Channel: The Kaʻū Calendar News Briefs, Hawaiʻi Island
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Ka`u News Briefs, Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Ka`u's County Council member Brenda Ford chairs the committee that is considering restrictions for growing GMO crops on Hawai`i
Island, giving farmers 30 months to switch to non-GMO production.  
OPPOSING TWO GMO BILLS that are before the County Council, Ka`u Farm Bureau President Chris Manfredi wrote testimony on behalf of Ka`u Farm Bureau members, dated Sept. 3 in advance of today’s GMO session with the County Council Committee on Public Safety & Mass Transit.  The testimonies, one on Bill 113 and one on Bill 109, which call for restricting the growing of GMO’s on this island, are addressed to the committee and its chair, Ka`u’s County Council member Brenda Ford.
      In testimony referring to both GMO Bills, Manfredi contends that the Ka`u Farm Bureau has concerns that if GMO producers are required to register their produce and crops as GMO, they could become targets of eco-terrorism and enviro-terrorism. His testimony states: “Ka`u Farm Bureau also has concerns about the registry contemplated by this legislation; how the information is shared and used, and the purpose thereof. This information will be part of the public record may be used to target the registrants for eco‐ and eviro‐terrorist activity.”
      In testimony opposing Ford’s own Bill 109 to ban GMO crops on Hawai`i Island, Manfredi writes:
Ka`u Farm Bureau President Chris Manfredi writes
testimony opposing proposed GMO restrictions.
Photo by Julia Neal
     “This legislation is flawed in that it claims its purpose as to ‘Protect human, animal and plant life...’ yet exempts all ‘genetically modified organisms for human consumption...’ under the definition of ‘Use’. The exemption for human consumption invalidates the stated purpose of the legislation, invalidating it in its entirety.”  
     Ford explained this morning that the exemption is for food imported from off island and sold in stores. She said she would not want to, nor be able to, interfere with interstate commerce. “People can choose what they want to eat in our grocery stores.” She said her bill proposes to ban GMO crops on the island, giving farmers 30 months to switch over. She said that grandfathering in GMO papayas remains a question, saying that proposed GMO legislation will likely be amended.
      In testimony opposing Ford’s bill, Mainfredi also writes: “Chair Ford, since you represent the District of Ka`u on the Council, we would have appreciated some communication from you prior to introducing legislation that, if passed, will have an impact on our members. We would prefer that the Council spend its time solving genuine problems of high unemployment, the high cost of doing business in Hawai`i County, marketing, transportation, and food and energy security.”
       Manfredi’s testimony relating to both bills states: “There are numerous studies that indicate that transgenic crops are safe. These researchers include the American Medical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The National Academy of Sciences, Food Standards of Australia and New Zealand, the French Academy of Science, The Royal Society of Medicine, the European Commission, The Union of German Academics of Sciences and Humanities and the Academies of Science of Brazil, China, India and Mexico. This legislation implies that there is a health risk, yet no scientific information to that effect is cited.
      “In the absence of scientific data to the contrary, we are concerned that this legislation is in response to a manufactured crisis that is dividing the agricultural community, thereby weakening it.” 
     Manfredi writes that the Ka`u Farm Bureau has written to the council committee, asking that a working group be formed to include organic and conventional local farmers and ranchers, the scientific community, business leaders, state, county and federal policy makers and regulators and the Farm Bureau.
     His testimony says, “We respectfully request that you do not pass Bill 109 (and 113). Rather, take the time to examine the issues in a deliberate way with the benefit of peer reviewed studies that focus on purported health risks and benefits of transgenic crops and all the impacts this legislation represents.”
      The testimony notes that “Ka`u Farm Bureau is a member of Hawai`i Farm Bureau, with a network of more than 1,900 members statewide. We assist and advocate for agricultural producers as our community transitions from a plantation system to a more resilient and diversified one.
      “As an organization of local farmers and ranchers – we believe in supporting all forms of agriculture. As modern producers we understand that we need all available tools to grow reslient and sustainable industries in Hawai`i.”
A march against GMO crops on the Big Island in Hilo drew a number of Ka`u residents.  Photo by Julia Neal
      Most of the members of the Ka`u Farm Bureau are coffee farmers on land where Manfredi has been the land manager for years. He is also co-chair of the statewide Government Affairs Committee of the Hawai`i Farm Bureau, which has testified before various government bodies against labeling and restriction of GMO’s.
      In contrast to the Ka`u Farm Bureau, the Kona Farm Bureau refrained from taking a stand on the GMO issue, encouraging members to submit individual testimonies with their varying views. Ka`u's state Senators, Russell Ruderman and physician Josh Green, have both called for the state legislature to require GMO food labeling.

