Friday, November 22, 2013


Hawaii Takes Center Stage in Growing Anti-GMO Movement

Upcoming vote on Big Island would restrict cultivation of transgenic crops

- Common Dreams staff
Hawaii is the latest stage for the growing movement against genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
(Photo: Farmanac/cc/flickr) As the Hawaii Tribune Herald reported, the Hawaii County Council voted 6-3 on Tuesday to pass a bill that "restricts the expansion of transgenic crops grown on the Big Island by limiting most of their use to enclosed structures, such as a greenhouse."
Cheering the vote, Volcano resident Blake Watson said, “This is a great first step.”
Excluded from the bill, according to the Associated Press, are farmers who already grow GM crops, like papaya growers, who "largely rely on transgenic varieties."
Mayor Billy Kenoi has said he will decide next week whether to veto or approve the bill.
The vote on the big island "comes just days after the Hawaiian island of Kauai pushed forward legislation that severely increases regulations of biotech companies," the Huffington Post reports.
Explaining the growing momentum against the biotechnology companies in Hawaii, Andrea Brower recently wrote:
To understand the "why" of our local struggle, it firstly needs to be situated in a larger global movement that is responding to a radically unjust, anti-democratic and ecologically destructive food and agricultural system. On Kauai, the movement is partly about the local manifestations of that food system -- the poisoning of land and people for the development of new technologies that the world does not want, and does not need. It is a response to resident grievances over breathing in pesticide-laden dust on a daily basis for the past 15 years; parent and teacher anger after dozens of students were poisoned a second and third time; local physician concerns that they are noticing higher rates of illnesses and rare birth defects; the frustration of Native Hawaiian taro farmers watching rivers go dry as chemical companies divert and dump water; beekeeper fears that they will be next to loose organic certification due to pesticide contamination, or experience hive die-off from the known bee-killers. [...]
We are on the verge of forcing insidiously powerful corporations to disclose what kinds of toxic experiments they are conducting on our land and people. And this is just the very tip of what is happening on Kauai, and what is increasingly happening around the world. As we build new solidarities, connect the dots of destruction in our food system, and situate these in the broader economic-political context, we are having new conversations and thinking in ways that push the boundaries of what is considered possible. We are beginning to talk seriously about our fundamental human rights to clean air, water and soil; about the colonial legacy of concentrated land ownership; about the privatization of the resources needed to grow food; about the injustices of an economic system where competitive profit accumulation is the only defining logic; and about the possibility of new ways, often based in old knowledge and wisdom.
Though the chemical companies may be devastating our lands and waters, they have not devastated our imaginations. Whether or not we pass a bill, we are growing the momentum, intelligence and creativity of a movement that will continue to take bigger and bolder steps. The food movement, locally and globally, is rising, and it isn't going away. And we will win, because the world we are fighting for is what the vast majority of people want, and we are simply reminding people how to believe that it is in fact possible to make that world.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Mutant Crops Drive BASF Sales Where Monsanto Denied: Commodities
By Jack Kaskey - Nov 13, 2013 8:04 AM PT

Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg
A farm worker sprays cotton plants with pesticides on the farm of Jarnail Singh in Jajjal village, Punjab, India, on Aug. 28, 2013. The “Green Revolution” introduced the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides Punjab's farmers.

Crop breeders increasingly are using radiation and gene-altering chemicals to mutate seeds, creating new plant varieties with better yields -- all without regulation.

The United Nations’ Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture program has received 39 requests this year for radiation services from plant breeders in dozens of countries, the most since records began in 1977, according to program head Pierre Lagoda. The group in Vienna promotes developing more “sustainable” crops by irradiating them to resist threats like drought, insects, disease and salinity.

Mutation breeding, after booming in the 1950s with the dawn of the Nuclear Age, is still used by seed developers from BASF SE to Dupont Co. to create crops for markets that reject genetic engineering. Regulators don’t demand proof that new varieties are harmless. The U.S. National Academies of Science warned in 1989 and again in 2004 that regulating genetically modified crops while giving a pass to products of mutation breeding isn’t scientifically justified.

