Even though it was cool and crisp, i walked barefoot through the garden, over worm-castings in the grass, then along pathways through the perennials, the little orchard and the fall vegetables—deep rich kale green, shocking yellow decaying leaves, winter carrots, cauliflowers that will yeild heads in
spring, one could feel the earth energies flowing both ways, up through the feet and back to the land. You can smell honey within 15′ of the hives, and my girls (the bees) were busy making the best of the sun.
Soon, the cold will drive them into the hives for the winter. I walked past a Japanese maple with bright scarlet bark, and then the lotus pond which I dug by hand some years ago. The tall trees beyond, filtering the autumn gold, the bright air breathing me. Nature—the feminine Divine, is here, and my Master
The days of the GMO chemical companies poisoning us in silence are over. For the 1st time on Hawai’i a legislative body has passed a strong law to protect the locals and visitors from toxic agriculture chemicals that are known cancer causing agents and hormone disruptors.
The past few years, the movement on Kaua’i and throughout the State of Hawai’i has been ignited by Professional Surfer Dustin Barca.
After 2491 passed Dustin Barca Stated:
“After years of blood sweat and tears, a healthier future for our families and precious natural resources is now possible. As ground zero for the largest chemical companies in the world, we look to set a precedent for the rest of the world in how to deal with the most evil entities on earth.
I just want to thank every single person involved in making this happen. Without unity we would accomplish nothing.“
2491 is a first step in finding out about the impact and destruction of our islands by the chemical companies. On Kaua’i the chemical companies experiment on 15,000 acres and the total acreage across the State is 40,000 – 60,000 acres.
We must acknowledge the monumental effort of Council Members Gary Hooser and Tim Bynum that drafted this law and the 4 other council members that voted to pass 2491. Despite Mel Rapozo voting against 2491, the bill passed, 6-1. Over the past month, massive opposition from Governor Abercrombie and the Mayor Carvalho of Kaua’i gained momentum, last night the Mayor wanted a one month extension to vote on it.
This is a historic moment for Klayton Kubo of Waimea. He has been raising awareness about the dangers of Pioneer/ Dupont poisoning his backyard for 13 years.
The regulation and protection provisions of 2491 include:
1. Buffer zones for schools, parks, beach’s and hospitals that are bordered by chemical fields.
2. Disclosure of any GMO crops.
3. Notify the public before they spray.
4. The county will have to conduct and environmental assessment of the effects of the enormous quantities of chemicals being sprayed.
5. Disclose what pesticides/ herbicides they spray, where they are spraying and in what quantity.
The largest economic development opportunity on Kaua’i and all of the islands, is not chemical destruction and experimentation as most politicians believe, but land cleanup and remediation of GMO test fields. We must create just opportunities through land cleanup and restore the land to grow organic food.
Hawai’i imports over 90% of our food. Given the toxic state of a lot of our agriculture land, including GMO experimentation or toxic sugar and pineapple fields that were never cleaned up, growing food is not the first step, or we will only be growing more toxic food.
Our massive campaigns across Hawai’i will continue over the next few months, we must pass Bill #113 on Hawai’i Island. On Oahu, after 18 months of pressure, it is time for Kamehameha Schools to EVICT MONSANTO from Hale’iwa. The largest lease to any GMO company on Oahu is the Kamehameha Schools lease of 1,033 acres above the most famous surf breaks in the world. No environmental assessment of chemical contamination has ever occurred in Hale’iwa.
Any day, the chemical companies will file a lawsuit to block the implementation of 2491. The chemical companies are fighting for the right to spray toxic chemicals, (many of them are banned throughout the world) less then 500 feet from schools, such as Waimea Canyon Middle School.
An October 10 press release with Mexico City byline announces the banning of genetically-engineered corn in Mexico. According to the group that issued the press release, La Coperacha, a federal judge has ordered Mexico’s SAGARPA (Secretaría de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca, y Alimentación), which is Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture, and SEMARNAT (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales), which is equivalent of the EPA, to immediately “suspend all activities involving the planting of transgenic corn in the country and end the granting of permission for experimental and pilot commercial plantings”.
The unprecedented ban was granted by the Twelfth Federal District Court for Civil Matters of Mexico City. Judge Jaime Eduardo Verdugo J. wrote the opinion and cited “the risk of imminent harm to the environment” as the basis for the decision. The judge’s ruling also ruled that multinationals like Monsanto and Pioneer are banned from the release of transgenic maize in the Mexican countryside” as long as collective action lawsuits initiated by citizens, farmers, scientists, and civil society organizations are working their way through the judicial system.
The decision was explained during a press conference in Mexico City yesterday by members of the community-based organizations that sued federal authorities and companies introducing transgenic maize into Mexico. The group, Acción Colectiva, is led by Father Miguel Concha of the Human Rights Center Fray Francisco de Vittoria; Victor Suarez of ANEC (National Association of Rural Commercialization Entertprises); Dr. Mercedes Lopéz of Vía Organica; and Adelita San Vicente, a teacher and member of Semillas de Vida, a national organization that has been involved in broad-based social action projects to protect Mexico’s extraordinary status as a major world center of food crop biodiversity.
Attorney General Ferguson files suit against Grocery Manufacturers Association
AG alleges association skirted disclosure rules in $7.2 million contribution to No on Initiative 522 campaign
SEATTLE– Attorney General Bob Ferguson today filed suit in Thurston County Superior Court alleging that the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) violated the state’s campaign disclosure laws. Ferguson alleges the GMA illegally collected and spent more than $7 million while shielding the identity of its contributors. The funds were spent to express opposition to Initiative 522, a measure requiring labeling of genetically engineered foods, seeds and seed products in Washington.
“When Washington state voters overwhelming approved Initiative 276 in 1972, they voiced their desire for transparency and openness in elections,” Ferguson said. “Truly fair elections demand all sides follow the rules by disclosing who their donors are and how much they are spending to advocate their views.”
The Grocery Manufacturers Association is a trade association, based in Washington DC, representing more than 300 food, beverage and consumer product companies. It is the biggest donor to the No on I-522 campaign.
The Attorney General’s Office alleges the GMA established the “Defense of Brands Strategic Account” within its organization and asked members to pay assessments that would be used to oppose I-522. GMA then funded opposition efforts while shielding contributors’ names from public disclosure.
Ferguson alleges the GMA should have formed a separate political committee, registered with the state’s Public Disclosure Commission (PDC), and filed reports indicating who contributed, how much they contributed and how the money was spent to oppose I-522.
The AGO filed suit in Thurston County Superior Court to compel the GMA to register with the PDC and file disclosure statements.
The AGO is preparing to seek a temporary restraining order asking the court to order the GMA to immediately comply with state disclosure laws.
The AGO is also requesting civil penalties and costs of investigation and trial, including reasonable attorney’s fees, injunctive relief and any other relief the court deems appropriate.
The suit stemmed from a citizen action letter received by the Attorney General’s Office in late August. Upon receipt of the letter, the office immediately referred the case to the PDC for investigation. Working closely with the PDC, the Attorney General’s Office reviewed information provided to the PDC during its investigation and determined there was sufficient evidence to file a court action.
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal officer for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Attorney General Bob Ferguson is working hard to protect consumers and seniors against fraud, keep our communities safe, protect our environment and stand up for our veterans. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.
In 1972, Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj (1894-1974), my beloved Guru, visited Dallas, Texas. In His hotel room, he told me and Frank Ford, an organic farmer, “To grow a blade of grass, is more than a patriot’s work.”
This painting by Michael Schulbaum of the writer with Master Kirpal, is adapted from a photograph taken in India, November 1968.