coexistence,” said Ron Moore, who grows soybeans, corn and alfalfa near Roseville, Ill., and serves as secretary of the American Soybean Association.

Farmers of all sorts need to acknowledge that “a significant percentage of our community wants to know whether or not they’re eating GMOs,” said Lynn Clarkson, president of Clarkson Grain Co., a Cerro Gordo, Ill., company that specializes in marketing non-biotech crops.

Mr. Clarkson suggested labeling all foods that do not contain genetically engineered ingredients under a federal standard, though others in the non-GMO camp continued to argue for a federal rule requiring labels for food containing GMOs.

Some non-GMO farmers and food makers already feel they bear a greater economic burden than their biotech-using counterparts, however. Some farmers adjust their planting to help ensure non-GMO crop fields remain free of biotech plants, Ms. Batcha said, and Whole Foods’ Mr. Schweizer said his company had struggled to find enough crops to make organic products for its shelves.

“I actually am importing heirloom corn from Mexico,” Mr. Schweizer said. “It’s a huge issue.”

One place USDA officials sought common ground Thursday: the lunch menu. Attendees could choose from GMO-derived selections – grilled chicken breast, corn salsa and roasted sugar beets – as well as an organic menu including free-range chicken, wild rice pilaf and salad. The competing menu choices were served at separate tables.

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GMO Divide Continues Despite USDA ‘Workshop On Coexistence

Mon, 03/16/2015 – 10:25am Andy Szal, Digital Reporter, Guest Blogger

The U.S. Department of Agriculture convened a recent “coexistence” workshop in North Carolina in an effort to bridge the wide gulf between proponents and critics of genetically modified crops.

Instead, a report from the Wall Street Journal suggested USDA officials only heard more of the same from both sides of the GMO issue. Supporters said modified plants are safe and have the potential to feed a growing population; opponents questioned their potential impact on both the environment and on public health.

“For retailers to talk about one production system over another as being the gold standard disparages the production system I use, and I don’t think that’s conducive to having a conversation about coexistence,” said Ron Moore, an official with the American Soybean Association.

“Organic is the future of American agriculture,” countered Errol Schweizer, an executive with Whole Foods Market Inc.

The pro- and anti-GMO factions each acknowledged the heavy cost of their spat, largely due to political fights over GMO production restrictions and over labeling requirements on products containing modified crops.

This month alone, lawmakers in Oregon and Rhode Island floated GMO labeling requirements in those states, while a federal judge in Hawaii weighed delaying a lawsuit over Maui’s moratorium on GMO production as state lawmakers consider bills that would scrap the ban approved by Maui County voters last year.

Polling on the issue, meanwhile, remains mixed. An Associated Press-GfK survey early this year suggested that a large majority of Americans support labeling requirements, but that they’re far less inclined to make purchasing decisions based on GMOs. A recent report from Iowa State University economists also found consumers would pay more for modifications that removed harmful substances.

On the regulatory and agricultural fronts, however, GMOs appear to be steadily gaining acceptance in the marketplace. More grain storage facilities plan to purchase modified corn this year, while the USDA recently approved apples that resist turning brown and potatoes with lesser amounts of acrylamide, a suspected carcinogen.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack told the agency’s GMO workshop that he wants to begin “finding a path forward” on the issue, but he suggested at a congressional hearing last month that consumers could someday be able to use their smartphones to find information about foods at supermarkets—including whether or not they contain GMOs.

“Industry could solve that issue in a heartbeat,” Vilsack said.

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The Fallout From Maui’s GMO Miracle Election Win Is Exposing More And More Conflicts of Interest in Our Governments and Courts.

Read down to the very end of Jon’s Rappoport’s Post highlighting bias in Judge Susan Oki Mollway’s Court.

Jon calls for a Major Publicity Campaign to tell Maui’s Miracle GM Moratorium Story to the World. 

I totally agree. But it takes funds to create this kind of media.

I had the privilege of serving as the Media Director for the SHAKA Movement and Vote Yes Maui, working to craft the advertising campaign that helped bring about Maui’s historic GMO Moratorium electoral victory.  motion-gif2

I already have much of the footage needed to tell Maui’s Miracle GMO story as a documentary.  We just need to film the upcoming Court Proceedings, pull some archival materials and edit it all together.

This week I’ll be launching a crowd funding campaign to raise the funds to Finish My Documentary on Maui’s GMO Miracle. Look for it and please support this project.

Explosive: yet another corrupt judge in the Maui vs. Monsanto case?

Explosive: Yet another corrupt judge in the Maui vs. Monsanto case?

