Letters for Friday, September 13, 2013

• Don’t pave paradise • I don’t want what they are selling • Not ‘real’ farmers

Don’t pave paradise

The GMO and seed companies love to experiment in Kauai. And why not; they have a perfect growing season. They have converted the former swamps and salt marshes into productive farm fields. But at what cost? Of course they support the economy. And the government wants them to stay. But is it too much to ask for a little disclosure?

Come on! If this was Oahu or California or, God forbid, Iowa, there would be questions to be answered. Why should we sacrifice the good people of Kauai?

I’m Canadian, love Kauai, and remember the words of one of the best, Joni Mitchell, when she sang, “Paved paradise and put up a parking lot.”

Don’t let this happen to Kauai.

John Bacon, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

I don’t want what they are selling

In a democracy it is understood that a consumer has rights.

If you don’t want to buy a product or support a company, you have the right to say no. You don’t have to provide evidence as to why you don’t want it. You don’t have to bring in samples and case studies or jump through hoops. You just don’t buy it. The chemical agriculture and GMO industry has changed all that now for decades.

If you don’t know where the product that you don’t want is hidden then you will be forced to buy it. And if there is public outcry, then you better be ready to fight. The burden of proof as to why you don’t want it is now placed on the consumer. You better have your “data” and you better be ready to defend yourself from being profiled as a rebel.

Since when did this industry become law? Since when do we as consumers have to answer to these companies who have even threatened to sue. It is the only industry who sues for their right to impose their products on every single man, woman and child.

I don’t want their junk food and junk science and I don’t have to say why. I don’t want to drive on a public road and be exposed to their pesticides. Since when has this become mandatory? How did we get here?

Bill 2491 is now the only means to say no. And “enough!”

Danitza Galvan, Lihue

Not ‘real’ farmers

The proceedings regarding Bill 2491 on Sept. 9 exposed more truth about the nature of the five industrial chemical companies masquerading as “farmers” on the island of Kauai.

There were blatant evasive non-answers from the company representatives of Syngenta, Dow, Pioneer, Dupont, and BASF.  When Ross and Mel talked about working together with the community to find a solution, the companies saw that as an out from the bill so responded to every next question with “we want to sit down with the community and hear their concerns  and work together …” even though the concerns of the community are clearly stated in the points of the bill, and they would not directly agree to concede with any of them! 

Please don’t be fooled by their words, and rather watch how they behave. If they sincerely want to sit down and work with the community then give the community the main thing they have been asking for, disclosure. It is clear they do not want to disclose, and why is that? Think about it, if they have to provide a complete list of every chemcial they use and how much, how do you think the community is going to like that information?

I am certain these companies will pull out all the stops to derail this bill in the next three weeks as necessary amendments to protect Kauai Coffee and various details are prepared. Pay attention readers, don’t believe everything you hear and see from them these next weeks!  

I pray pono prevails and Kauai chooses to protect this aina, the reefs, the children, real farmers, and the long-term health of its people.  

The state is not able to handle this issue with the diligence required. The state can bring added support for the bill that the Kauai council implements and oversees, this is the most effective solution to create real protection for Kauai.

Veronika Bajwa, Hanalei


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