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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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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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power-politics
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.

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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

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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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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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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.

###

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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Help Veterans Access Medical Marijuana!

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Support The Veterans Equal Access Amendment   Click here to send 

Dear Member of Congress,

* Personalize your message
I am writing to request that you support The Veterans Equal Access Amendment sponsored by Steve Daines (R-MT) and offered in the Senate Committee on Appropriations, which allows VA doctors to discuss medical marijuana with their patients where it is legal. The amendment will be offered as part of the Appropriations Committee’s consideration of the Milcon/VA bill.

Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) specifically prohibits its medical providers from completing forms brought by their patients seeking recommendations or opinions regarding participation in a state medical marijuana program. This amendment would authorize VA physicians and other health care providers to provide recommendations and opinions regarding the use of medical marijuana to veterans who live in medical marijuana states. In 2002, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in Conant v. Walters the right of physicians to recommend medical marijuana, regardless of its illegality under federal law, as well as the right of patients to receive accurate information. The Daines amendment would support that first amendment right and restore a healthy doctor-patient relationship.

There are numerous federal healthcare programs besides the VA such as Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP – but only the VA prohibits physicians from discussing and recommending medical marijuana to their patients. A Medicare patient may freely discuss medical marijuana use with her doctor, while a returning veteran is denied the same right.. Studies have shown that medical marijuana can help treat post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, illnesses typically suffered by Veterans. A 2014 study (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24830188) of people with PTSD showed a greater than 75% reduction in severity of symptoms when patients were using cannabis to treat their illness, compared to when they were not. Veterans have served our country valiantly, so the least we can do is provide them with access to the medicine they require.

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
Contact Information
*Required fields
* Title:
* First Name:
* Last Name:
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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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“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 case for banning Monsanto’s Roundup by Physicians for Social Responsibility

By Dr. Jeff Ritterman, Guest Blogger East Bay Express
Dr. Jeff Ritterman is vice president of the board of directors of the SF Bay Chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. He is the retired chief of cardiology at Kaiser Richmond and a former Richmond city councilmember. Follow him on Twitter @JeffRitterman.

monsanto

There’s strong evidence that the herbicide causes birth defects and probably causes cancer. There’s also reason to believe it causes or exacerbates numerous chronic illnesses

On March 20, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reclassified glyphosate as a chemical that probably causes cancer. The IARC is a branch of the World Health Organization that focuses on cancer, and it combines the knowledge and expertise of epidemiologists, laboratory scientists, and biostatisticians. The IARC has been engaged in cancer research for more than five decades, and its vast experience in cancer research has led the agency to conclude that “most cancers are, directly or indirectly, linked to environmental factors and thus are preventable.”

The IARC had previously designated glyphosate as possibly carcinogenic. Monsanto, a leading producer of glyphosate under the trade name Roundup, immediately issued a press release challenging the new IARC designation and contending that Roundup is safe. But Monsanto has a tremendous amount at stake. Half of the corporation’s revenues come from sales of Roundup and Roundup Ready seeds, which can tolerate the herbicide. Monsanto advocates that farmers spray their fields heavily and repeatedly with Roundup in order to kill unwanted weeds, and Monsanto’s corporate strategy is based on the assumption that Roundup is safe. If Roundup is found to be toxic, the entire house of cards comes tumbling down, and with it, Monsanto and biotech agriculture. The banning of glyphosate could mean bankruptcy for Monsanto.

But the scientific case for banning glyphosate is convincing. Research shows that in addition to concerns about cancer, there is strong evidence that Roundup causes birth defects in vertebrates, including in humans. The research also reveals that glyphosate may be the cause of or trigger for a number of chronic illnesses that are now plaguing people around the globe.

Originally patented by the Stauffer Chemical Company in 1964, glyphosate is a powerful chelating agent — meaning that it avidly binds to metals. It’s this chelating property that led to glyphosate’s first use as a descaling agent to clean mineral deposits from pipes in boilers and other hot water systems. The ability to bind to metals also allows glyphosate-metal complexes to persist in soil for decades. The chelating property also underlies the hypothesis that glyphosate-metal complexes are the cause of a fatal chronic kidney disease epidemic that has been ravaging Central America, Sri Lanka, and parts of India.

