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help make no GMO taro

February 28th, 2009

Friends: The fight continues.  Below is an excellent email from Kahea with information about what you can do to protect Taro. Peace, Paul Paul Normann 808-557-4806 paulwnormann@yahoo.com Begin forwarded message: From: “KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance” Date: February 26, 2009 6:33:20 PM HST To: paulwnormann@yahoo.com Subject: Act Now to Protect Natural Taro- 3 Simple Ways to Malama Haloa! Reply-To: kahea.alliance@hawaii.rr.com Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser. Aloha , Malama Haloa update: There are two good bills making their way quickly through the legislature that will protect the health of taro and consumers by banning genetically engineered, GMO-taro. The bills are called HB1663 and SB709-SD1. Your support is now needed to get important safety measures for taro passed into law.  See below for 3 simple ways you can support these efforts right now! Click Here to Take Action!   You can make a big difference just by clicking here and easily submitting your testimony in support of protecting natural taro!News Maka’ala- Watch Out! The consumer and farmer protections stated in the bills to ban GMO-taro are currently at risk. In the upcoming hearings some politicians may try to change the bills to only protect Hawaiian varieties of taro– but still allow for other varieties of taro in Hawaii to be genetically modified. Taro farmers do notsupport this idea because a popular chinese taro, Bun Long, is grown in Hawaii for lu’au leaf and taro chips. GMO-taro of the chinese taro, or any taro varieties, poses serious health and allergy risks to consumers, and irreversible threats to Hawaii’s ecosystem and taro farming.  Decision makers need to hear from you that ALL taro in Hawaii must be protected! Hewa- Danger! There is a GMO-Preemption bill in the legislature this year, HB1226. Simply, this is one of the worst ideas of 2009- not as bad as selling ceded-lands, but close. This bill would allow biotech and GMO activities to happen in Hawaii without any public, state or county oversight or regulation– denying us of our right to know and choose what is in the food we eat and what experimental crops are grown in our communities. There is also a section in this bill that says it doesn’t apply to GMO-taro, but would still stop local community and government oversight of ALL other biotech activities and ALL other GMO-foods, plants and animals in Hawaii. No taro trade-off!  Taro farmers are in firm agreement that protecting natural taro cannot be at the expense of any of our other natural resources. This bill has not yet been scheduled for a hearing but there is concern that it will be fast tracked soon. Please submit testimony in opposition to GMO preemption here, and when the hearing is announced we will send in your testimony. Link to online testimony form for HB1226: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2699/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26787 –Please pass this email on to all your family and friends!– 3 simple ways  you can help protect natural taro now! 1. Email testimony in support of the ban on GMO-taro. Only takes two shakes! The easiest way is to use the online testimony form CLICK HERE!  This is the link: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2699/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26585 Upcoming Bill Committee Hearings: SB709-SD1 will be heard on Friday, Feb. 27 at 2:45 in room 229 by the Senate Committee on Water, Land, Agriculture and Hawaiian Affairs HB1663 may be heard next week, possibly on March 4 –but no date is confirmed yet– by the House Agriculture Committee –If you can, please come testify or show support in person!–  Click here for more info! 2. Call these 12 key decision makers– leave each one just a quick message, it only takes a few minutes! Tell them you strongly support protecting ALL varieties of taro by passing HB1663 and SB709-SD1 with no changes. Members of House Committee on Agriculture HB1663 will be heard next week in the House Agriculture Committee, possibly on March 4, but no date is confirmed yet. Clift Tsuji , Chair- 586-8480 Isaac Choy , 586-8475 Cindy Evans , 586-8510 Joey Manahan , 586-6010 James Tokioka , 586-6270 Barbara Marumoto , 586-6310 Members of Senate Committee on Water, Land, Agriculture and Hawaiian Affairs SB709-SD1 will be heard in Senate WLAH Committee on Friday, Feb. 27 at 2:45 in room 229. Clayton Hee , Chair 586-7330 Jill Tokuda , Vice Chair, 587-7215 Robert Bunda , 586-6090 Carol Fukunaga , 586-6890 Dwight Takamine , 586-7335 Fred Hemmings , 587-8388 3. And also call these commercial taro businesses, only 3 quick calls! Tell them you do not want genetically engineered taro and will not buy their poi, lu’au leaf or other taro products if they use genetically engineered taro. - Honolulu Poi, 841-8705 - Hanalei Poi, 826-4764 - Haraguchi Farms, 826-6202 Haloa and Hawaii’s consumers deserve only the best! Despite over 200 commercial and subsistence farmers and 7,000 consumers demanding a ban on GMO-taro, these companies are now supporting GMO-taro, putting the health of consumers far below business ideas. That’s bad business! Taro consumers value how healthy and allergy-free taro is, especially as a baby food. However, these companies are not supporting protections for the important allergy-free (hypoallergenic) qualities of taro. Unlike natural taro, GMO-taro can never be guaranteed to be allergy-free. There are no safety studies to prove GMO-taro would be safe for consumers, which could make what is now one of the safest and healthiest foods on the planet into one of the most dangerous. It would be impossible to control or recall GMO-taro if released into open fields, or accidentally released from a lab. GMO-taro is not an easy or logical way to safely farm taro or protect consumers and businesses. It is also important that taro businesses respect taro consumers. These local taro businesses owe their own existence and success to poi, to Haloa- the kalo, to the Hawaiian people, and to the rich lands of Hawaii. There would be no poi industry at all if not for Hawaiians. To genetically modify -and patent- Haloa, the kalo, is fundamentally disrespectful to the genealogy, culture and future of the Hawaiian people– while also endangering the health and lands of Hawaii. Sadly, by supporting GMO-taro these businesses are now insulting and threatening their own customers and the unique cultural foundation of the poi industry. Hopefully, by hearing from customers they will change their minds and support safe science and farming instead. Maybe even organic farming! Please encourage all taro producers and sellers to support only the safest and most ethical science and farming methods.  Mahalo piha for your support. e Malama Haloa! The best change is spare change! Just $10 will help print 100 educational brochures! Consider donating any-kine-can to help continue the work we do. Click on the “Support Us” button below, and specify that your donation is for Na Kahu o Haloa. You can also send checks to KAHEA, with “Na Kahu o Haloa” in the memo line. MAHALO NUI for your support! KAHEA: The Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance 1140 Bethel St., #415 Honolulu, HI 96813 www.kahea.org blog.kahea.org phone: 808-524-8220 email: kahea-alliance@hawaii.rr.com KAHEA: the Hawaiian-Environmental Alliance is a network of thousands of diverse individuals islands-wide and around the world. Together, we work to secure the strongest possible protections for Hawaii’s most ecologically unique and culturally sacred places and resources. Support Us | Subscribe | Contact Us

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