Some call Maui the heart chakra of the planet; others just call it a beautiful place to vacation in the middle of the Pacific. But Maui might just earn itself a new name altogether due to its recent citizen activist’s petition to halt GMO production – the island of heroes.
While the debate revolving around GMOs rages on, most of us who look into the issue can see clearly that genetically modified organisms are not good for the planet or for us. Hawaii may become the first state to entirely ban GMO crops, thanks partly due to activist pressure and a petition signed by Maui residents.
The petition asks for a bill to be created which would demand a ‘temporary moratorium initiative’ on GM crops and seeds until unbiased, independent studies on their environmental impact can be conducted to measure their current and future impact on the island. The citizen activists of Maui seek a permanent resolution to the GMO issue, but the determination to defeat the biotech monopolies has spread throughout the islands.
A Slew of GMO Rejection
Just north of the Big Island, Kauai has already passed a resolution that restricts the biotech industries’ reach into their agricultural industry. The resolution restricts the use of certain herbicides and pesticides that the biotech industry relies on to perpetuate their GM crops.
Next came the Big Island with the city council’s decision to create a local ordinance that would ban all GMO production, only grandfathering in an exception for GM papaya fields, which unfortunately are a large part of the island’s agricultural acreage, but a step in the right direction nonetheless. Not only did the city council pass the ban, but it was a 6 to 3 vote in support of protecting the ‘aina.’ Aloha Aina literally means “love of the land”, and it is a central idea of ancient Hawaiian culture. The concept is felt by many people in Hawaii as a central point of ecological and cultural understanding, and the ban upheld that tradition.
Shortly thereafter, Mayor Billy Kenoi signed bill 113 into law protecting the Big Island from GMOs and chemical agriculture companies special interests. During Kenoi’s haggle over the bill there was quite some upset, but it didn’t come without support. Comedienne, Roseanne Barr even told Hawaii’s GM papaya farmers who were resisting the bill not to worry. She said that people in Hawaii were generous and that they would help burn GM papaya plants and grow something better.
While Kenoi’s signature on bill 113 helped things along, activists who were already noticing more birth defects and obvious increases in groundwater contamination, from the excessive use of pesticides and herbicides that the GM industry stakes their claim on, decided to get the 8,500 registered voter’s signatures required to put the anti GMO bill up for next November’s ballot.
Of course the biotech bullies aren’t happy about this obvious grassroots success. DuPont, Syngenta and Agrigenetics Inc., affiliated with Dow AgroSciences, a unit of Dow Chemical, and BASF are now suing to block the law that puts limits on pesticide and GM crop use on Kauai. They are calling the law unconstitutional – the latest attempt to try to put a corporation’s right above the people’s.
Several attorney’s, however, have already stated that demanding GMO labeling is not unconstitutional – so how can wanting to ban foods that cause cancer and reproductive failure among other health concerns be ‘unconstitutional’? These chemical companies are insane, but they won’t go down without a fight. Make sure you sign the petition, and support Maui, today.