In the 1970s, John Franz, a Monsanto scientist, discovered glyphosate’s usefulness as an herbicide. Monsanto patented glyphosate and has marketed the chemical as “Roundup” since 1974. Glyphosate is now the world’s most widely used herbicide.

But contrary to Monsanto’s claims that Roundup is safe, a virtual avalanche of scientific studies, including some funded by Monsanto itself, show alarming incidences of fetal deaths and birth defects in animals exposed to glyphosate. Birth defects include missing kidneys and lungs, enlarged hearts, extra ribs, and missing and abnormally formed bones of the limbs, ribs, sternum, spine, and skull.

These startling revelations can be found in the 2011 report “Roundup and Birth Defects: Is the Public Being Kept in the Dark?” It was written by eight experts from the fields of molecular genetics, agro-ecology, toxico-pathology, scientific ethics, ecological agriculture, plant genetics, public health, and cell biology. The report, written primarily for a European readership, is highly critical of the biotech industry and of the European Union’s failure to evaluate glyphosate based on science rather than on political concerns. It calls for an immediate withdrawal of Roundup and glyphosate from the European Union until a thorough scientific evaluation can be completed on the herbicide.

“The public has been kept in the dark by industry and regulators about the ability of glyphosate and Roundup to cause malformations,” the report states. “In addition, the work of independent scientists who have drawn attention to the herbicide’s teratogenic effects has been ignored, denigrated or dismissed. These actions on the part of industry and regulators have endangered public health.”

A teratogen is any agent that can disturb the development of an embryo or a fetus. The term stems from the Greek teras, meaning monster.

In late 2012, when Danish pig farmer Ibn Bjorn Pedersen began feeding his pigs genetically modified soy that was contaminated with glyphosate, the rate of birth defects soared. In early 2013, piglets were born without an ear, with only one large eye, with a large hole in the skull, and with a monstrously large “elephant tongue.” A female piglet was born with testes, and still others had malformed limbs, spines, skulls, and gastrointestinal tracts. The deformed piglets all tested positive for glyphosate in their tissues.

These birth defects in test animals and in farmer Pedersen’s pigs were similar to those reported by humans living in Argentina, where glyphosate is sprayed heavily from airplanes as part of the production of genetically modified soy. In the Córdoba region of Argentina, the Gatica family resides in the barrio of Ituzaingó, only 50 meters away from fields of GMO soy. Airplanes would regularly fly overhead, spraying glyphosate on the crops. In the mid-1990s, Sofia Gatica’s oldest son became extremely ill. “When he was four years old, he came down with the illness that left him temporarily paralyzed,” she recalled, according to a 2013 report published by the German news organization Deutsche Welle. “He was admitted to the hospital. They told me that they didn’t know what was wrong with him.”

In 1999, Gatica gave birth to a baby girl. The infant died of kidney failure on her third day of life. This tragedy prompted the grieving mother to take action. Gatica went door-to-door, collecting information on the health of her community. Her survey uncovered an unusually high rate of birth defects and cancer. “Children were being born with deformities, little babies were being born with six fingers, without a jawbone, missing a skull bone, with kidney deformities, without an anus — and a lot of mothers and fathers were developing cancer,” she said, according to the Deutsche Welle report.

Gatica shared her findings with her friends and neighbors. Soon a group formed, calling itself the Mothers of Ituzaingó. In 2012, Gatica was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work protecting her community from glyphosate toxicity.

A group of Argentine doctors, alarmed by the increases in birth defects and cancer, joined the Mothers of Ituzaingó. These concerned physicians formed Doctors of Fumigated Towns, which held its first national conference in August 2010 in Córdoba, Argentina, a farming area where agribusinesses heavily and repeatedly spray glyphosate. The Department of Medical Sciences of the National University at Córdoba sponsored the conference. Some 160 doctors from throughout the country attended. At the conference, Dr. Medardo Avila Vazquez, a pediatrician and environmental health expert, explained his concerns: “The change in how agriculture is produced has brought, frankly, a change in the profile of diseases. We’ve gone from a pretty healthy population to one with a high rate of cancer, birth defects, and illnesses seldom seen before. There are more than 12 million people affected by fumigation (pesticide spraying) in the country. In these areas, the rate of birth defects is four times higher than in the cities.”

