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PHOTOS: Maui Activists Call for GMO Labeling

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   October 17th, 2011 · 9 Disqus Comments ·
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· Featured, Maui News

By Madeline Ziecker

Photo by Madeline Ziecker.

On Sunday, October 16 from 9 a.m. until noon, activist group Millions Against Monsanto Hawaii converged near the intersection of Kanani Road and Pi’ilani Highway in front of Monsanto offices in Kihei.

Sunday’s protest was a part of Millions Against Monsanto’s “Right2Know” campaign, who say that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are being put in Maui’s food without proper labeling. For Monsanto protestors, GMO is an alternative acronym for: “Get Monsanto Out.”

Protestors on Pi'ilani Hwy. Photo by Madeline Ziecker.

Just under 100 people protesting in Kihei were counted around 11 a.m.

They lined up on both sides of the highway, prompting long honks from passing cars throughout the three-hour protest. One protester who was also present at Saturday’s Occupy Maui rally reported seeing a woman pull over.

“A brand-new BMW pulled up next to us and the driver yelled out the window, ‘We all have the right to an opinion!’ Then someone recognized the woman in the car as a Monsanto worker. That was a strong message. This is not about opinions, it’s about facts,” said the protester.

Though the protest was aimed toward passing the bill recently re-proposed to the Maui County Council which would require foods containing GMOs to be labeled, a couple of protesters were fighting broader battles.

Photo by Madeline Ziecker.

A local woman holding a sign that read “Say no to GMO” said, “Those of us who live here are affected, not just by the chemicals in the food, but also by the presence of such an evil in the beautiful place we live.”

A group of activists at the scene discussed the GMO labeling issue, saying that it’s not only the labeling they want. Ideally they would like to stop GMO processing completely.

Photo by Madeline Ziecker.

The activists found common ground with the Occupy Wall Street protests, in saying that it was unfair that one company could defy the public’s interest in labeling the contents of their product. In this equation, some of the protesters feel that the real problem is with the legislative and economic systems also currently being debated by some Occupy Wall Street protesters.

Three police officers quietly observed from the entrance to Monsanto until the protest ended at noon, as scheduled.

Millions Against Monsanto say they will continue to organize monthly protests until the Maui GMO labeling bill is passed and executed.

Photo by Madeline Ziecker.

Photo by Madeline Ziecker.

Photo by Madeline Ziecker.

Maui police officers. Photo by Madeline Ziecker.

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Editor's Note:Maui Now is an open forum and we welcome any views. However, please apply your sense of aloha when posting comments - remarks that are unnecessarily offensive will be blocked.

 
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  • jjdoublej

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but these opinions being displayed here are because of ignorance. Ignorance on the subject. These are the types of folks that buy into the fear mongering put out there by the nutbags. Most educated folks dont buy into this crap.

  • DCovey

    No fear, no ignorance. Just the facts, and the science. "The World According to Monsanto part 1 of 10," Views -66,740, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvGddgHRQyg a production of Art France, Coproductions Thalie, National Film Board of Canada, and WDR.

  • hulama

    Protests like this occur because there’s a lot of misinformation circulating out there, and some folks choose to say scary things that only divide the community rather than devote their energy and intelligence to understanding the whole situation, finding thoughtful ways to bring together people of diverse opinions, and finding a positive path forward. This MauiNow article is too one-sided, not balanced at all. What we need is a willingness to walk in another’s shoes, not wave hateful signs at them.

    • iPaddle24

      how is the article one sided if it’s just information about what happened at the protest? where is it one sided? i don’t see it.

  • Maui Green

    hmmmm~any Monsanto employees posting here? Have you watched "The World According to Monsanto"? "Walk in another’s shoes"~perhaps you should walk in the shoes of people who have lost livelihood from their crops being cross contaminated by GM, or Mother’s watching their children have allergic reactions at the breakfast table while allergies have sky rocketed since the secret, unlabled infiltration of GM ingredients has been introduced to an estimated 80-90% of processed foods in the grocery store. Or how about…babies still being born with birth defects from Agent Orange, another gleaming product of Monsanto. Monsanto is not the warm fuzzy company they pay to make themselves out to be. They are a multi billionaire corporation trying to take over the world’s food supply and they are headquartered in Maui, Molokai, Kaua’i, etc. We will not be silent. We will not pretend that this company is not endangering our communities, trying it’s best to co-opt school garden projects (shame on you!) and make presentations at schools and the Rotary Club to encourage and promote BIo-TECH. I’ve also noticed how the Farm Bureau is in bed Monsanto, opposing the labeling of GMO and the MFB’s treasurer is Paul Koehler, Monsanto’s Manager of Scientific and Community Affairs in Maui. How about about some transparency? How about labeling gmos in our food like other countries mandate? How about telling the Maui community what open air field experiments you are conducting and where?

