Excellent summary of GMO actions on three islands.

Excellent summary of GMO actions on three islands.

KAUA‘I DISCLOSURE & BUFFER ZONE ORDINACE

LITIGATION: A BREAKDOWN

What does it do?

o The Ordinance required notification and disclosure of pesticide use to help residents avoid

pesticide drift and to ensure better medical treatment to those exposed to pesticides, and

creates buffer zones around sensitive locations, including schools, hospitals and

waterways. The Ordinance also required annual reporting, in general terms, of the type

and location of genetically engineered crops being grown in the county. Finally, the

Ordinance required—and still requires—the completion of an Environmental and Public

Health Impact Study (EPHIS) by the County assessing the numerous environmental and

public health impacts of pesticide use and genetically engineered crop cultivation.

Why is it important?

o Because of the significant environmental, human health, socioeconomic risks associated

with the commercial cultivation and testing of genetically engineered (GE) crops. The

cultivation and testing of GE crops relies heavily on the input of toxic pesticides and other

chemical inputs that have been linked to environmental contamination and negative

human health harms. The cultivation and testing of GE crops may also injure the crops of

nearby small family farmers. The residents of Kauai have a right to know when and where

pesticides are being used and GE crops are being planted. A pesticide-free buffer zone

between sensitive areas is also essential to reduce the impact of pesticide drift.

What’s the current status of the Ordinance?

o The majority of the Ordinance was struck down by the federal district court’s ruling in this

litigation (which is currently under appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals). The

part of the Ordinance requiring that the County prepare an EPHIS was not addressed by

the litigation, and in turn the County has partnered with the State Department of

Agriculture to conduct a joint fact finding process to support collective fact-finding and

evidence-based debate about the health and environmental impacts of pesticides.

TIMELINE

It passed!

October 16, 2013: Kaua‘i County Council adopted the final language of Ordinance 960 a sixto-

one vote that took place at a hearing session that lasted more than eighteen hours.

Oct 31, 2013: Kaua‘i County Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. vetoed its passage. Concurrent

with public announcement of his veto, the County Mayor also released a confidential legal

memorandum detailing the County Attorney’s legal opinion regarding Ordinance 960,

despite the existence of an attorney-client privilege between the County Attorney and the

County Council, and the latter’s objection to the memorandum’s release.

November 16, 2013: After an additional public hearing and a new appointment to fill an

empty seat on the Council, the Council voted to override the mayoral veto and Ordinance

960 was passed! The language of the Ordinance provided that it would not go into effect

until nine month later.

Chemical companies put on the brakes

January 10, 2014: Chemical industry, Syngenta, Pioneer, and Agrigenetics (Dow), filed

federal suit alleging a kitchen-sink of constitutional, federal, and state claims against the

Ordinance’s legality.

o Meaning: The chemical companies asked the Court to overrule the Ordinance in an

attempt to stop it from going into effect.

What happened in the district court?

February 24, 2014: A coalition of community members and national organizations (the CFS

coalition) moved to intervene to defend the Ordinance.

April 23, 2014: The district court granted the CFS’s coalition’s motion to intervene.

o Meaning: The CFS Coalition was granted permission to defend the moratorium in

court against the chemical companies as a full party.

August 25, 2014: After months of lengthy briefing and oral argument on summary

judgment, the court issued its order.

What did the court order say?

Unfortunately, the court ruled that Ordinance 960 was unlawful, finding that it was

preempted by state law; in the court’s view, the issues of GE crops and pesticides have to

be addressed in Hawai‘i at the state level, not the county level.

o Meaning: The court sided with the Industry’s arguments and found that no county in

Hawai‘i can require pesticide disclosure and buffer zone (as required under

Ordinance 960) and instead any regulation of local pesticide use must come from

the state level. The court also found that the State’s various statutes on plant pest,

noxious weeds, and plant quarantine to control any regulation of local GE crop use

and disclosure.

There were some positives in the court ruling as well, namely the court denied the

chemical companies’ claims that the county law was also contrary to or prohibited by

federal law. The federal pesticide law and the federal plant law applied to GE crops did not

prohibit county regulation.

o Meaning: The court held that the federal pesticide law did not preempt state or local

pesticide disclosure and buffer zones, so the State of Hawai’i has legal authority to

require statewide pesticide disclosure and impose pesticide buffer zones.