“The NAS hits the nail on the head and I don’t think that any plant- or crop-scientist will disagree,” said Kevin M. Folta, a molecular geneticist and interim chairman of the horticultural sciences department at the University of Florida. “Mutation breeding is absolutely the least predictable.”
Health Risks

The increase in mutation breeding raises questions of fairness and safety compared with genetic engineering, a regulated technique used by companies such as Monsanto Co. that involves transferring specific genes from one species to another. Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybean, a blockbuster product in the U.S. and Brazil, can’t be grown in the European Union, where national governments have cited concerns about risks to health and the environment.

In contrast, mutagenesis deletes and rearranges hundreds or thousands of genes randomly. It uses a man-made process that mimics with a greater intensity what the sun’s radiation has done to plants and animals for millennia, spawning mutations that sometimes are beneficial or hazardous to the organism.

The randomness makes mutagenesis less precise than St. Louis-based Monsanto’s genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs, the NAS said in a 2004 report. It’s the breeding technique most likely to cause unintended genetic changes, some of which could harm human health, the academy said.
Fewer Hurdles

Still, mutagenesis is gaining in popularity because it’s a far cheaper way to give crops new traits than the $150 million to $200 million that companies such as Monsanto pay to get a new GMO on the market. Mutant crops also face no labeling requirements or regulatory hurdles in most of the world.

“These difficulties in getting a GMO to the market, we don’t have it in mutation breeding,” Lagoda said in an Oct. 16 phone interview.

Breeders have registered more than 3,000 mutant varieties with Lagoda’s program, a partnership between the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency. Those varieties are just “the tip of the iceberg” because many breeders actively avoid revealing how they create new plants, Lagoda said.

This year alone, Lagoda’s program has gotten requests to help irradiate 31 plant species, ranging from sugar beets from Poland and wheat from the U.K. to rice from Indonesia and potatoes from Kenya.
Atomic Gardens

Some of the program’s greatest successes have been in Asia. Lower labor costs there make it practical to sort through tens of thousands of plants to find a variety with the desired change. In Vietnam, mutant varieties of soy account for half of the crop and higher yields from mutant rice has made the country self-sufficient in that grain, Lagoda said. Vietnam is now using the technique to develop salt-tolerant rice, he said.

Mutant breeding was developed during World War II and promoted during the Cold War as a peaceful use of nuclear technology. It created thousands of new plant varieties by knocking out genes with X-rays and gamma rays as well as chemicals.

Atomic gardens, built around gamma-ray emitters, were popular among breeders in the 1960s and Japan still operates one. China began launching seeds into space in 1987 to take advantage of cosmic radiation and low gravity, developing more than 40 mutant crops with higher yields and better disease resistance, including varieties of rice, wheat and pepper.

Most of the world’s wheat, rice and barley are descendants of mutant varieties, according to Lagoda. Mutagenesis is used to give fruits and vegetables a new color and to make grains shorter and easier to harvest. In the U.S., mutagenesis was used to develop Star Ruby grapefruit and varieties of lettuce, beans, oats, rice and wheat.
Mutant Sunflowers

BASF, the world’s biggest chemical company, is having success with its line of Clearfield crops. The German company made the crops tolerant of its Clearfield herbicide through chemical mutagenesis. It alters the crops’ DNA by dousing seeds with chemicals such as ethyl methanesulfonate and sodium azide, according to company filings in Canada, the only nation that regulates such crops.

“This has been a technique used for many decades without issue, without concern,” Jonathan Bryant, a BASF vice president said by phone.

BASF enlists the help of 40 seed companies, including DuPont Co. and Dow Chemical Co. in the U.S. and Switzerland’s Syngenta AG to sell Clearfield crops in markets that reject GMOs. Clearfield wheat, rice, lentils, sunflowers and canola are planted from Russia to Argentina and the U.S. without regulatory review.
DuPont Products

Operating earnings at BASF’s agriculture unit rose 27 percent last year, partly because of higher demand in Eastern Europe for Clearfield herbicide and the mutant crops that tolerate it, the company said in its annual report. Its products are safe for consumers and the environment, said Nevin McDougall, a BASF senior vice president.

DuPont’s Pioneer seed unit created an herbicide-tolerant sunflower by exposing the seeds to ethyl methanesulfonate. The sunflowers are marketed as ExpressSun and are grown primarily in Russia, Ukraine and throughout Eastern Europe, said Paul Schickler, president of Pioneer, where plant breeders use both genetic modification and mutagenesis.

