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Hawaii News Now: Food Fight

Posted: March 4th, 2013 | Filed under: Press, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

HALEIWA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) -Hawaii’s anti-GMO movement made its latest stop in Haleiwa.

Hundreds poured onto Kamehameha Highway to protest one of the state’s largest producers of genetically modified crops: Monsanto Corp.

Organizers, who plan similar rallies around the state this month, said chemicals used on genetically modified crops are harming residents. They are calling for better labeling of GMO food products — if not an outright bans.

“We are worried about our health, we are worried about the health of our land and our island,” said Molokai activist Walter Ritte.

Added Wahiawa resident Joel Veach:

“We’re looking at a lot of problems with the seeds, we’re looking at a lot of problems with the poison sprays that are on them,” he said.

Many of Hawaii’s largest agribusinesses grow GMO crops. They say a ban or labeling will hurt the economy.

“The seed industry is a $250 million a year industry that supports 2,000 local jobs. and these people are rallying to put 2,000 people on the state’s unemployment roll,” said Alicia Maluafiti, executive director of the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association.

Maluafiti says the health risks associated with GMOs are way overblown.

“We’ve had almost 20 years of genetically engineered food. We’ve had 3 trillion servings — and not one single case of health or safety risk,” she said.

The state Legislature is considering several bills to regulate GMOs. In the meantime, protesters say they will continue to take their anti-GMO message to Hawaii’s streets.


Source: Hawaii News Now


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KHON: GMO protestors voiced their concerns in Haleiwa, Hawaii

Posted: March 4th, 2013 | Filed under: Press, Video | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

GMO protestors voiced their concerns in Haleiwa, Hawaii

Reported by: Marisa Yamane

Haleiwa is usually crowded on weekends with folks stopping by to get shave ice, eat lunch or go shopping.

And on Saturday, it was especially packed, but not because of the typical reasons.

People came out and held a protest.

They came from different parts of the state, different walks of life, all with the same message.

“No GMO’s, we want Hawaii to be a free zone for GMO foods.”

They’re against GMOs which stands for genetically modified organisms.

A guy even wrote a rap about it.

“We all have a right to know whats in our food and what we are eating. And the truth is that we don’t,” said Evan Shafram with Good Vibe Los Angeles.

An estimated 300 people marched through part of Haleiwa even taking up a lane of traffic.

They say in Haleiwa and Waialua there are thousands of acres of GMO corn and canola being grown.

“The main concerns about GMO’s is that it is untested and an unknown technology,” sated Hector Valenzuela, UH Manoa professor and crop specialist.

The Hawaii Crop Improvement Association responded to the protest and allegations.

“We support genetically engineered crops. They’ve been around for 20 years, we’ve had 3 trillion servings consumed without any health or safety incident,” stated Alicia Maluafiti, Executive Director Hawaii Crop Improvement Association.

“There is concerns about GMO’s and also about the use of chemicals needed to grow those crops,” said Valenzuela.

“Farmers are able to use fewer pesticides by growing biotech crops. So it is completely misleading,” said Maluafiti.

Folks will be taking their anti-GMO protest to the neighbor islands this month.

Next week Saturday they’ll march on Kauai. The following Saturday in Hilo on the Big Island.

March 23rd on Maui and the final Saturday of the month on Molokai.

“Basically the march today is about the future of agriculture here in Hawaii.”

The protest was organized by a number of groups and people including the Hawaii GMO Justice Coalition, Da Hui, Dustin Barca, Walter Ritte and Makua Rothman.


Source: KHON


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