Chaco is Argentina’s poorest province and a region of intensive glyphosate spraying. Records from the neonatal service at Chaco’s Perrando Hospital show that birth defects increased fourfold, from 19.1 to 85.3 per 10,000 people, in the decade after intensive herbicide use began.

The experimental animal studies, the observations in farm animals, and the epidemiological studies in humans all bolster the conclusion that glyphosate causes birth defects.

And the research directly contradicts claims by Monsanto, which states on its website that Roundup is safe “because it binds tightly to most types of soil so it is not available for uptake by roots of nearby plants. It works by disrupting a plant enzyme involved in the production of amino acids that are essential to plant growth. The enzyme, EPSP synthase, is not present in humans or animals, contributing to the low risk to human health from the use of glyphosate according to label directions.”

So how can Roundup cause birth defects if it only affects an enzyme (EPSP Synthase) that animals do not possess? Andrés Carrasco, an embryologist and the former director of the molecular embryology laboratory at the University of Buenos Aires, found the link.

Carrasco suspected that glyphosate caused an abnormal hyperactivity in the Vitamin A pathway. The Vitamin A signaling pathway is present in all vertebrates from the very earliest stages of embryonic development. The pathway turns on certain genes and turns off others. It acts like a conductor, orchestrating the symphony of embryological development. And there is no room for error. Genes must be turned on and off at precisely the right instant in exact sequence. Any disturbance of the Vitamin A pathway can result in birth defects. It is because of the enhanced risk of birth defects that pregnant women are advised not to take any Vitamin A (retinoic acid) containing medications.

When Carrasco added a chemical inhibitor to his experiments, he was able to block the glyphosate-induced hyperactivity in the Vitamin A pathway. The birth defects no longer appeared. Mystery solved! Glyphosate had caused birth defects by over-stimulating the Vitamin A pathway. Since this pathway is present in all vertebrates, glyphosate has the capacity to cause birth defects in fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals.

But Roundup doesn’t just cause birth defects.

Epidemiologic studies from the areas in Latin America where agribusinesses heavily spray glyphosate have consistently shown spikes in cancer incidence. Other epidemiological research has implicated glyphosate in brain cancer in children and in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In addition, laboratory studies of many kinds, as well as animal feeding studies, have repeatedly linked glyphosate to cancer.

Cancer is a complex process. One of the initial steps is damage to our DNA. Each of our cells gets its operating instructions from DNA, and if DNA is damaged and not repaired, it can program cells to divide rapidly and chaotically. When that happens, cells transform into cancers.

Cells are also vulnerable to becoming cancers during cell division. Each cell receives from its parent cell an identical copy of DNA. If a mistake occurs during this process, cells receive faulty DNA copies, and the cells can then turn cancerous.

Since both DNA damage and errors during cell division can lead to cancer, scientists have studied whether glyphosate can cause these abnormalities. And the results have been conclusive. For example, fruit fly larvae exposed to glyphosate have developed lethal DNA damage. And mice injected with glyphosate and with Roundup showed an increased frequency of DNA damage in the bone marrow, liver, and kidneys. Roundup damaged the DNA in blood cells of the European eel at environmentally realistic concentrations. And when researchers exposed cow lymphocytes to glyphosate, the herbicide caused DNA damage.

In a 2004 study, researchers from the National Scientific Research Center and the University of Pierre and Marie Curie in France exposed sea urchin embryos to glyphosate, and found that the herbicide caused significant errors in cell division. The scientists commented that these abnormalities are hallmarks of cancer and delivered a particularly chilling warning. “The concentration of glyphosate needed to cause these errors was 500 to 4,000 times lower than the dose to which humans may be exposed by aerial spraying or handling of the herbicide.”