    I love Maui and it’s time for us to take this island back from corporations that are mutilating and endangering paradise and US for their greed regardless of how much $ they give UH.

    Please get informed:
    The World According To Monsanto – FULL
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d88yi4nvWVY&fe

    TEDxAustin Robyn O’Brien 2011~Children’s Food Allergies http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rixyrCNVVGA

  • Maria

    YOU TELL THEM HAWAII!!! NO TO GMO!!! Monsanto you have POISONED US FOR YEARS< ENOUGH!!!! You continue to spray AGENT ORANGE, you have unleashed toxic chemicals that persist in poisoning the water , the soil and our air supply. NEXT, to all protestors, keep it up, SHOW the WORLD ACCORDING TO MONSANTO at your libraries and schools. Have a screening wherever you can and most of all, TELL THE WORLD that HAWAII WILL NOT STAND to be adulterated with Monsanto toxic chemicals! Glyphosate laden agriculture DOES NOT OUTPERFORM SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE> NEVER HAS< NEVER WILL> IT is all about the MONEY, the world knows the truth, and the industrialization of our air, food and water has to STOP. MILLIONS AGAISNT MONSANTO< EUROPE has Banned this crap, SO WILL WE!!! ENOUGH LIES. MONSANTO IS EVIL and everyone at this company has been brainwashed or is crazy. Scientists around the world warn of the dangers of this technology that not even Monsanto has control over, ex: contamination of non gmo crops. GET OUT MONSANTO< NOT NEEDED< NOT WANTED.

  • Ananda Stone

    In America, we pride ourselves on having choices and making informed decisions. Under current FDA regulations, we don’t have that choice when it comes to GMO ingredients in the foods we purchase and feed our families. Labeling is essential for me to choose whether or not I want to consume or feed my family genetically engineered foods. 

Genetically engineered foods are required to be labeled in the 15 European Union nations, Russia, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries around the world. As an American, I firmly believe I should also have the right to know if my foods have been genetically engineered.
    

A recent poll released by ABC News found that 93 percent of the American public wants the federal government to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. As ABC News stated, "Such near-unanimity in public opinion is rare." 

It is my hope that you will listen to me and the other 93 percent of the American public who want mandatory labeling of GMOs. Please show your support for the interests of the American people by labeling genetically engineered foods.

  • get it straight

    To all those people who say that the protesters are ignorant…based on what evidence are they ignorant? When I first heard about GMOʻs, I looked into it, on my own, in order to find out more about it. I wasnt influenced by anyone and anything. Based on what I researched, I found that 1. the monsanto scientist practice poor science, and fudge their conclusions. and 2. the scientist who are practicing actual science and honestly reporting their findings about gmos are being vilified, demonized and attacked by corporations who produce gm products.

    does anyone ever wonder why Hawaiʻi has the most open field testing for gm crops (with their terminator genes) in the WORLD…? might it be because the islands are the most isolated land mass on the planet? if the terminator gene goes bad here…itʻll be contained.

  • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001007920889 Margie Kronewitter

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/12/monsanto

    GMOs are scientifically linked to LIVER & KIDNEY DAMAGE. This is the first article i Googled. There are MANY others. It was through Fudged Studies and Corruption that these FRANKEN FOODS were allowed on the market. Humans are being used as Guinea Pig Test Subjects NOW. Our Children!!!

    Just because Science can do it, does NOT mean it should be done.

    MONSANTO is trying to CONTROL the SEED SUPPLY throughout the Planet. They are BUYING UP SEED COMPANIES. This is a CRIME against Nature.

    Maui has to expose who allowed them to do this, eliminate that line of Politician, Rescue LANAI from the Takeover of that Unique Island. MONSANTO MUCH BE THROWN OFF THE ISLAND. We are not a GAME SHOW.


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