Monthly Archives: December 2013

Research 101: To Feed and Protect a World, Rein in Corporate Ag

Remember, that what you read on the internet is not always true and you have to research the sources first before you profess it as your proof.  If you don’t, and use the statements from the post as your evidence, you won’t be able to source out your statement.  That source is called evidence which you are frequently called upon to present.

Let’s start todays lesson with a recently published post on Andrea Brower’s HuffPo blog site titled, “To Feed and Protect the World, Rein in Corporate Ag.”  First off, note that it is a blog.  Blog can usually be opinion pieces but can’t be used as evidence.  There may be links to the evidence in it and that is what you must research out more.  Also in this blog post, there are multiple references to emotionally charged terms such as destructive, poison, toxic, untested, and so on.  These words are meant to evoke emotions in this piece.  Typical tactic of the A’ole GMO club to gain more followers.

Let’s take a closer look at what she’s saying in this blog post.

Problem 1:

“World Food Day serves as a reminder that nearly one billion people go hungry, despite there being more than enough food for all. With sustainability central to this year’s theme, the event also directed attention to the fact that our global food system is highly fossil fuel dependent and is a primary contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. It is also rapidly degrading the soil, water, forest, genetic diversity and other resources that are vital to agricultural productivity, human health and all life.”

The World Food Day here in Hawaii turned out to be another anti-GMO march.  When you go to the actual website, there is no anti-GMO themes found anywhere on there, but Hawaii folks took up a notch.  There is no mention of the issues that Andrea takes up found on the site listed.  Hawaii folks decided to do their own interpretation apparently.  Take a look at the poster that was used.

The Hawaii Anti-GMO version of the World Food Day poster. Notice the background is Waikiki and hotels. Where’s the producers of food there?

Problem 2:

But moving in the direction of a sustainable and equitable food system requires reining in the power of transnational corporate agribusiness, and its drives to intensify and standardize production, privatize resources that were previously “common,” and monopolize the global food system.

Andrea makes a very broad statement here essentially meaning that there should be no corporate agribusiness.  No sources are used to back her statement up to support what she is saying.

Problem 3:

Smallholder agriculture currently feeds an estimated 70 percent of the world using only 30 percent of agricultural resources, while industrial agriculture sucks 70 percent of resources and only produces 30 percent of the world’s food.

When you click on her source for this information, you’re lead to Mark Bittman’s opinion piece in the NYT.  No sources, just his opinion.  He is also a food writer who had decided to take on the scientific literature somehow.

Problem 4:

The idea that a “free-market” (ie policy-facilitated monopolistic) corporate food system will somehow nourish us all has proven imaginary.

Note how she references her own blog on this point made.  Case closed for this reference already.

Problem 5:

We all pay the prices of a hungry, sick, progressively toxic and heating-up world, with the poorest paying the highest.

Yes, the consensus is there that there is climate change, but from this statement it sounds as if everyone is dying and being poisoned.  Why is it that more people are living longer lives and Hawaii being ranked as one of the healthiest states?

Problem 6:

On Kauai, experimental operations apply pesticides 250 to 300 days per year, 10 to 16 times per day.

Her source for this quote is a video.  The mention of a number doesn’t quite give the right perspective of the actual spraying which she implies as it is all fields, everyday.  That is not the case and it defies logic as to why entire fields are sprayed that often.  If these companies are all about making money as she claims, why would they waste it spraying so often?  Pesticides and the application of it costs money and over doing it would be a waste of money.

Problem 7:

On Kauai, our fragile ecology is undoubtedly impacted by the use of an estimated 18 tons of restricted use pesticides annually, as well as likely five times that amount of general use pesticides.

Once again, Andrea omits to mention that the true amount is actually 9.89 tons of RUPs according to the Department of Ag.  Sounds horrendous but when put into perspective, it comes out to the size of 5 standard cars that is used over 5600 acres by 5 companies.  They make up 13% of the RUPs used on Kauai.  The county uses nearly half of the RUPs and is exempted from this disclosure law.

Anyone can write anything about any issue and it is up to the reader to investigate the claims.  Of course, for many folks, there is no incentive to investigate.  Just believe.  Do your homework and read what the facts and find some background on what evidence is presented.  When everyone starts repeating the same numbers over and over, there’s something fishy going on.  When the real facts are pointed out to you, what will you have in retort?!  Nothing and the result is the usual statement, “Well, you must work for Monsanto then.”  And you’ve just proven your arguments invalid.