“There is not a black line between biotechnology and non-biotechnology,” Schickler said. “It’s a continuum.”

Monsanto Chief Technology Officer Robb Fraley agreed. Plant breeders for the past five years have had the ability to use molecular markers and sequenced genomes of corn and other crops to improve crosses, making conventional breeding more like genetic engineering, he said.
Withdrawn Varieties

“For all practical purposes, breeding and biotechnology are converging,” Fraley said in an interview, adding that Monsanto uses mutagenesis “a little bit.”

Still, for some scientists there’s a clear distinction between mutagenesis and creating GMOs. The latter are more likely to be safe because regulators require breeders to document why any new proteins won’t cause health problems such as allergies, said Alan McHughen, a molecular geneticist at the University of California in Riverside.

Breeders who avoid genetic modification are simply trusted to rid their new plants of any hazards. That doesn’t always happen: Varieties of conventionally bred potatoes, celery and squash have been pulled from the market after breeders accidentally increased levels of naturally occurring toxins.
Salmonella Comparison

Whatever the risk borne by mutation breeding, it has a “microscopic” chance of creating a health hazard compared with the possibility of getting a food-borne illness such as salmonella, according to Wayne Parrott, professor of crop science at the University of Georgia in Athens.

“There are always unintended changes, but what we are worried about is hazardous unintended changes, and the probability of that is very, very low,” Parrott said by phone.

The NAS and other science groups have urged the U.S. to adopt a system more like Canada, where novel food traits are examined for safety regardless of the method used to create them. In the U.S., where only GMOs are required to pass through an approval process, the Department of Agriculture issued a memo this year verifying crops created through mutagenesis as acceptable even for organic farming.

“Any GMO on the market today is safer than anything that hasn’t gone through that safety regulatory step,” McHughen, a member of the National Academies who helped write the 2004 report, said by phone.

Despite that view, Monsanto -- the world’s largest maker of genetically altered crops -- faces not just regulation of its GMOs and bans in some countries, but also political hurdles that can delay product introductions for years, sometimes indefinitely.

In July, it withdrew applications for planting its seeds in the EU, which has approved only one application in two decades. BASF last year decided to move its plant-science division, which works on engineered crops, to the U.S. from Germany. Given the situation in the EU, breeders have little choice except to switch to mutation breeding, Lagoda said.

“The current regulations are a huge incentive to go back and do things the old way,” including mutagenesis, said Parrott of the University of Georgia. “Simply because, even though you may bring in a bunch of unknown genes and a lot of unknown changes, it’s not regulated.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Jack Kaskey in Houston at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Simon Casey at


Sunday, November 17, 2013


Published on Sunday, November 17, 2013 by the New York Times
Javier JaƩn-photo

The Insanity of Our Food Policy

by Joseph Stiglitz

American food policy has long been rife with head-scratching illogic. We spend billions every year on farm subsidies, many of which help wealthy commercial operations to plant more crops than we need. The glut depresses world crop prices, harming farmers in developing countries. Meanwhile, millions of Americans live tenuously close to hunger, which is barely kept at bay by a food stamp program that gives most beneficiaries just a little more than $4 a day.

So it’s almost too absurd to believe that House Republicans are asking for a farm bill that would make all of these problems worse. For the putative purpose of balancing the country’s books, the measures that the House Republican caucus is pushing for in negotiations with the Senate, as Congress attempts to pass a long-stalled extension of the farm bill, would cut back the meager aid to our country’s most vulnerable and use the proceeds to continue fattening up a small number of wealthy American farmers.

The House has proposed cutting food stamp benefits by $40 billion over 10 years — that’s on top of $5 billion in cuts that already came into effect this month with the expiration of increases to the food stamp program that were included in the 2009 stimulus law. Meanwhile, House Republicans appear satisfied to allow farm subsidies, which totaled some $14.9 billion last year, to continue apace. Republican proposals would shift government assistance from direct payments — paid at a set rate to farmers every year to encourage them to keep growing particular crops, regardless of market fluctuations — to crop insurance premium subsidies. But this is unlikely to be any cheaper. Worse, unlike direct payments, the insurance premium subsidies carry no income limit for the farmers who would receive this form of largess.

