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Maui Anti-GMO March Comes Ahead of Petition Deadline

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   March 31st, 2014 · 79 Disqus Comments ·
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More than 1,000 marchers participated in the Anti-GMO event.  Pictured at center is Dustin Barca in the camouflage pants and bullhorn.  Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

More than 1,000 marchers participated in the Anti-GMO event. Pictured at center is Dustin Barca in the camouflage pants and bullhorn. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

By Wendy Osher and Rodney S. Yap

An estimated 1,000 to 2,000 people participated in an anti-GMO march and rally held on Sunday as a deadline nears to obtain signatures for a petition calling for the suspension of genetically engineered operations and practices in Maui County.

The march started an hour late and took about an hour to complete, beginning at War Memorial Stadium in Wailuku and concluding at Hoaloha Park in Kahului.

“Today is a perfect example of how unity works for the community,” said march leader Dustin Barca.

“This is an event to bring the island of Maui together for the future of the keiki, the ʻāina and the water.  What’s going on in Hawaiʻi right now is a real dangerous thing for our future. We have the largest chemical corporations in the world using Hawaiʻi as an experimental test site because of our three seasons. What they see as a numbers game, we see as a life game — it’s money versus life,” said Barca.

Maui’s Alika Atay marches his grand daughter.  He is among a list of residents behind the SHAKA Movement petition. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Maui’s Alika Atay marches his grand daughter. He is among a list of residents behind the SHAKA Movement petition. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

“And for us here in Hawaiʻi there is no substitute for the future of our kids and their kids. So this is a perfect example of thousands of Maui residents coming together to show their support for a better tomorrow for their ʻāina.”

The proposed temporary moratorium ordinance was crafted by the Shaka Movement and lawyers from the Center for Food Safety, and was submitted to the county on Feb. 21.

The proposal was submitted by five Maui County residents including: Mark Sheehan Ph.D., Lorrin Pang M.D., Lei’oho Ryder, Alika Atay, and Dr. Bonnie Marsh N.D.

The group needs a total of 8,500 signatures by today’s deadline to have the initiative included on the November ballot.

The petition seeks a temporary moratorium initiative until an Environmental Public Health Impact Statement is provided and reviewed by the Maui County Council.

The document would include analysis of the impacts stemming from genetically-engineered operations and their associated pesticide use.

“I’m just one kanaka who cares,” said anti-GMO protester Keoki Medeiros who tells Maui Now that he has seen the island’s awareness grow from around a dozen locals 2 1/2 years ago to the 2,000-plus who marched in unity Sunday.

“I thought it was good as far as more people attending,” said Medeiros. “When I think back on how we started, from 10 to 15 people in front of Monsanto until now, I would say that it’s become quite a success when you consider the amount of knowledge and information going out more and more about these corporations poisoning our ʻāina.”

 

GMO rally, Sunday, March 30, 2014. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

GMO rally, Sunday, March 30, 2014. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Barca said he was impressed by Maui’s enthusiasm and willingness to get involved.

“The turnout was awesome. I guarantee we had more than 2,000 people. It looked bigger than the last one we put on and that one was about 2,000 people, so it was an awesome turnout for an awesome cause. I don’t think there is any better cause in our state than what’s going on with GMO right now,” said Barca.

Mark Sheehan, one of the five citizens bringing forth the initiative issued a statement upon submitting the proposal in February saying, “The citizens of Maui County have serious concerns as to whether the GE seed operations, open-field mixing of pesticide cocktails, and GE crop experimentation occurring in Maui County are causing irreparable harm to the people, the environment, and public trust resources.”

The Hawai’i Constitution states that the Public Trust Resources (including but not limited
to the land, water, and air) “…shall be conserved and protected for current and future
generations,” said Sheehan in a SHAKA Movement press release last month.

The five citizens maintain that, “the Hawai’i Department of Agriculture does not have an adequate regulatory structure in place to monitor GE crops or to aid in the understanding of the impacts of these crops on Maui’s economy, environment, cultural heritage, or public health.”

Anti-GMO rally, Sunday, March 30, 2014. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Anti-GMO rally, Sunday, March 30, 2014. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Anti-GMO rally, Sunday, March 30, 2014. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Anti-GMO rally, Sunday, March 30, 2014. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Anti-GMO rally, Sunday, March 30, 2014. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Anti-GMO rally, Sunday, March 30, 2014. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Maui councilwoman Elle Cochran (left) and Kauai councilman Gary Hooser (right) join marchers in the anti-GMO rally held on Sunday. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Maui councilwoman Elle Cochran (left) and Kauai councilman Gary Hooser (right) join marchers in the anti-GMO rally held on Sunday. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Dustin Barca. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Dustin Barca. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Keoki Medeiros. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

Keoki Medeiros. Photo by Rodney S. Yap.