Who is Susan Oki Mollway?

by Jon Rappoport

March 13, 2015

NoMoreFakeNews.com

Last Election Day, the voters on Maui passed a resolution to temporarily stop Monsanto and Dow from continuing their toxic GMO and pesticide experiments in the “open-air laboratory” of Maui.

Monsanto and Dow sued immediately to nullify the will of the people. Since then, the case has been hung up in the courts.

A few months ago, I exposed the fact that the federal judge handling the case, Barry Kurren, was compromised, because his wife, Faye, was involved with an environmental group that had accepted huge money from Dow.

Judge Kurren, for whatever reasons, is no longer on the case. The sitting judge now is Susan Oki Mollway.

It’s all good now, right?

Wrong.

Hours before a scheduled March 10 hearing, which hopefully would have made progress toward a resolution of the voters of Maui’s position (ban GMOs) vs. Monsanto and Dow’s position (let us keep poisoning the people of Maui with our experimental pesticides and experimental GMOs)…boom. Judge Mollway postponed the hearing.

No progress. No resolution. More stalling, even after the voters of Maui had made their voices heard, last Election Day, with a ballot decision to put a temporary halt to all Monsanto/Dow GMO/pesticide toxic experiments on Maui.

Justice deferred once again.

So why did Judge Mollway shock everybody and cancel the March 10 hearing?

Because, she claimed, she just became aware (really?) that there are two bills up for consideration in the Hawaii State Legislature, and these bills will have a major effect on the regulation of agriculture on Maui, once they are voted on. Therefore, why not wait until the fate of those bills is decided?

Once that happens, what the voters on Maui decided last Election Day will be superseded.

The Judge rhetorically asked, “Is there any dispute that the enactment of either of these bills would nullify the [Maui voters’] ordinance at issue in this case?”

Nullify. Who cares what the voters of Maui think? No longer an issue. Irrelevant. Throw the vote in the garbage can.

Mollway seems quite sure at least one of these Senate bills will pass.

Right, except everybody with their heads in the game (except the Judge) knows this is inaccurate. The bills she is referring to are…

Well, let me allow Hawaii State Senator Russell Ruderman, who is chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, to explain it—as he DID in a March 9 letter to Judge Mollway:

“March 9
The Honorable Susan Oki Mollway
United States District Court
300 Ala Moana Blvd C-338/Honolulu, HI 96850

Aloha Judge Mollway,

I am the State Senator from the Puna District and the Chair of the State Senate Committee on Agriculture. Please accept this letter as verification that bills SB986 Relating to Agriculture (Right to Farm; Counties) and HB849 Relating to Agriculture (Right to Farm; Counties) have both missed required hearing deadlines and are effectively ‘dead’ for this legislative session.”

What?? Even with a dose of the truth from a state senator, Judge Mollway wrongly (and conveniently) continues to assume that one or both of these bills are a slam-dunk to pass and be signed into law, and on that patently false basis she postpones the hearing and gives the very strong impression that the Maui voters’ victory is now trash, to be ignored, thrown aside, and stepped on.

Could Monsanto and Dow ask for a better judge and a better ruling?


power outside the matrix


But wait. There’s more.

It’s a decision Judge Mollway made in 2012, in the Velella Project lawsuit.

Velella was an experiment in raising 2000 fish in a cage in the ocean, and feeding the fish soy oil.

Mollway decided in favor of the feds granting an aquaculture license off-shore in Hawaii, despite protests that local authorities (regional fishery management councils) should decide whether to grant the license. And…if locals had made that decision, there was a very good chance they would have said no and canceled the whole Velella Project.

So what?

Well, the Illinois Soybean Association funded a piece of the Velella Project, and they’re sponsored by Dow, Monsanto, and BASF, all heavyweight GMO companies.

I’d say there is the strong possibility those 2000 fish in a cage were fed GMO soy. Gene drift in the ocean, anyone?

Furthermore, Velella was just one step toward a massive new aquaculture industry: growing and feeding and harvesting fish in the ocean, a new industry that would undoubtedly be backed by the biotech GMO giants.

And Federal Judge Susan Oki Mollway was right there at the beginning, making sure those GMO giants (through the Illinois Soybean Association) had a hand (soy-oil) in those ocean experiments, making sure local Hawaii groups couldn’t have a voice, couldn’t stop the project.

Does that indicate where her sympathies lie? Are those sympathies behind her attempt to derail the will of the voters of Maui now?

Are there any other reporters who are ready to carry the ball and cover this scandal? Is there anyone in the anti-GMO movement, who has been backing it with cash, who is now willing to put money into a major publicity campaign, in order to expose what is happening on Maui?

Jon Rappoport

The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.com or OutsideTheRealityMachine.