Taking from the poor to subsidize the rich.The proposal is a perfect example of how growing inequality has been fed by what economists call rent-seeking. As small numbers of Americans have grown extremely wealthy, their political power has also ballooned to a disproportionate size. Small, powerful interests — in this case, wealthy commercial farmers — help create market-skewing public policies that benefit only themselves, appropriating a larger slice of the nation’s economic pie. Their larger slice means everyone else gets a smaller one — the pie doesn’t get any bigger — though the rent-seekers are usually adept at taking little enough from individual Americans that they are hardly aware of the loss. While the money that they’ve picked from each individual American’s pocket is small, the aggregate is huge for the rent-seeker. And this in turn deepens inequality.

The nonsensical arrangement being proposed in the House Republicans’ farm bill is an especially egregious version of this process. It takes real money, money that is necessary for bare survival, from the poorest Americans, and gives it to a small group of the undeserving rich, in return for their campaign contributions and political support. There is no economic justification: The bill actually distorts our economy by promoting the kind of production we don’t need and shrinking the consumption of those with the smallest incomes. There is no moral justification either: It actually increases misery and precariousness of daily life for millions of Americans.

FARM subsidies were much more sensible when they began eight decades ago, in 1933, at a time when more than 40 percent of Americans lived in rural areas. Farm incomes had fallen by about a half in the first three years of the Great Depression. In that context, the subsidies were an anti-poverty program.

Now, though, the farm subsidies serve a quite different purpose. From 1995 to 2012, 1 percent of farms received about $1.5 million each, which is more than a quarter of all subsidies, according to the Environmental Working Group. Some three-quarters of the subsidies went to just 10 percent of farms. These farms received an average of more than $30,000 a year — about 20 times the amount received by the average individual beneficiary last year from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program, or SNAP, commonly called food stamps.

Today, food stamps are one of the main support beams in our anti-poverty efforts. More than 80 percent of the 45 million or so Americans who participated in SNAP in 2011, the last year for which there is comprehensive data from the United States Department of Agriculture, had gross household incomes below the poverty level. (Since then, the total number of participants has expanded to nearly 48 million.) Even with that support, many of them experience food insecurity, that is, they had trouble putting food on the table at some point during the year.

Historically, food stamp programs and agricultural subsidies have been tied together. The two may seem strange bedfellows, but there is a rationale: There is a need to address both sides of the economics of food — production and consumption. Having a bounteous supply within a country does not ensure that the citizens of that country are well fed. The radical imbalance between farm subsidies to the wealthy and nutritional assistance to the neediest — an imbalance that the farm bill proposals would directly promote — is a painful testament to this established economic fact.

The Nobel Prize winning economist Amartya Sen has reminded us that even famines are not necessarily caused by a lack of supply, but by a failure to get the food that exists to the people who need it. This was true in the Bengal famine of 1943 and in the Irish potato famine a century earlier: Ireland, controlled by its British masters, was exporting food even as its citizens died of starvation.

A similar dynamic is playing out in the United States. American farmers are heralded as among the most efficient in the world. Our country is the largest producer and exporter of corn and soybeans, to name just two of its biggest crops. And yet millions of Americans still suffer from hunger, and millions more would, were it not for the vital programs that government provides to prevent hunger and malnutrition — the programs that the Republicans are now seeking to cut back.

And there is an extra layer of irony to America’s food policies: While they encourage overproduction, they pay little attention to the quality and diversity of foods our farms produce. The heavy subsidization of corn, for instance, means that many unhealthful foods are relatively cheap. So grocery shopping on a tight budget often means choosing foods that are not nutritious. This is part of the reason that Americans face the paradox of hunger out of proportion to their wealth, along with some of the world’s highest obesity rates, and a high incidence of Type 2 diabetes. Poor Americans are especially at risk for obesity.

A few years ago, I was in India, a country of 1.2 billion, in which tens of millions face hunger on a daily basis, when a front-page headline blared that one in seven Americans faced food insecurity because they couldn’t afford the basic necessities of life. Indian friends I met that day and in the following week were puzzled by this news: How could it be that in the richest country of the world there was still hunger?

Their puzzlement was understandable: Hunger in this rich land is unnecessary. What my Indian friends didn’t understand is that 15 percent of Americans — and 22 percent of America’s children — live in poverty. Someone working full time (2,080 hours a year) at the minimum wage of $7.25 would earn about $15,000 a year, far less than the poverty threshold for a family of four ($23,492 in 2012), and even less than the poverty level of a family of three.

