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Letters for Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014

Dairy farm will impact paradiseWho defines ‘modern?’If there’s harm, where’s the proof?Kauai has the right to know

Dairy farm will impact paradise

As a visitor to this beautiful island the past several years, I was alarmed to read that a dairy will be allowed here. The people of Kauai have no idea what a disaster this will be. After living in Idaho for 64 years and growing up on a farm, there is no way that a dairy with 1,600-2,000 cows is not going to impact the land. Whatever the dairy people are telling you, it is not true. This island is too small for a dairy. Once one dairy is allowed, more will follow. 1,600 cows will turn into 2,600. The high price for a gallon of milk is nothing compared to what you will lose in tourism and quality of life. Please, please, stop this from happening — protect this island. Kauai has been exploited enough!

Sandy Calhoun Scanlan

Sun City West, Arizona

(formerly from Boise, Idaho)

Who defines ‘modern?’

I would like to speak to the verbiage of the recent bills HB 2506 and 3058. The cornerstone passage seems to be “the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in modern farming and ranching.”

Currently, we are at a key crossroad in our food system locally, nationally and globally.

When one says “modern,” do they mean modern as defined by Hawaii Crop Improvement Association and the multinationals who they represent, or modern as defined by the United Nations and the World Bank?

According to the findings of the IAASTD study, which included 400 scientists from 80 countries, “feeding the world sustainably lies in the strengthening of the small scale farm sector and investing in agroecological science.”

When one factors in that industrial ag is one of the primary contributors to green house gases, it would seem that the big picture definition of “modern” would be one that considers future generations and the health of the planet.

On the other hand, we have the definition of “modern” being defined by those who support and profit from the current industrial ag system.

Modern in this paradigm, are monocrop fields as far as the eye can see and factory meat yards with millions of animals being fed from the fields.

 In this definition, modern sciences are chemical and genetic sciences where man constantly battles nature for the upper hand. New antibiotics, new herbicides, new pesticides, new genetically engineered traits; all designed to trump nature.

I would guess that the smart money is on Mother Nature, so wouldn’t “modern” be more aptly defined in the first definition?

I feel these pre-emptive bills were hastily thrown together as a posturing move.

The naive use of the word “modern” is a testimony to that. Finally, why would the bill’s authors include ranchers? Is this to rally support from the Farm Bureau?

All the ranchers I know tell me they have a much better market for their meat that is grass fed versus GE corn fattened. Furthermore, some of these same ranchers are concerned about grazing land being eyed by the chem/seed operations.

Robert Brower

Anahola

If there’s harm, where’s the proof?

The argument by Dr. Lee Evslin (TGI, Jan. 28) is as disingenuous and “straw man” as it gets. The potential harm of pesticides per se is not undergoing a debate. What has been under debate is whether harm has been done on Kauai.

The anti-science side says harm is inherent in the use of restricted chemicals because it automatically “poisons the aina.”

The scientific side says harm requires that restricted chemicals be misused by violating the standards set for handling such products.

The anti-science side claims that Westside pediatricians see an increased number of birth defects in their area.

The science side says:

1) Name those pediatricians.

2) Show us their data.

3) Show us their report to DOH; or a report from DOH.

4) Tie those incidences to the misuse of restricted chemicals (after all, the same claim regarding cancers turned out to be a hoax).

The anti-science side claims proof of airborne restricted chemicals was provided by a lawyer (with a vested interest).

The science side points out that the trace amounts measured were insignificant and unable to do any harm.

On and on it goes.

 If you want to call your side the scientific one, then you have to provide scientific proof that the misuse of restricted chemicals is taking place and is directly (not psychosomatically) causing health problems.

Pete Antonson

Lawai/Manila

Kauai has the right to know

Thank you to Lee A. Evslin, M.D. board certified pediatrician, and Jenny Stewart for their intelligent comments in The Garden Island (Jan. 28).

It should be a basic right to know what pesticides/ poisons we are exposed to in our food and in our environment. It’s a basic health issue.

Sadly, all corporations, companies and people opposed to our “right to know” are all about profits and money over health. It’s arrogant and shameful!

Sheri Macaya

Waipouli

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