Babes Against Biotech (BAB) was founded by Nomi (a.k.a. Naomi S.) “Kaheaonalani” Carmona a 27 (b. 1985) year old, former California resident “activist and comedian at Planet Earth”, with ties to the Just Label It campaign and Prop 37 groups.
The BAB website was registered via the Domains by Proxy privacy protection service in June 2012 – the rationale for which is suspect given they claim to be an openly registered non-profit business with no need for anonymity linked to their web presence. This suggests another “guiding hand” was likely involved in their start. Overall the site has very low online influence (visibility and visitor rankings) but via social media, particularly their presence on Facebook and on Twitter, they are actively engaged in fairly sophisticated SEO techniques and viral marketing.
Much of the BAB content and SEO related activity is promoted and supported by Henry Rowlands, another organic industry and Maharishi-linked activist with ties to Jeffrey Smith via Smith’s former boss Maharishi professor John Fagan. Together they have backed anti-crop biotechnology campaigns, written articles excoriating GM and produced and posted activist videos, such as this youtube posting touting the retracted Seralini rat study.
BAB claims on their website and Facebook page to be a 501c3 however, their taxpayer ID on donation page claims non-profit (BUT NOT TAX DEDUCTIBLE) status and is listed as: EIN 46-1258784 (Non-Profit but not Tax Deductible). A review of IRS exempt organizations for their EIN and name “Babes against biotech” reveals no exempt organization and no 501c3 (or 501c4 or other) required 990 filings – as such it appears that they are not yet a formally registered and approved 501c3 (as of 4/2013). This doesn’t mean they haven’t applied for 501c3 status; sometimes there is a lag before they hit the online databases). They have a potential conflict in their claims of being a 501c3 tax-exempt organization and their actual donation page which states donations are not tax exempt.
In addition, the mixing and volume of political activity on their sites and social media profiles–and the fact that founder Naomi Carmona is a former local government/political employee–could make this an easy to demonstrate violation of 501c3 tax-exempt activity for a complaint. It’s possible there are also violations of HI laws on lobbying disclosures and use of governmental offices/resources for these activities as there appears to have been overlap between the campaign launch and founder Ms. Carmona’s official local government employment.
BaB has formally register as a non-profit business in Hawaii in October 2012 but that doesn’t convey any formal federal tax-exempt status, it only registers them as a business with the HI Secretary of State which would enable them to get a tax-id # and open a bank account.
MASTER NAME: BABES AGAINST BIOTECH
BUSINESS TYPE: Domestic Nonprofit Corporation
FILE NUMBER: 237378 D2
PLACE INCORPORATED: Hawaii UNITED STATES
REGISTRATION DATE: Oct 12, 2012
300 WAI NANI WAY STE 2507
HONOLULU, Hawaii 96815
CROSS REFERENCE NAME: BABES AGAINST BIO TECH
AGENT NAME: NAOMI S CARMONA
300 WAI NANI WAY STE 2507
HONOLULU, Hawaii 96815
300 Wai Nani Way is a residential condominium complex and unit 2507 is a one room studio offered as a rental vacation apartment.
The evidence suggests the BAB group is likely tied to primarily to Jeffrey Smith (and thus indirectly to two other anti-GMO advocacy groups, Organic Consumers Association and Center for Food Safety) and probably one of his “projects.” They are playing very lose with their tax status and donation collection, which Smith is similarly known to do. She (and her relative/mother) also has many of the common profile characteristics of a Maharishi-cult follower.
- Naomi S. Carmona, a.k.a. Nomi Kaheaonalani, is the only name formally associated with BaB.
- Founder Naomi S. Carmona appears to have taken the name “Nomi Kaheaonalani” after moving to Hawaii from California. Kaheaonalani means “hidden heavenly body” and much about Ms. Carmona appears hidden. She has several common social media “friends” with Maharishi movement-linked followers. She also has multiple common appearances and links to Jeffrey Smith and a 2006 tie to an alternative health/therapy lobbying initiative with FDA. She was employed as executive secretary to Honolulu councilman Tom Berg who lost his seat in 2012.
- Naomi appears to be related and may be the daughter of Naomi Carmona-Morshead. Carmona-Moreshead is a California-based senior affiliate with the Soroptimist NGO (a group with ties to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi movement of which Jeffrey Smith is a part) and a manager with Nuskin Enterprises – an alternative health anti-aging natural products/supplements company.
- Naomi (Nomi Kaheaonalani) Carmona has no reported educational background or credentials other than claims to have studied organic agriculture under Kimberly Clark. Clark is a commercial organic farm and CSA operator in Waimanalo who is active with an anti-corporate, organic farming alliance in Hawaii and a founding board member with the Hawaii Organic Farming Association.
Bibliography & Resources
- Babes Against Biotech commentary, by Hank Campbell, Science 2.0, August 2, 2013.
- How BaB was formed, by Wil Radick, Bad Skeptic, August 1, 2013.
- BAB| Facebook profile was created May 29, 2012 and claims the group was founded April 25, 2012. Their first post was June 18, 2012 Several posts co-promote a website www.monsantopoisons.com – a Hawaii campaign website owned by an April May of 170 Kuulei Road, Kailua, HI 96734, [email protected] (808) 321-7446.
- BAB YouTube content is hosted/channeled by Henry Rowlands (of Australia) who runs an anti-GMO online publication called “Sustainable Pulse”, http://www.youtube.com/user/TheGalina21?feature=watch and includes a significant amount of anti-GMO content targeted for Australia political audiences (www.sustainablepulse.org – Sustainable Pulse is listed as a sponsor of BAB).
- BAB on Twitter account has multiple daily “tweets” (more than 3,000 in the past year) suggesting a dedicated / staffed campaign or a zealot with lots of free time on his/her hands. They have a heavy focus on labeling, local politics and herbicides (both atrazine and glyphosate).