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  • RobertWager

    There is no validated evidence that GM crops have greater adverse impact on health and the environment than any other technology used in plant breeding.(EASAC 2013)

    • usbworks

      In 1992, the Food and Drug Administration claimed that they had no information showing that GM foods were substantially different from conventionally grown foods and therefore were safe to eat. But internal memos made public by a lawsuit reveal that their position was staged by political appointees under orders from the White House to promote GMOs. FDA scientists, on the other hand, warned that GMOs can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems.

      • Voltaire the intellect.

        Former Monsanto VP and lobbyist Michael Taylor is the senior advisor to the FDA. Do you really think they will tell us the truth?

    • Kawena Malama

      Oh really. Spraying corn plots SEVEN times with whatever poison they are testing to find out if the plant carries an artificially implanted unnatural gene marker literally across the street from peoples homes and schools has no greater impact on health and the environment. LOL. The disconnect from the aina, and yourselves, you pro poison/pro gmo guys have is amazing.

      • Brlfsp

        They’re spraying those very same corn plots a heck of a lot more than seven times with Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO), what do you think about that?

    • Faith Chase

      Plenty coming. European scientists and American scientists are sharing information. I have medically concluded severe allergic reactions to GMOs, got plenty of paperwork o prove it. Not happy about it, it hasn’t been pleasant but I have scientific data.

      • hyperzombie

        Lets see it, Put up or shut up.

    • JohnG

      Plant pathologist and Purdue University professor Don Huber wrote a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack warning that a newly discovered and widespread “electron microscopic pathogen appears to significantly impact the health of plants, animals, and probably human beings.” He said the pathogen appears to be connected to use of glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup.

      Huber coordinates a committee of the American Phytopathological Society as part of the USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System.

      In his letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Huber said the organism has been found in high concentrations of Roundup Ready soybean meal and corn, which are used in livestock feed. He said laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of the organism in pigs, cattle and other livestock that have experienced spontaneous abortions and infertility.

      The organism is also prolific in corn and soybean crops stricken by disease, according to Huber.

      “I believe the threat we are facing from this pathogen is unique and of a high risk status,” Huber wrote. “In layman’s terms, it should be treated as an emergency.”

      • First Officer

        And he refuses to provide his data to the CDC and other scientists for verification. Why won’t he disclose? If he is correct, this stonewalling of his is criminally negligence. He has already received offers to verify his work and refused all.

    • Derek Wolf

      There is also no double blind, peer reviewed, long term human feeding study done on GM food. Not one! Mind you also, the animal feeding trials have shown horrific results.

      You tell me genius, how can you guarantee safety when no adequate testing has been conducted?

      And no, links from groups under biotech payroll, offering their assumptions does not qualify to dismiss such a glaring concern.

      • Viriato77

        “you tell me genius, how can you guarantee safety”

        How bout you tell me how you expect such a thing can be guaranteed? Any scientific or medical professional worth their salt wont give anyone a guarantee, they speak in probabilities, likelihoods, and reasonable expectation of harm. What evidence do you have of such an expectation.

      • hyperzombie

        There is also no double blind, peer reviewed, long term human feeding study done on GM food.

        You do realise that not only would this be immoral it would also be illegal.

        Mind you also, the animal feeding trials have shown horrific results.

        Name one

        • paddlefiend

          If it’s not harmful, why would it be immoral?

          • hyperzombie

            Feeding Humans only one kind of food over long periods of time is harmful, GMO or not. Would you volunteer to eat nothing but field corn for year (no salt or butter that would skew the results)?

      • Viriato77

        Also I’d be curious what your criteria is to identify “groups under biotech payroll”. I’m taking a wild guess here but I bet it’s if they disagree with you than they must be a shill?

  • usbworks

    Did you know… GM plants, such as soybean, corn, cottonseed, and canola have had foreign genes forced into their DNA. And the inserted genes come from species, such as bacteria and viruses, that have never been in the human food supply.

    • RobertWager

      “such as bacteria and viruses, that have never been in the human food supply.”

      Clearly you have very little knowledge of how food crops are made, what pest pressures exist, how much DNA moves around in nature.

    • First Officer

      You mean those foreign genes are French?

  • usbworks

    The primary reason companies genetically engineer plants is to make them tolerant to their brand of herbicide. The four major GM plants, soy, corn, canola, and cotton, are designed to survive an otherwise deadly dose of weed killer. These crops have much higher residues of toxic herbicides.

    The second GM trait is a built-in pesticide. A gene from the soil bacterium called Bt (for Bacillus thuringiensis) is inserted into corn and cotton DNA, where it secretes the insect-killing Bt-toxin in every cell. About 19% of GM crops produce their own pesticide. Another 13% produce a pesticide and are herbicide tolerant.