Fernando Manas, a biologist at the National University of Rio Cuarto in Argentina, has been investigating the effects of pesticides for years. He believes that glyphosate spraying is causing cancer by inducing DNA damage, and his research has documented genetic damage in those exposed. When Manas studied people who spray pesticide while working in the soy industry in Córdoba, Argentina, he found significantly more DNA damage in their lymphocytes than those in an unexposed group. Glyphosate was one of the most commonly used pesticides by the workers.

Genetics researchers from the Pontifical Catholic University in Quito, Ecuador evaluated Ecuadorians living in the Sucumbíos district in northern Ecuador for evidence of DNA damage. The Colombian government had heavily sprayed the Sucumbíos district with glyphosate to eradicate illegal coca crops. People exposed to the herbicide developed a number of acute symptoms, including abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, heart palpitations, headaches, dizziness, numbness, insomnia, depression, shortness of breath, blurred vision, burning of eyes, blisters and rash. When compared to a control group, they also showed significantly more DNA damage.

In addition to the DNA and cell division research, scientists have explored glyphosate’s association with cancer in tissue culture studies. In these experiments, researchers grow cells in a small dish with nutrients and add various chemicals to test their effects.

In 2010, researchers in India exposed mouse skin cells grown in tissue culture to glyphosate. When the herbicide was added, the cells became cancerous.

Scientists in Thailand studied the impact of glyphosate on human estrogen-responsive breast cancer cells in tissue culture. Hormone-responsive breast cancer cells are known to grow when exposed to estrogen. And according to their published results in 2013, glyphosate also stimulated these cells to grow. The herbicide was able to bind to the cancer’s estrogen receptors, thus mimicking the effects of estrogen and accelerating tumor growth. Scientists refer to this as “endocrine disruption.” An endocrine disruptor is a chemical that can mimic or block a hormone. Because hormones work as chemical messengers at very low doses, even a minute dose of an endocrine disruptor can lead to serious illness.

Glyphosate’s links to cancer have also been assessed in studies with a variety of test animals for more than three decades. One of the earliest studies was conducted from 1979 to 1981, under the auspices of the United Nations Environmental Program, the International Labor Organization, and the World Health Organization. Rats exposed to low levels of the herbicide developed testicular cancer. A larger dose did not produce the cancer. Unfortunately, at the time of the experiment, it was not understood that certain substances have more potent effects at lower doses than at higher doses, and so the evaluators erroneously dismissed the results.

In a study from the Institute of Biology at the University of Caen in France, researchers studied glyphosate’s effects on rats, and found that glyphosate doubles the incidence of mammary gland tumors. These cancers also developed much faster in rats exposed to glyphosate than in controls. There was also an increase in cancers of the pituitary gland. Originally published in 2012, the report was retracted after the biotech agriculture industry complained. But after extensive review failed to show any fraud or problem with the data, the report was re-published in 2014.

Human epidemiologic studies also have shown a link between glyphosate and cancer.

Argentine physicians working in areas in which glyphosate is heavily sprayed have reported significant increases in cancer incidence. In Sante Fe province, which is an area of intensive herbicide spraying, a house-to-house epidemiological study of 65,000 people found cancer rates two to four times higher than the national average.

Two villages in Chaco province also raised concerns about glyphosate’s association with cancer. Researchers compared residents of the heavily sprayed farming village of Avia Terai to people in the non-sprayed ranching village of Charadai. In the farming village, 31 percent of residents had a family member with cancer while only 3 percent of residents in the ranching village had one.

Dr. Avila Vasquez, a doctor working in the heavily sprayed region of Barrio Ituzaingo, noted that cancer was responsible for 33 percent of the deaths in the region, while the cancer death rate in the big cities was only 19 percent.

In addition, scientists from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), who have analyzed studies spanning almost three decades, have found a positive association between organo-phosphorus herbicides, like glyphosate, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. IARC researchers found that the B cell lymphoma sub-type is strongly associated with glyphosate exposure. As mentioned earlier, the IARC published a monograph last month classifying glyphosate as probably carcinogenic.