What’s next?

CFS is currently appealing the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth

Circuit, with briefing that will continue through the spring of 2015, and oral argument

before the Court of Appeals to be scheduled upon completion of briefing.

HAWAI‘I ISLAND GE BAN ORDINACE LITIGATION:

A BREAKDOWN

What does it do?

o The Ordinance bans any open-air testing and cultivation of genetically engineered (GE)

crops on the Hawai’i Island, with an exception grandfathering the existing and

widespread growth of GE papaya. The Ordinance also required registration of any

indoor testing of GE crops as well as testing of GE papaya (indoor or outdoor).

Why is it important?

o Because of the significant environmental, human health, socioeconomic risks associated

with the commercial cultivation and testing of GE crops. The cultivation and testing of

GE crops relies heavily on the input of toxic pesticides and other chemical inputs that

have been linked to environmental contamination and negative human health harms.

The cultivation and testing of GE crops may also injure the crops of nearby small family

farmers.

What’s the current status of the Ordinance?

o The Ordinance was struck down by the federal district court’s ruling in this litigation

(which is currently under appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals).

TIMELINE

It passed!

December 5, 2013: Hawaii County Council passed Bill 133 (Ordinance 13-121).

Chemical companies put on the brakes in federal district court.

June 9, 2014: Chemical industry, using various local trade associations as plaintiffs, filed

federal suit alleging preemption under federal and state laws, as well as other constitutional

law challenges.

o Meaning: The chemical companies asked the Court to overrule the Ordinance.

What happened in the district court?

August 1, 2014: a coalition of community members and national organizations (the CFS

coalition) moved to intervene to defend the Ordinance.

August 22, 2014: the district court denied the CFS coalition’s motion to intervene; instead,

the Court granted the coalition amicus status.

o Meaning: The CFS Coalition was granted permission to defend the moratorium in

court, as a “friend of the court,” with the right to file briefs and participate in oral

argument. However, as a “friend of the court,” the CFS Coalition was not a party to

the case and would not have the right to appeal the outcome of the district court

decision.

November 26, 2014: After months of lengthy briefing and oral argument on summary

judgment, the court issued its order.

What did the court order say?

Following the heels of the Kaua‘i decision, Magistrate Judge Kurren struck down the

Ordinance 13-121 as invalid, again concluding that the subject matter—GE crops— was one

that must be regulated at the state level. The decision concluded that state “preemption” of

the county ordinance is implied by state plant laws, despite the fact none of them even

mention genetically engineered crops or were intended to regulate them.

o Meaning: The court sided with the Industry’s arguments and found that state’s

various statutes on plant pests, plant quarantine, and noxious weeds, prevented any

local/county ban of GE crops (whether commercial cultivation or GE crop

experiments).

The court also refused CFS’s request to send the state law question to the Hawai`i Supreme

Court to decide, despite there being important state law questions of first impression.

Finally, the Court’s decision was not without its silver lining: The court rejected the

chemical companies’ arguments that county and state regulation of commercialized GE

crops was prohibited by federal law; however, the court also concluded federal law did

prohibit regulation of some, but not all, experimental plantings.

o Meaning: The court held that no federal law prohibit or preempts local regulation of

commercialized GE crop cultivation (i.e. not GE crop experiments).

What’s next?

The County of Hawai‘i appealed the court’s ruling to the Ninth Circuit. CFS and Earthjustice

offered to represent the County pro bono. After months of procurement process, CFS and

Earthjustice will represent the County pro bono to appeal the lower court’s ruling before

the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

MAUI GE MORATORIUM: A BREAKDOWN

What does it do?

o When enforced, the initiative “A Bill Placing a Moratorium on the Cultivation of

Genetically Engineered Organisms” will place a temporary moratorium (pause) on the

planting, cultivation, and testing of Genetically Engineered (GE) Organism.

Why is it important?

o Because of the significant environmental, human health, socioeconomic risks associated

with the commercial cultivation and testing of GE crops. The cultivation and testing of

GE crops relies heavily on the input of toxic pesticides and other chemical inputs that

have been linked to environmental contamination and negative human health harms.