QUESTIONING PROPOSED GMO restrictions is in the commentary submitted to Ka`u News Briefs today from Gary Schauweker. The Ocean View resident responded to a Ka`u News Briefs statement on Sept. 3 from farmer Richard Ha who opposes the GMO bills before the County Council. 
Dr. Michael Domeier
Photo from MarineCSI
     Schauweker pointed out that Ha “stated that all major national and international health agencies say that there is no difference between conventional and bio-crops as far as health and safety.” Schauweker states that from all he has read, “there has been little to no studies on possible long-term effects. If these international health agencies found GMOs so safe why are they banned in most of Europe?”
     Schauweker asks: “Japan, South Korea? Why are major American companies producing food products using non-GMOs ingredients for Europe while they use them for American consumers?
     “Mr. Ha said we are showing no Aloha in this issue; well remember Aloha brought Hawai`i mongoose, rats, invasive plants, and the down fall of the Hawaiian Nation. Once GMOs are brought in there is no going back, they can possibly cross pollinate conventional crops which may become more valuable if GMOs are proven harmful.”

MARINE CSI is hoping to tag sharks in Ka`u sometime in the future, according to its President and CEO Michael Domeier. His organization recently tagged a 14-foot tiger shark with a satellite tracking device outside Honokau Harbour and expects to tag more sharks along the Kona Coast in the next month. After working along the Kona Coast, he said he would like to tag sharks to follow their movements in waters off Ka`u. To donate, offer boating services or other help, email mldomeier@gmail.com See www.marinecsi.org.

KA`U HIGH’S EIGHT-MAN FOOTBALL TEAM prepares for the historic home- game opener this Friday against Seabury Hall from Maui, at 6 p.m. on the Pahala campus. The football field has been moderated to make it narrower while preserving the same length and the same goal posts. 
     The launch of eight-man football by Ka`u High School creates a faster, higher scoring game that could be adopted by other small schools on the island.
     Filling the Trojan roster this year are: Malu Aipia-Dolan, Anthony Emmsley, Chance Emmsley, Walter Espejo, Andrew Garcia, Makana Gravela, Dalton Hannahs, Kaweni Ibarra, Rigan Kaapana, Randall Kahele, John Kaawa-Kaluau, Kainalu Ke, Talai Ke, Teyden Makuakane, Carlos Ornelas, Pono Palikiko, Trieson Pascubillo, Kai Santana, Chisum Silva, Ricky Souza, Devan Smith-Myer, Cy Tamura, and Derrick Velez.
      Head coach for the Trojans is Duwayne Ke. Assistants are: Tammy Ke, Kaleo Phillips, Marcus Douglas, Donovan Emmsley and Darrel Shibuya.
A visitor to Volcano House brings back memories of
Uncle George whose image is on the wall near Volcano
 House window to the crater. Photo by Julia Neal
KA`U HIGH BOWLING results from recent games against other high 
schools include: Trojan Girls against the St. Joseph Cardinals – St. Joseph 3, Ka`u 0. Ka`u bowlers scrores were for Shylee Tamura 95-94—274; Lammi AhYee 88-93—265; and Aileen Umayas 100-101—294. Against Kamehameha, the Warriors scored 3 and Ka`u 0. Ka`u bowing scores were Lannin AhYee 132-88-303 and for Siena Okimoto 115-95-289.

VOLCANO COUNTRY CLUB is the site of the Hawai`i Government Employees Association’s golf fellowship on Saturday, Sept. 28 at Volcano Country Club. Eight tee times are available starting at 8 a.m., and members may form their own groups. A $5 jackpot will include low nets and closest-to-the pin prizes. Call Darrell Yamamoto at 938-4431.

VOLCANO HOUSE, the newly reopened hotel, restaurant, lounge and gift shops in Hawai`I Volcanoes National Park. offers a celebration and public touring this Friday, Sept. 6. From 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. coffee and cookies will be served in the lobby. Music will be played by Rupert Tripp, Jr. at the Pa Hula, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Hula `Auana will be presented by Kupuna at the Pa Hula, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. One-hour History of Volcano House will be shared through interpretive walks, 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m.; and Guest Room Tours will be conducted 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. Parking is available on site and at Kilauea Visitor Center. Park entrance fees apply. For more information about Volcano House visit hawaiivolcanohouse.com or call 1-866-536-7972.


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