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Science Bias Revealed, Hopefully Reversed: Journal that Retracted Séralini Study Now Replaced Editor-in-Chief and Removed Ex-Monsanto Employee from Editorial Board

 Seralini rat Study Wrongfully RetractedUpdate (26 February 2015)

Critical changes have this year been made at the journal, Food and Chemical Toxicolgy, from which the Editor-in-Chief A. Wallace Hayes retracted the important paper by the Seralini team. The Editorial Board of the journal [19] now has a new Editor-in-Chief, José L. Domingo, who has published papers showing that safety of GM crops is not an established fact; and the Editorial Board no longer includes Richard Goodman, the ex-Monsanto employee who became Associate Editor for Biotechnology not long before the Seralini paper was retracted.

http://www.sgr.org.uk/resources/scientific-publication-peril-seralini-affair

The ‘Séralini affair’ illustrates the pervasive influence and power of major corporations over biotechnology publications and research. Evidence of harm to health caused by products during testing by companies can be hidden under ‘commercial confidentiality’ or by a poor experimental design.  A once-respected journal can no longer be relied upon to be objective, with studies showing harm from GM crops rejected without good reason, while studies finding safety in flawed experiments are published. It is difficult not to conclude that science is being corrupted to suppress legitimate questions about the safety of GM crop technology.

Re-publication in another journal

In June 2014, the Séralini et al.paper was re-published with open access in the Springer Group journal Environmental Sciences Europe.  Again, there was an immediate outcry by GM supporters.  In addition, the researchers have published for open access all their raw data — something the GM companies have always refused to do.
The Height of Past Bias: A “Rigged” paper from the GM industry stays, while Seralini’s gets retracted.

The flawed process by which FCT has selected some papers for publication is emphasised by its acceptance of a new study [16] from scientists working in the GM industry.  A rat-feeding trial of a GM canola, a type of oilseed rape, by six DuPont scientists found the GM crop to be as safe as non-GM varieties.  This conclusion has been challenged by the Seralini team in a Letter-to-the-Editor of FCT [17], on the grounds that (a) having analysed the diet (obtained from the named company), they found that the diets of the control rats contained large proportions of two GM maizes and also glyphosate residue; (b) the usual 3-month duration was too short to show long-term effects; and (c) additional ‘control’ groups fed ‘reference canola varieties’ were used.  The same strain of rat was used as by the Seralini researchers with 12 rats per sex per group, compared with 10 by the Seralini team. Three rats died or had to be put down during the study.  As usual in industry studies, statistical differences were regarded as being “of no biological relevance”. The results were said to “support the conclusion” that the canola is safe. To add further insult to injury, the DuPont scientists declared at the end of the paper that they had “no conflicts of interest”.  Moreover, the lead author is a Managing Editor of the journal. [18]

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“They won’t tell you when or where pesticides are being sprayed on the island?” From GMO Free Oahu

Published on Mar 13, 2015

A clip from a 53 minute interview with Mitsuko Hayakawa, GMO Free Oahu and GMO Free hosts Kathllen Hallal and Esther Grondahl.

Watch full interview

Instead of buffer zones and disclosure, they are left with the possibility of what’s being sprayed without telling where it will be sprayed.

How can the residents take precautions to protect themselves if they don’t know where it’s happening.

We would know how much is being used.

What are residence reporting in terms of health issues?

The North Shore: A lot of complaints about dust. Pioneer is right by a high school, citizens smell pink bubble gum smell in the middle of the night, they hear helicopters and aerial spraying is happening in the middle of the night.

I saw testimony of citizens who have been sprayed and had to be taken to the emergency room.

I spoke to a Nurse on Kauai: 70-95% of patients she works with have respiratory problems.

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Press release by Council Member Don Guzman: Friday, March 13 at 9 a.m.  Committee Update on The Legal Proceedings and County’s Response to Date.

Press release by:  Council Vice-Chair Guzman, Chair, Committee of the Whole
Committee to receive an update on GMO litigation
WAILUKU, Hawaii – A status update on two cases relating to the ordinance proposed by initiative petition and passed by the voters at the last general election will be considered by the Committee of the Whole on Friday, March 13 at 9 a.m. <http://mauicounty.us/meeting/150313cow/> , Committee Chair Don S. Guzman announced today.

Photo by Wendy Osher

Photo by Wendy Osher

The terms of the ordinance require a temporary moratorium on the cultivation of genetically engineered organisms, or GMOs, in Maui County. Plaintiffs Robert Ito Farm, Inc., et al., and Defendant County of Maui stipulated to an injunction against any action to effect the ordinance until March 31.