The cultivation and testing of GE crops may also injure the crops of nearby small family

farmers. The County has not done the assessment to ascertain if living next to fields will

permanently damage our agricultural systems or our bodies. We just want the science

to be conducted demonstrating that we and our future generations won’t be harmed.

Is it permanent?

o The moratorium can be lifted once an Environmental and Public Health Impacts Study

(EPHIS) is completed proving that the testing and cultivation of GE organisms will

benefit Maui and not harm our residents and resources. Once this study is completed,

the moratorium can be lifted upon the approval of two-thirds of the County Council.

TIMELINE

It passed!

November 4th, 2014: The people in the County of Maui made history by passing the first

ever citizen’s ballot initiative!

November 12th, 2014: SHAKA filed suit in State Court seeking declaration that the ballot

initiative is valid.

Chemical companies put on the brakes

November 13th, 2014: Chemical industry, Monsanto and Dow, filed federal suit and

concurrently filed a preliminary injunction to enjoin the County from enacting the

ordinance.

o Meaning: The chemical companies were asking that (against the clear will of the

voters) the initiative not be being enacted or enforced.

Maui County decides not to enforce the initiative

November 15th, 2014: Maui County attorneys did not oppose the injunction and filed a joint

stipulation with Chemical Industry Plaintiffs.

o Meaning: Maui County decided not to defend the will of the people. Instead, they

reached an agreement (stipulation) with the Chemical Industry to postpone enacting

the ballot initiative until at least March 31, 2015.

The federal Court granted the injunction.

o Meaning: The Moratorium can’t be enforced until March 31, 2015.

Who is involved in the case now?

December 15, 2014: Two groups sought to intervene in the federal suit (SHAKA and the

Center for Food Safety Coalition consisting of farmers/mothers of Maui and Moloka‘i). The

Court granted intervention only to SHAKA. CFS has appealed that decision.

o Meaning: SHAKA was granted permission to defend the moratorium in court against

the chemical companies as a full party while the CFS coalition was limited to amicus

status.

The Court granted CFS Coalition, as well as the Biotech Industry Organization, which did

not seek intervention, (trade organization for Monsanto) amici status.

o Meaning: These groups are considered “amici curiae,” a.k.a. friends of the court. With

this status they may each submit briefing to the Court, but are not considered parties

to the suit nor can they appeal the outcome of the Court’s final decision.

January 30th, 2014: Motion for Summary Judgment was filed and is ongoing, with both

sides and amici having filed briefs, Maui County once again took no position in a one

sentence “brief.”

o Meaning: A Summary Judgment is the means by which the Court will determine the

legality of the ballot initiative: in other words, whether the ballot initiative is

preempted by state or federal laws and whether it is legal under the Maui County

Charter. The injunction remains in place to postpone Maui County from carrying

out the will of the people.

What’s next?

March 10, 2015 at 9am: Hearing on Summary Judgment is scheduled.

o Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway will hear arguments from both sides at a hearing in

the United States District Court of Hawai’i in Honolulu. CFS Coalition has requested

that the court allows CFS Coalition participation in oral argument and is awaiting the

court’s ruling.

Please join our membership to keep updated with the litigation and learn how you

can help.

www.centerforfoodsafety.org 808-681-7688 hioffice@centerforfoodsafety.org

Some good food for thought

https://www.popularresistance.org/10-ways-to-fight-the-corporatocracy/

10 Ways To Fight The Corporatocracy

700th Hilo weekly peace vigil Feb. 20, 2015

IMG_0952Some of those participating in the 700th Hilo Peace vigil Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 from 3:30-5PM at the downtown Post office/Federal Building

Letter to the editor on rep. Clifton Tsuji

Letter: Shame on Rep. Clifton Tsuji

Shame on Rep. Clift Tsuji from Hawaii island for killing the bill for pesticide buffer zones around schools, HB1514. What kind of person won’t protect kids from pesticide poisoning?  And it’s reported that as House Ag committee chair, he even cut off testimony from people who flew from neighbor islands to testify. How low can a politician go?  Tsuji unfortunately has become a mascot for corporate special interests, even given the dubious distinction of Biotech legislator of the year.  He should now be given the “poison award” by school children throughout Hawaii.  As a former banker, now politician, Tsuji deserves to be publicly shamed and exposed as a legislator that acts against the common good, including children’s health and safety.