Advertisements

Russell Ruderman: Right to Know Who You Are

Before you start to read this post, please read the following definition of slander:

Screen shot 2013-12-23 at 8.03.22 PM

As you research more on the leaders of the A’ole GMO movement, you start to find a lot of discrepancies in what they say and do.  It’s all documented front and center on the internet and somehow changes in emails.  Note this email from Russell Ruderman on his credentials of his degree:

Screen shot 2013-12-23 at 5.50.46 PM

Okay, if he has his genetics degree, when exactly did he get it? What does the research on him say:

He got his degree nearly 40 years ago!  The technology now and then is so advanced and I can’t imagine that he has kept up with it.  He’s been running his Islands Naturals Deli and Market for several decades already.  Is pumping up your science credentials going to affect my opinion of you?  Why didn’t he just say that he has a BS in Biology to begin with in his email instead of being coy about it?

And about that Right to Know campaign bit…

genetic literacy

**If you plan on commenting on this post as being slanderous, the evidence is presented and received from the source himself.  How is your own presentation of yourself with discrepancies slanderous?**

Don’t Post that A’ole GMO: How to Save Face

The internet is full of sites that will help to confirm your own biases many times and trying to figure out what is vetted and what isn’t is really tricky for the majority of folks.  That is regardless of anyone’s educational level, especially when it comes down agricultural and food issues.

If you are ever commenting on an article on FB or other social media sites, there are a few cardinal sins of posting links as your evidence.

Cardinal sin number 1: Monsanto

If you ever mention the name in any of your postings, you have automatically shown that you have not done your due diligence in research.  You have completely shown where your state of mind is at and this would be a good time to see why.  (Be sure to read the links below the posts in RationalWiki and Wikipedia as they are the sources of the statement.)  Post anything and put that name there and you have disqualified any and most of your arguments.  Someone will be shaking their head reading your comment.

Cardinal sin number 2: Bad links as your evidence

If you don’t want to be mocked, avoid the following sites:

The Organic Consumers’ Association

Natural News

Sustainable Pulse

Green Med Info

The Union of Concerned Scientists

Dr. Mercola 

Institute for Responsible Technology

Center for Food Safety

GM Watch

If you ever try to use these links as your reasons against GMOs, you will be not take seriously.  In fact, that person reading your comments with these links will actually start to get snarky with you for doing so because these are not legitimate sites with actual links to the studies that they use as evidence.  If you ever find something on these sites, type in their name and follow it with “debunk” and you will find a completely different side of information.  These sites are known offenders of half okole information where they take only part of the actual study and publish what they want for it and never providing the source.  That’s the cardinal sin of the A’oles on the social media when it comes down to a debate with a pro-GMO person.

Cardinal Sin number 3: Movies

Another sin of the A’ole GMO club is using movies as your proof of dangers.  There are two movies that they love to use as proof which is far from the truth.  Don’t want to be mocked?  Here’s a helpful list to go by:

Seeds of Death

Genetic Roulette

OMG GMO

Movies are never substitutes for real evidence.  If you just watch any of these movies and feel scared, then it has done its job to work on your emotions.  That’s the motive of a movie is to get you to feel something and in this case, fear it.  So many have been left scared after watching this because majority of the general public have no clue as to what basic genetics really is and these movies prey on that unknown.  The more you know (not conspiracies) the less fearful you can be.

Cardinal Sin number 4: Facebook Memes

Screen shot 2013-06-29 at 6.02.02 PM

Meme from GMO Inside regarding the debunked Seralini study.

If you get tidbits of “facts” from a meme and repost what it says, prepare to be barraged by criticism.  These nice graphics and short statements provide no data or sources of where they are getting their statement from.  Anyone with a bit of photoshopping experience can get a stock photo and put some words on it and voila, you got something to spread around to supposedly educate.  These will leave you stuck when you are asked for evidence because you won’t know how to get that evidence.  Pictures may tell a thousand words but they can’t give you your evidence.  Avoid the memes as your sources of information at all costs.  Someone will be pounding their head reading your statements.

The Worse Cardinal Sin of All: Babes Against Biotech & Hawaii GMO Justice Coalition

If you got your information from these folks, that says it all already.  You’re done and there’s no hope for you if you are following them.  And if you can’t figure out why this is a sin, go back up to the top and start reading what was posted earlier.

“We Love Science!”

