Letters for Thursday, September 5, 2013

• Enough nonsense already • 2491 is flawed • Do the right thing

Enough nonsense already

Kauai doesn’t need the North Shore conspiracy theorists to “save” us from imaginary monsters.

Three years ago, it was killer government vaccines. Two years ago, it was chemtrails from commercial airlines.

Last year, it was KIUC Smart Meter death rays. This year it’s GMOs, because Gary Hooser needed a reelection platform.

Next year is up for grabs. Maybe they’ll decide solar panels are blinding the aliens with reflected sunlight.

Just because they’re loud and have a lot of time on their hands for cause-of-the-month activism doesn’t mean they represent a lot of voters.

It’s time to dismiss the crazy and just pay attention to real information from credible sources when making decisions that affect us all.

Chuck Lasker, Kalaheo

2491 is flawed

There are anecdotes and stories about the harmfulness of GMOs that are passed on as “true facts,” and as they get repeated, they become “the truth.”

But, there is no independent, peer reviewed, meta-analysis of data that supports banning GMOs.

And, what kinds of GMOs would the bill limit? Most Kauai papaya varieties are GMOs, as well as other fruits, vegetables and flowers. Will council also be banning these grown by individuals and farmers or does it only extend to certain companies or types of agriculture?

Some proponents feel they have to protect those who don’t know GMOs. Those opposing this bill are not children or stupid or ignorant who have to be protected from themselves.

That’s arrogant and demeaning and has no part in a discussion of the issues. Present the scientific facts — not “they say” or “it’s known,” but real, comparative data analyzed by independent researchers; and then decide on its merits, not on condescension or acquiescence.   

The bill will not eliminate “just jobs” — it will hurt people, families. It will change the dynamics of the island. Without agriculture, Kauai will turn into a two-industry island — as Lanai has become: tourism and construction for tourists and expensive vacation homes.

Without agriculture, Kauai may have little choice but to embrace growth in tourism and in construction. Is this bad? Not necessarily, but it should be by choice and strategic planning and transitioning — not by default by passing this flawed bill!

Glenda Nogami, Ph.D., Kalaheo

Do the right thing

Bill 2491 has been muddled by misunderstanding and conjecture from both sides. It’s a simple, straightforward request for three things: pesticide disclosure, creation of buffer zones around communities, and conducting an EIS.

The landmark book, “Silent Spring,” published by Rachel Carson in 1962 created widespread public concern about the harmful effects of pesticides on birds and humans. It resulted in a DDT ban in the USA in 1972. Since that time, dozens of new pesticides have been created but not all scientifically studied.

An in-depth study by UC Berkeley in 2010 connects organophosphate pesticides to Attention Deficit Syndrome (ADHT) in children living in a California farming community. They found that a tenfold increase of pesticide metabolites in the pregnant mothers’ urine correlated with a fivefold increase of ADHT in their children.

Scientific studies showing long-term effect on human health, as well as nature, may lag. However, no one can deny that pesticides are strong poisons, and must be handled according to warnings on labels, and always kept away from children and animals. But what about the air we breath?

Because of trade and Kona winds on Kauai, it makes sense that pesticide spraying will not solely hit target crops, but will be blown to surrounding areas, be it roadways or communities adjacent to the fields. I hope we all agree that we don’t want to be, nor want our children to be, victims of poisons that may have adverse medical/health implications in the present and/or the future.

My request to both sides of this issue and to the county council is to focus on human and environmental health for yourself, your ohana, all the keiki and for that of our beautiful island of Kauai. Then do the right thing. Support Bill 2491.

Gabriela Taylor, Keapana Valley


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