The most recent research raising concerns about glyphosate’s connection to cancer is the linkage to lymphoma. Scientists from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, a branch of the US Department of Health and Human Services, who specialize in illnesses caused by toxic substances, published results of the US Atlantic Coast Childhood Brain Cancer Study in 2009. That study compared children with brain cancer in Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania to age-matched controls. The researchers found that if either parent had been exposed to glyphosate during the two years before the child’s birth, the chances of the child developing brain cancer doubled.

Glyphosate’s ability to produce birth defects and its association with cancer show that the herbicide actively impacts a number of important biological processes. Scientists have uncovered some of these impacts, and this work may have far-reaching implications for human health.

As noted above, Dr. Carrasco showed that glyphosate causes birth defects in vertebrates by interfering with the Vitamin A signaling pathway. And this pathway is part of a much larger enzyme system known as the “Cytochrome P450” system. This enzyme system is present in most tissues of our bodies. It is an extremely important and complex, responsible for inactivating toxic compounds and metabolizing medications. The Cytochrome P450 system is also important in the metabolism of sex hormones, cholesterol, and Vitamin D. And glyphosate interferes with several of the enzymes in this vital system.

One of the enzymes it inhibits is aromatase, which converts testosterone to estrogen. The testosterone-estrogen balance is fundamental to normal functioning. Glyphosate can mimic estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors, as we saw in the case of glyphosate’s ability to accelerate breast cancer cell growth in tissue culture. The herbicide can also prevent the chemical conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Glyphosate’s interference with aromatase may explain its association with impaired fertility. Clearly, these endocrine disrupting effects are cause for concern.

Glyphosate is also toxic to many gut bacteria that are important for human health. These bacteria live symbiotically with humans: The human digestive tract provides a friendly environment, full of nutrients for the bacteria, and in exchange, the bacteria perform a number of essential functions, including the synthesis of vitamins and the detoxification of foreign substances. The bacteria also aid immunity and help digestion and the maintenance of the normal permeability of the gastrointestinal tract.

And when glyphosate kills off helpful gut bacteria, other harmful bacteria can proliferate. Studies analyzing the gut bacteria of cows, horses, and poultry have shown that many highly pathogenic bacteria are glyphosate resistant. The loss of helpful bacteria may also make us vulnerable to leaky gut syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and other gastrointestinal maladies.

Research has suggested that the overgrowth of harmful bacteria can also cause a deficiency in essential amino acids and in necessary metals, like zinc and sulfur. The change in bacterial flora may also lead to the overproduction of ammonia.

Because the presence of glyphosate is not tested in our food supply nor by healthcare providers caring for the sick, implicating glyphosate in the etiology of diseases has been difficult. There is concern, however, that a large number of chronic diseases, including neurological illnesses, may be triggered or exacerbated by changes in amino acid, ammonia, and metal concentrations.

The depletion of amino acids, for example, can result in abnormally low levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. Serotonin regulates mood, appetite, and sleep. Its depletion may lead to depression, insomnia, and disorders of the appetite, such as obesity and anorexia. Dopamine depletion in a key brain area is also the hallmark of Parkinson’s disease.

Researchers have also found elevated ammonia levels in children with autism. Sulfur deficiency also has been associated with autism and Parkinson’s disease, and with Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Zinc deficiency, too, has been associated with autism and Alzheimer’s disease, and also with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders.

An interesting finding from a study at the University of Leipzig showed an unexpected association between chronic illness and glyphosate exposure. The researchers tested urine from humans. They found that chronically ill humans have significantly higher glyphosate residues in their urine when compared to healthy people.

Another chronic illness may have a direct link to glyphosate. Peasant farmers exposed to pesticides in Central America, India, and Sri Lanka have developed a new and fatal kidney ailment. The cause has been difficult to pin down. The illness has become known as “Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology [CKDu].”