It’s interesting how there is a sudden movement by the A’oles to claim that they are scientists and profess out loud their unknown BSc degrees on television.  I used to think that A’oles were anti-science but the reality is that they have little to no science and no knowledge of researching what they read and watch.  A healthy dose of skepticism would be good but they have a hard time knowing how to be skeptical and lean more towards conspiracy, which is much more seductive.  Yes, they can sure Google for “researching” but can’t go beyond that.  They have been fear mongered beyond belief that they have gone from being in a fearful state to one of being angry and irrational.  It is pretty obvious what state of minds these folks are at when commentaries like this one popping up on the social media.

noelanijosselin

Andrea Brower: The Public has a Right to Know Who You Are

Maybe it is just a A’ole GMO thing but changing up words to fit your argument is a common thing with what they say and do.  They speak about malama the aina, keiki, and kupuna but then turn around and tell someone who speaks out for biotechnology to drink poison.  Gary Hooser constantly was stating that it was 18 tons of pesticides on their stoppoisoningparadise.org site and they all repeated it over and over.  All the meanwhile they conveniently forget to mention the actual amount of active ingredient weight was little over 9.89 tons that is used by 4 companies on 5,600 acres.  Just the numbers make it sound scary enough but when you really put it into perspective it is really the weight of about 5 average sized cars.  That’s the real amount of active ingredients being used by the seed companies on Kauai, not what Hooser and others state.  Repetition of these “facts” by these folks start getting them all chanting the mantras of 18 tons, RUPs, but conveniently forget that 49% of RUPs are used by the county itself and another 38% by exterminator companies.

Back several months ago, Andrea Brower started writing editorials for the Star Advertiser focusing on the right to know issue.  She has been a long time activist apparently also.  Here’s how she listed her credentials on a July 17, 2013 column.

IMG_0226

Andrea’s Star Advertiser Island Voices Column that ran on July 17, 2013.

Based on what she say above you get an idea that studying what she’s talking about.  Good, that give her more relevancy about the issue for her cause.  She also states that she born and raised and educated on Kauai.  Wait, but it says that she has a Master of Science from the University of Sussex.  Is that on Kauai? Also in the column, the reader gets the impression she’s on the island to “demand for self-determination.”  Okay, got it.

Fast Forward 3 months later…

Starting in October, her opinions start coming up on the social media on the Huffington Post .  She repeats the same thing about 18 tons and does the same thing that Gary Hooser does, conveniently omitting the real numbers for the sake of fear mongering.  When you start looking at her credentials on the HuffPo, it is completely different!

Screen shot 2013-12-17 at 6.38.15 PM

Andrea Brower’s profile from her Huffington Post Blog site.

This starts to bring up some interesting questions.  How does one go from a PhD in politics and economics of food and agriculture to now a PhD in sociology and that she’s no longer in Kauai as it mentions how she is formerly from Hawaii in a 3 month period?  If you look up the  sociology department at the University of Auckland, you can even see the curriculum and what other PhD students are studying and her name is not listed.  Who are we really hearing from?

**Someone shared with us even more info about her academic background today also.  From the Auckland Academia website she lists her info here also, which apparently is more in line with the HuffPo one.   Note what she lists as her areas of focus which are completely different from what she listed on the Star Advertiser one.  Which one is the truth?**

Screen shot 2013-12-18 at 8.18.57 PM

Well, Andrea and her associates are always accusing the seed industry being liars, corrupt, and dishonest which is why they deserve a right to know.  For that matter, they accuse anyone who speaks out against them as such.  Well, shouldn’t the public have a right to know who you really are Andrea Brower?

A’ole GMO Walter Ritte is Forgetful

Today there was a hot topic post on Civil Beat by Margaret Wille on her support of Bill 113. All the A’oles on there were commenting away about being poisoned and how everyone who speaks out for ag a paid industry shill and so on.  And of the course the usual anti-GMO stuff from the Babes Against Biotech as well.

Then Dean Gallo of CTAHR posted a comment about biotech:

Screen shot 2013-12-11 at 10.09.31 PM

Then out came the loads of loud criticism from the BABS and Walter Ritte, etc. about CTAHR.  Amazing to think that Ritte appears to blast, or at least not support CTAHR but has no problem with the same college funding his Molokai fishpond restoration project. Screen shot 2013-12-11 at 10.19.03 PM Didn’t they do a good thing Mr. Ritte?  Along with all the work done with the EPA that by the way all of your A’oles are critical of and distrust.  Someone seems to be forgetting about how they were helped along the way by the very people they criticize.