This grim picture is a result of political decisions made in Washington that have helped create an economic system in which the undereducated must work exceptionally hard simply to remain in poverty.

This is not how America is supposed to work. In his famous 1941 “four freedoms” speech, Franklin D. Roosevelt enunciated the principle that all Americans should have certain basic economic rights, including “freedom from want.” These ideas were later embraced by the international community in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which also enshrined the right to adequate food. But while the United States was instrumental in advocating for these basic economic human rights on the international scene — and getting them adopted — America’s performance back home has been disappointing.

It is, of course, no surprise that with the high level of poverty millions of Americans have had to turn to the government to meet the basic necessities of life. And those numbers increased drastically with the onset of the Great Recession. The number of Americans on food stamps went up by more than 80 percent between 2007 and 2013.

To say that most of these Americans are technically poor only begins to get at the depth of their need. In 2012, for example, two in five SNAP recipients had gross incomes that were less than half of the poverty line. The amount they get from the program is very small — $4.39 a day per recipient. This is hardly enough to survive on, but it makes an enormous difference in the lives of those who get it: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that SNAP lifted four million Americans out of poverty in 2010.

Given the inadequacies of the existing programs to combat hunger and poor nutrition, and given the magnitude of poverty in the aftermath of the Great Recession, one might have thought that the natural response of our political leaders would be to expand programs enhancing food security. But the members of the Republican caucus in the House of Representatives see things differently. They seem to want to blame the victims — the poor who have been provided an inadequate public education and so lack marketable skills, and those who earnestly seek work, but can’t find any, because of an economic system that has stalled, with almost one out of seven Americans who would like to find full-time employment still unable to obtain it. Far from alleviating the impacts of these problems, the Republicans’ proposal would reinforce privation and inequalities.

And the calamitous effects of the Republicans’ proposal will reach even beyond our borders.

Viewed from a larger perspective, the farming subsidies, combined with the cutbacks in food stamps, increase global poverty and hunger. This is because, with American consumption diminished from what it otherwise would be and production increased, food exports will inevitably increase. Greater exports drive down global prices, hurting poor farmers around the world. Agriculture is the main source of livelihood for the 70 percent of the world’s poor living in rural areas, who overwhelmingly reside in developing countries.

The adoption of the House Republicans’ plan will reverberate in our economy through several channels. One is simply that poor families with diminished resources will tamp down growth. More pernicious is that the Republicans’ farm bill would deepen inequality — and not just through the immediate giveaways to wealthy farmers and corresponding cuts to the poor. Children with poor nutrition — whether they are hungry or ill because of bad diets — do not learn as well as those who are better fed.

By cutting back on food stamps, we are ensuring the perpetuation of inequality, and at that, one of its worst manifestations: the inequality of opportunity. When it comes to opportunity, America is doing an alarmingly bad job, as I’ve written before in this series. We are endangering our future because there will be a large coterie of people at the bottom who will not live up to their potential, who will not be able to make the contribution that they could have made, to the prosperity of the country as a whole.

All of this exposes the Republicans’ argument in favor of these food policies — a concern for our future, particularly the impact of the national debt on our children — as a dishonest and deeply cynical pretense. Not only has the intellectual undergirding of debt fetishism been knocked out (with the debunking of work by the Harvard economists Carmen M. Reinhart and Kenneth S. Rogoff that tied slowed growth to debt-to-G.D.P. ratios above 90 percent). The Republicans’ farm bill also clearly harms both America’s children and the world’s in a variety of ways.

For these proposals to become law would be a moral and economic failure for the country.
© 2013 Joseph Stiglitz

Joseph E. Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University. His most recent book is The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future. Among his many other books, he is the author ofGlobalization and Its Discontents, Free Fall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy, and (with co-author Linda Bilmes) The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Costs of the Iraq Conflict. He received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2001 for research on the economics of information.


Aloha GMO Free Kaua'i Ohana,

Yes we did it! We the people of Kaua'i stood up to 4 of the worlds largest chemical companies doing GMO seed experiments on our island, and passed bill 2491 yesterday! The final vote was 5-2, with Gary Hooser, Tim Bynum, JoAnn Yukimura, Jay Furfaro, and Mason Chock voting for the veto override, while Mel Rapozo and Ross Kagawa voted against it. The bill is now law, and will take effect in 9 months. We can expect a lawsuit filed by the chemical companies soon.