At the federal court, GMO proponents, Robert Ito Farm, Inc., Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation, Maui County, Molokai Chamber of Commerce and Agrigenetics, Inc., are seeking a judicial declaration that the initiative petition ordinance is invalid. In the state court, GMO opponents, Alika Atay, Lorrin Pang, Mark Sheehan, Bonnie Marsh, Lei`ohu Ryder and the Shaka Movement are seeking a judicial declaration that it should be enforced and implemented. Alika Atay, et al., have also intervened in the federal action.

A Motion for Summary Judgment, filed by Robert Ito Farm, Inc., et al., is set for a hearing on March 31 at the federal courthouse in Honolulu.

Guzman said the committee will receive a summary of the legal proceedings to date and a clarification of questions regarding the county’s representation in the cases.

Friday’s agenda  <http://mauicounty.us/meeting/150313cow/> and related documents are available at MauiCounty.us/cow <http://mauicounty.us/cow> .

Testimony may be emailed to cow.committee@mauicounty.us <mailto:cow.committee@mauicounty.us> , referencing COW-1(1).

Agenda: http://mauicounty.us/meeting/150313cow/ <http://mauicounty.us/meeting/150313cow/>
——————————————————-
STATUS:      The Committee may discuss the status of the case.  The Committee may also consider other related action.
NOTE:      With reference to this agenda item, one or more executive meetings are anticipated pursuant to Section 92‑5(a)(4), Hawaii Revised Statutes, to consult with legal counsel on questions and issues pertaining to the powers, duties, privileges, immunities, and liabilities of the County, the Council, and the Committee.

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Who’s Crazy? The Campaign Against Health Food – Big Ag’s New Propaganda Campaign

who's-crazyOfficials Declare ‘Eating Healthy’ A Mental Disorder

by JEFFEREY JAXEN Guest Blogger

In an attempt to curb the mass rush for food change and reform, psychiatry has green lighted a public relations push to spread awareness about their new buzzword “orthorexia nervosa,” defined as “a pathological obsession for biologically pure and healthy nutrition.” In other words, experts are saying that our demand for nutrient-dense, healthful food is a mental disorder that must be treated.

CNN, Fast Company, Popular Science, and other top outlets have all began to trumpet the talking points on cue relatively recently:

“Orthorexia nervosa is a label designated to those who are concerned about eating healthy. Characterized by disordered eating fueled by a desire for “clean” or “healthy” foods, those diagnosed with the condition are overly pre-occupied with the nutritional makeup of what they eat”.

In short, if you turn your back on low quality, corporate food containing known cancer causing toxic additives and a rich history of dishonesty rooted in a continuous “profits over people” modus operandi, then you may suffer from a mental illness. The cherry on top is that if you have the pseudo-science labeled disorder of orthorexia nervosa, you will be prescribed known toxic, pharmaceutical drugs from some of the same conglomerate corporations that you are trying to avoid by eating healthy in the first place.

Orthorexia has not yet found its way into the latest edition of the psychiatric bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), yet is commonly being lumped in with other eating disorders. Stepping back and looking at the ones pushing this label on us shows highly questionable motives.

Psychiatry as a whole is deeply in bed with a pharmaceutical industry that makes the drugs to “treat” every one of these “disorders.” It is often these companies that are wielding influence behind the scenes to invent more mental health categories with their toxic products as the answer. This latest media push to popularize orthorexia as a mental disorder with a goal to marginalize or derail the food revolution appears to have been dead on arrival.

The psychiatric community has even deemed creativity to be a mental illness.Mental Health

As the people continue to walk away from the broken medical and agricultural/food systems like any abusive relationship, the food makers are willing to do anything to maintain their waning control. Organic and non-GMO food markets have exploded in the last 5 years, so much so that any corporation wishing to not follow the trend risks financial hardship or ruin. In addition, pharmaceutical companies are feeling the strain as less people want their toxic medications and crippling side effects.

Perhaps some people to take it too far to the point of self-harm, but the problem we face with a toxic food system is a much larger threat. In closing, let’s be aware of some of the overall BS fed to us by the pharmaceutical bankrolled industry of psychiatry. When healthy eating and creativity are mental issues, something is amiss.

Sources:
Prison Planet
Popular Science
Jon Rappoport
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Maui Earth Day Festival – Organizational Meeting Tues 3/3 7:30pm Mandala, 29 Baldwin Ave, Paia

Maui Earth Day Festival – Organizational Meeting

Tuesday, March 3rd, 7:30pm

Mandala Creations, 29 Baldwin Ave, Paia

Calling all volunteers, supporters and helpers.
Help to make this the best event of the year.

Calling all environmental and social awareness organization and vendors.
Come participate in organizing this beloved community event.

02n5x

 

 

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