    • hyperzombie

      Did you know that BT toxin has been used as an organic pesticide since 1901, and some guy back in the 1920 ate 1lb of Bt toxin everyday for year with no ill effects. Bt can not harm humans, well unless you drown in a vat of it.

      • Paying Attention

        Hyper zombie is clearly a shill

        • hyperzombie

          You have no facts on your side, so out comes the “shill” card. So predictable.

        • First Officer

          SAS! Shill Accusation Syndrome !! Tied to a lack of GMO consumption.

      • Brian Mcc

        They spray it from helicopters over Seattle to help control some bark beetles killing trees. Not dangerous at all.

        • hyperzombie

          Who is They????and bark beetles are not killed by BT.

  • Ua Ritte

    robert wanger how about i spray 24d,gramoxzone an round up around your house 70% of the year a see how healthy you are

    • Brlfsp

      There’s no such substance as “24d,gramoxzone”, but if you’re offering to do weed control around my house for free, knock yourself out.

  • Brlfsp

    The people in those pictures look like they would be a heck of a lot healthier if they ate less foods period- regardless of whether they were GMO or not.

    • Shantelle Rodrigues

      I wonder how good you look…do you feel better after putting others looks down? B.T.W love your profile pic ;)

      • hyperzombie

        Good job Shantelle, enough with the personal attacks.

      • Brlfsp

        I appreciate your interest, Shantelle, but I’m a happily married professional model and triathlete, married to a Hooters Girl young enough to be my daughter. But don’t despair, I’m sure if you keep hunting, you’ll find a guy out there somewhere who will treat you special.

        • Sue

          You forgot to mention your 12-incher…………….

          • Riley

            Oh, you mean the dong has a dong?

    • TSL

      Go to costco and see the results of the SAD(standard american diet) Good god the ship has srrung a leak every one is jumping over board!The relationship with food is gone! Its no accident many trace minerals are missing from the food chain,sorry boys & girls it looks like a plan by design!If one thinks corporate america loves them you mite need counceling!

      • First Officer

        Relationship with food is gone? You’ve been hanging out in the melon section too long !

  • Kiai Ridings

    BAN ALL GMOS……..

    • Viriato77

      I LIKE YELLING SLOGANS….

  • simple solution

    If you don’t want to eat it, don’t eat it… don’t like the chemicals then prove it not safe.. if the other people want to eat it let them.. if the other people like the chemicals then let them be one of your evidence of your truth….

    • Indie Vet

      I agree, label GMO.

    • http://www.ElementalCosmos.com Caleb Kent Grayson

      it’s everywhere on the Island. its not like it stays in one place. the whole Island is contaminated with all kinds of horrible chemicals from DDT pineapples to whatever it is they keep spraying in the sky.

  • life with or without

    now I”m seeing why I’m living so long……..what is the average lifespan now? 80 yrs?……….
    what was it way back when 40 yrs?…………something is wrong here

    • going over and down hill now

      That’s why they raised the age of retirement.

  • leibwss

    Dihydrogen monoxide should be banned. It HAS killed millions worldwide.

    • Erik

      Not creative, go back to your troll cave.

      • Whatevs

        No. Seriously, I dropped an efferdent in some DHMO and it disappeared! The stuff is hardcore. BEWARE!

        • Erik

          I dropped a jumbo-sized kielbasa into your mom and it disappeared! She’s hardcore, BEWARE!

          • Whatevs

            She’s been dead 42 years this May! Your necrophilia is desperate and hardcore. USE CONDOMS!

          • Erik

            The kielbasa incident occurred 55 years ago…sorry to hear, she was a sweet lady.

          • Whatevs

            DAD!

        • First Officer

          It’s been known to crush submarines like beer cans.

    • Brlfsp

      Absolutely!
      DHMO has killed many more people than GMO food.

      • First Officer

        Less people died from GMO’s than in Ted Kennedy’s car.

    • usbworks

      paid hack

      • First Officer

        SAS, Shill Accusation Syndrome, strikes again !

    • http://www.ElementalCosmos.com Caleb Kent Grayson

      we need DHMO to live. we don’t need glyphosate.
      DHMO is not patentable. glyphosate is.
      if they could, they would patent DHMO and charge the world to get it.

      the DHMO is an old joke. it’s an evidence of trolling (rather than coherent discussion).

      thank you for your dry wit. it could use a few drops of DHMO to be brought back to life, though.

      • First Officer

        We do need our pesticides and glyphosate is much less toxic to man and beast than most. As the old pre biotech saying went:

        1/3 to the weather
        1/3 to the pests
        and, God willing, 1/3 to the farmer, always doing his best.

  • Derek Wolf

    Semantics.