CKDu is now the second-leading cause of death among men in El Salvador. This small Central American nation has the highest kidney disease mortality rate in the world. Neighboring Honduras and Nicaragua also have extremely high rates of death from kidney disease. More men in El Salvador and Nicaragua are dying from CKDu than from HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and leukemia combined. In one area of rural Nicaragua, so many men have died that the community is called “the Island of the Widows.”

India and Sri Lanka have also been hit hard by the epidemic. More than 20,000 people have died from CKDu in the past two decades in Sri Lanka. In the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, more than 1,500 have been treated for the ailment since 2007.

While the exact cause of the kidney ailment remains under investigation, a leading hypothesis is that glyphosate-metal complexes are to blame. It appears that glyphosate’s chelating properties give the chemical the ability to form complexes with heavy metals that can be readily absorbed through the skin, inhaled, or ingested. Scientists are concerned that these glyphosate-metal complexes can travel through the bloodstream to the kidney and destroy the kidney tubule, leading to renal failure and death.

In response, both the governments of El Salvador and Sri Lanka have instituted bans on glyphosate.

Glyphosate and its degradation product amino-methyl-phosphonic acid have been found in air, rain, groundwater, surface water, seawater, and soil. These studies show that glyphosate persists in soil and water for long periods of time. In addition, the amount of glyphosate detected in samples is increasing over time. The chemical is accumulating in our environment. It also accumulates in animal tissue. A study conducted last year at the University of Leipzig showed that cows were excreting glyphosate in their urine. These cows also had comparable levels of the herbicide in their organs (kidney, liver, lung, spleen, muscle, intestine), proving that meat and dairy are a source of glyphosate for humans.

And glyphosate is an essential ingredient in biotech farming. Its residues can be found in a wide variety of food products. Almost all processed food that contains corn (including high fructose corn syrup) or soy has glyphosate contamination. The same is now true for wheat products, because glyphosate has been added to the wheat harvest production method. Meat products derived from animals exposed to glyphosate in their feed will also be glyphosate contaminated.

But because the FDA does not test for glyphosate, we have no way to monitor the damage that the herbicide is wreaking on human health. We know from leaked US State Department cables that support for biotech agriculture is official US policy despite the health risks. It appears that our best chance of protecting our health and that of our children is a grassroots movement to ban glyphosate use.

The data now shows that glyphosate causes birth defects and cancer. There is also good reason to believe that this herbicide causes or exacerbates a large number of chronic illnesses.

There is really no sensible alternative to banning this poison. Two of the world’s visionaries have shared their thoughts on this issue.

“Someday we shall look back on this dark era of agriculture and shake our heads,” wrote world famous primatologist Jane Goodall in Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating. “How could we have ever believed that it was a good idea to grow our food with poisons?”

The great Indian environmental leader Vandana Shiva added: “We will continue to create the other world that we are sowing, seed-by-seed, inch-by-inch of soil, person-by-person, community-by-community, until all of this planet is embraced in one circle of a resurgent life and a resurgent love.”

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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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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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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

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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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HGEA Leader Perreira Would Rather See You Dead Than Let Change Come to Maui Hospital.  Tell State Legislature to Finally Deny Perreira.

Testify in Support of HB1075 HD2 SD1
CLICK HERE: Support HB1075 HD2 SD1

Last Chance? Maui Memorial Proposes Partnership –HGEA Rejects Again

Maui Memorial Medical Center plans to make $28 million in cuts to services and jobs starting July 1.

Immediate reductions will be made to non-clinical and non-essential contracts at the state-owned facility — part of the Hawaii Health Systems Corp. .The cuts include 50 to 75 administrative positions, the Maui region board said, adding that this is only expected to save the region a nominal amount compared to its shortfall. Public input is required in order to shut down services. Community meetings are being scheduled and will be announced once confirmed.

“The cuts to our hospitals, facilities, staffing and services we provide our communities will set us back 20 years,” Wesley Lo, chief executive officer of the Maui region, said in a statement.

The decision came after the latest state budget projections, the board said.