Jim Albertini

Please join the Feb. 20, 2015 Hilo Peace vigil — the 700th Consecutive Weekly Peace Vigil

Aloha peace ohana,

Come join the 700th consecutive weekly Hilo Peace Vigil.  Weather permitting, we will have a solar charged sound system.  I will bring my guitar to play a few peace songs and an open mic will be available to share thoughts.  Mahalo and please pass the words to others.

Jim Albertini

700th Consecutive

Weekly Hilo Peace

Vigil

Restraint Not Vengeance”

      Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 marks the 700th consecutive weekly Hilo, Hawaii Peace Vigil held from 3:30-5PM at the downtown Post office/federal building sponsored by Malu ‘Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action based in Kurtistown. That’s over 13 years and counting. Each week a new peace leaflet is prepared and distributed widely in Hawaii, the U.S. and internationally, via email lists, Facebook, and the malu-aina.org website. Copies are emailed to county and state officials, the news media, and hundreds of additional copies are handed out on the Hilo street corner of Kinoole and Waianuenue Ave. Anyone can sign up at www.malu-aina.org to receive the weekly leaflet free and other information for peace, justice and aloha ‘aina to save the planet.

      The Hilo Peace Vigil was initiated by Malu ‘Aina founder, Jim Albertini, and the late Zen Buddhist Roshi, Robert Aitken, on Sept. 12, 2001 as an effort to encourage “Restraint not Vengeance” in response to the 9-11 attacks. To quote from that first leaflet: “The purpose of today’s vigil is to offer prayers and thoughts for the victims and their families of yesterday’s attacks and to seek ways to end our world’s escalating cycles of violence. Violent retaliation will only escalate the cycle of violence that is making the whole world blind to our need to live together on this planet. This tragedy underscores the urgent need to embrace policies of international cooperation, a more just distribution of the world’s resources, and a direction that moves away from militarism and violence as methods of solving problems.”

      Where are we today –700 weeks onward? Trillions of dollars have been spent on war and militarism and what have we bought? Is the world a safer place? In 700 weeks of war millions have been killed, injured, made orphans and refugees. The cradle of civilization in Iraq, and surrounding areas, have been heavily destroyed and contaminated with U.S. military toxins including depleted uranium, causing cancer and birth defects. The U.S. has bombed Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and now Syria. After 13 years of war in the name of “freedom and democracy” the entire Middle East is in chaos and civil liberties in the U.S. have been eroded. The cycle of violence continues to escalate, from “Shock and Awe” to killer drones, targeted assassinations, beheadings, and U.S. Special Operations Forces conducting secret missions in more than 133 countries. Now President Obama is seeking expanded authorization for more endless wars against the Islamic State even though U.S. Middle East wars helped create the Islamic State. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40943.htm

      This much should be crystal clear. More war and spending 69 cents out of every U.S. tax dollar on militarism and a national security state are not the answer.  www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/2657  The five core points that appear at the bottom of each week’s peace leaflet may help guide us in a more positive direction. Our key task is to stop the violence: stop the U.S. from continuing to treat Hawaii and the entire world as occupied colonies; and prevent the destruction of civilization and planetary suicide by nuclear war or human induced climate disaster. http://tinyurl.com/pgdk264 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article41002.htm Imagine a better world and with every breath of our beings never give up in a non-violent struggle to make it a reality.

Never, Ever, Give Up!

1. Mourn all victims of violence. 2. Reject war as a solution. 3. Defend civil liberties. 4. Oppose all discrimination, anti-Islamic, anti-Semitic, anti-Hawaiian, etc. 5. Seek peace through justice in Hawai`i and around the world.
Contact: Malu `Aina Center for Non-violent Education & Action P.O. Box 489 Kurtistown, Hawai`i 96760.
Phone (808) 966-7622. Email
: ja@malu-aina.org http://www.malu-aina.org/

Hilo Peace Vigil leaflet (Feb. 20, 2015 – 700th week) – Friday 3:30-5PM downtown Post Office