This was a huge historic victory for our movement on Kaua'i, and is the first law in Hawai'i state history curtailing the use of chemicals in any way, in order to protect the health and well being of the people. We should be very proud for what we have accomplished together, this was truly a people's movement, and would not have happened without the strong consistent support from everyone in our Ohana. Hopefully this will inspire other communities across Hawai'i, the USA, and the world to stand up for their rights to protect the health and well being of their people and the environment in which they live.

So thank you to everyone who has been involved. I am truly humbled by all the outpouring of support from our community, and how hard so many of us worked to make this happen. We are uniting the island across racial, cultural, and class divides, and that is a great direction we are headed, uniting the people in common cause for our shared health and well being. This is also historic, in my humble opinion.

Of course we also want to thank Gary Hooser for introducing the bill, Tim Bynum for co-introducing it, and Jay Furfaro and JoAnn Yukimura for sheparding it through the political process. Also many thanks to the councils newest member Mason Chock, who cast the deciding vote on the override on his first day in office. In his time to explain his vote, he spoke very eloquently about the need to protect the health of children, and coming from his heart. It was really a great talk, he brought many to tears in the room, and we look forward to seeing what he does next on the county council as he finishes the rest of his one year term.

Here are some links to first stories on the bill, and below I append the full press release from the pass the bill coalition, which is very well written and worth reading.


Aloha everyone,

Today, our island won! More news coming soon.

Bill 2491 Passes into Law

Bill Marks a "Turning Point" in Dealing with the Impacts of the Chemical Industry on Kauai

On November 16, Kauai County Council voted to override a Mayoral veto of Bill 2491.

The bill, which is now law, mandates pesticide disclosure by the agrochemical companies on Kauai, and establishes moderate buffer-zones between their operations and schools, hospitals and residential areas. It also requires a health and environmental impact study.

The rulemaking process will begin immediately, with strong commitment from the Council and community to work collaboratively with the administration in order to ensure that enforcement and implementation are effective. The Mayor is also being encouraged to continue his efforts with the State towards voluntary disclosure in the immediate term, until more comprehensive and mandatory disclosure takes effect.

The final passage of Bill 2491 into law is being called a victory for people, health and the environment in the face of incredible pressure from the world's largest chemical corporations.

The chemical companies have fought strongly against Bill 2491, threatening to sue Kauai, and using divisive and misleading tactics.

As bill supporter Fern Rosenstiel commented: "It's remarkable how hard we've had to fight simply for our right to know what pesticides are being sprayed in massive amounts right next to homes and schools. We've met every possible obstacle, but we've been persistent and stayed grounded in our values of protecting our people and land."

Dustin Barca, pro-surfer and pro-fighter who has been working to raise awareness about the chemical industry in Hawaii, stated: "Through conscious actions and dedication from the people of Kauai, Bill 2491 has moved us towards a healthier future. We have asserted our right to self-determination, especially when it comes to health and life."

Randi-Li Dickinson, whose family is being impacted by the chemical companies' pesticide use, expressed encouragement and gratitude for the progress made: "Now we will be able to get the information we need to move forward. This is the first step to understanding the impacts of these dangerous pesticides on the health and safety of our keiki and the land."

Despite differences in opinion, all Council Members and the Mayor reiterated their commitment to taking action to address concerns around the chemical industry.

While the bill itself has been controversial on Kauai, the island's people have continued to express a marked amount of unity in the values of prioritizing protection of health and environment. There has also been a strong desire and steady call to maintain the aloha spirit, and to insure that differences in opinion do not create divisiveness.

As Council Chair Jay Furfaro commented prior to the override vote, about a yellow police barricade tape that had been placed across the council lawn to divide bill supporters from opponents: "... I went down ... with the police and I removed the tape and the divider that was downstairs.[applause] That is something that Kauai is known for."

West side resident Kaulana Poe testified at the final vote, "Aloha and respect are why I am for this bill... People have gotten sick, and we would like to make sure that it's not because of them [the companies]. And that is just real simple. [It's about] showing aloha and respect for us."