“We are limited by the options that we have before us,” Avery Chumbley, a member on the Maui region board, said in a press release. “We knew this day was going to happen and while we understand the state cannot continue to fund our financial shortfalls. For three years we have asked the Legislature to allow us to move forward on a public/private partnership so we could avoid this very day.”

by Andrew Walden, Guest Blogger:
The HGEA-controlled Hawaii State Legislature has rejected legislation to partner the HHSC with private medical systems repeatedly since the 2009 “Stroudwater Report” called for conversion of HHSC from an HGEA job trust to a non-profit hospital system and liberation of the system’s 5,000 employees from the civil service system.   Potential partner Banner Health Systems walked away from negotiations in 2013 after legislators used the excuse that Banner was a Mainland company to reject legislation authorizing its partnership proposal.  HGEA President Randy “F*** You” Perreira takes credit for the collapse of a 2014 effort to pass partnership legislation.  Within the last few days, Kaiser Health Systems announced that it would not be making a partnership proposal to HHSC.

Is this the last chance?  At the news conference, the question draws very different answers from HHSC and HPH:

HHSC’s Wes Lo replies, “I don’t know if this is the last chance or not.  I think we’ve put together a strong offer.”

Ray Vara of HPH says, “We’ve been around for 100 years, I suspect we’ll be around for 100 more and beyond.”

The difference between the two answers underlines the fact that the HGEA and UPW are toast.  The only real question is how the hospitals will be transformed: Will HHSC be absorbed organizationally? — or — Will private hospital systems such as HPH, Queen’s, and Kaiser step in to create new systems from scratch after the inevitable demise of HHSC?

perrieraRejecting the partnership proposal, the HGEA’s Perreira shows he is happy to continue living in a fool’s paradise.  Perreira tells KITV: “The leadership of Maui Memorial, including their board of directors and a number of physicians, they looking to sell the hospital.  It’s that simple.  And, frankly, their talk of a partnership is a misstatement.  Really, they are looking at an acquisition.”

The partnership proposal actually calls for the lease, not sale, of the Maui HHSC hospital buildings, but the facts don’t matter.  As columnist Richard Borreca explained January 6:

“The HGEA knows change to the hospital contract will not help union members, and a damaged membership will not support the existing union leaders. So stall, talk and then block is the course of action for the HGEA.”

The failure of then-Senator David Ige to deal with the HHSC crisis became an issue during the general election campaign.  Now-Governor Ige told the January 6 Star-Advertiser:

“… we have begun negotiations with (Hawaii Government Employees Association) Unit 9 (nurses) as well as with some of the other units where some of their membership is part of the hospital, so I do know that there needs to be some contract changes that are necessary to make the hospital system function better. I think that that’s kind of the starting point. I think we will be having discussions with the unions and talking about the kinds of things that are essential to allow the hospital system, operating as a government entity, to be successful….”

In a news release distributed at the conference, the potential partners outline their proposed structure and legislative action being requested:

HHSC would enter into a 25-year lease operator partnership agreement with HPH.

  • The lease operator partnership agreement would assign HPH with the sole responsibility for the provision of healthcare services at all Maui Region sites.
  • HPH will lease all MMMC facilities at a nominal rate for the purpose of operating and managing healthcare services for the Maui Region.
  • State to retain ownership of the land and facilities with responsibility for repayment of long-term liabilities, including postemployment benefit (OPEB) liabilities.
  • MMMC would retain its current assets to allow pay down of current liabilities.
  • HPH to work with State on alternative benefit arrangements for employees nearing retirement.

What we are requesting

  • Legislation to authorize HHSC to enter into a public/private partnership agreement with HPH.
  • Legislative intent to enable MMMC employees to transition into market based healthcare wage and benefit structure.
  • Legislative intent to commit to a 10-year subsidy time horizon by the State.
  • Funding of the State’s CIP commitments through the current year.
  • Initial appropriation to fund -jointly with HPH-implementation of necessary EHR/IT.
  • Legislation to assure governance and operational structure to enable HPH to effectively operate MMMC.

PDF: News Release and Fact Sheet

Coverage:

Background:

 

 

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