    Do you understand what Monsanto et al’s chemical cocktails are doing to soil microbes? Do you understand or care what the resulting effect is to the health of the plant?

    Here’s a hint:
    Plants depend on beneficial bacterias the same way that humans depend on them – our immune system is 70% based on gut flora throughout our intestinal tract.

    Aside from the pathogen, it has already been established that RoundUp and similar cocktails are destroying the soil health – which, if you care about nutrition or food in the slightest, should concern you.

    Are you concerned? Or do you have such faith in these profiteering, greedy bastards that you are willing to ignore these glaring issues, outlined by scientific research and agricultural experts?

    • hyperzombie

      Do you understand what Monsanto et al’s chemical cocktails are doing to soil microbes?

      Glyphosate improves soil health by enabling farmers to use low/no till methods and still get high yields. It is also completely harmless to soil microbes it is only harmful to growing plants.

      Or do you have such faith in these profiteering, greedy bastards that you are willing to ignore these glaring issues, outlined by scientific research and agricultural experts?

      What experts?? and What science?

      • Erik

        You sound like someone who has had their head in the sand the past 10 years. Look up the European studies on GMOs (copied links tend not to get approved in the forum). Keep in mind, the burden of proof is actually upon the companies that create GMOs, not everyday consumers. Any significant genetic alteration to our food supply could result in devastating long-term health effects. The companies like Monsanto make profits, while we don’t see any significant negative effects until it’s too late.

        • hyperzombie

          I did look at the European studies and the massive study done by the EU. They all found GMOs to be as safe or safer than conventional breed crops. I would post a link to over 400 EU studies but no links are allowed on this site.

  • RobertWager

    “The GM products that are currently on the international market have all passed risk assessments conducted by national authorities. These different assessments in general follow the same basic principles, including an assessment of environmental and human health risk. These assessments are thorough, they have not indicated any risk to human health.” WHO 2013

    • TSL

      If you believe that I have a bridge to sell you,no joke WHO said so!!!!

      • RobertWager

        And the European National Academies of Science Advisory Council said:

        “There is no validated evidence that GM crops have greater adverse impact on health andthe environment than any other technology used in plant breeding…There is abundant and accumulating evidence from extensive worldwide experience for benefit, and lack of evidence for environmental or human health risk associated with GM crop technology.” EASAC 2013

  • Facts-over-Dogma

    It’s truly tragic that hysteria and dogma rule the media coverage on this topic and that some reporters are not willing or are incapable of providing the overwhelming scientific facts that disprove the GMO witch hunters. And, judging from the photos, one has to wonder if these zealots realize that the odds are very good that the clothes on their backs are made of GMO cotton and that in the very near future their health issues caused by obesity and sun exposure will undoubtedly be solved by GMO therapies. As GMOs contribute to solving the problems in health, environment, energy and food, the benefits for people and the planet will eventually force these luddites back into their caves of ignorance.

    • TSL

      Sorry FOD I will not let corporate america tell me there $#it is ok because they say so! Wake up or rest in peace! Facts over dog shut ! Now go back in your cave and belive every thing corporate america tells you!

      • hyperzombie

        Speaking of $5!t you do know that Organic food is grown in natural fertilizer commonly known as POOP, This is a real health concern that kills 100s per year and injures 10000s. Dont believe anything they say either, it just might save your life.

        • TSL

          Organic farmers can be greedy capitolists WHO dont use fully composted manure.Better wash them vegi’s! Or eat s__t!

          • First Officer

            Yeah. there’s this belief that if you become an Organic Farmer, you automatically become better at following rules and regulations and all selfishness disappears !

        • First Officer

          It comes out of you and it comes out of me.
          It begins with an s and ends with a t
          I know what you are thinking and we could call it that.
          But let’s be scientific and let’s call it scat !

          ruminant scat, to be precise !

    • http://www.ElementalCosmos.com Caleb Kent Grayson

      the media is overwhelmingly supportive of GMOs — or at least not supportive of anti-GMO efforts. you hardly see rallies like this in the MSM. i’m really confused by your claim.

      as far a the ends justifies the means argument..well it’s a fallacy in terms of ethics.
      in a pure utilitarian situation you have to compare the damage down by GMOs to the benefits it brings. the problem is Monsanto has such far reaching entanglements in government, a lot of money, a lot of power, and a demonstrated history of using corrupt labs to verify their claims and a profit motivation to put their product to market and deal with the problems on the back end that it’s hard to believe any of their claims. it’s also a Pandora’s box.
      GMO crops require more chemicals and more water and abuse the land more with not that much higher yields. it’s just not sustainable agriculture and only appeals to futurists and those who stand to make profits cornering the market on life.

  • tsee
  • Brlfsp

    Monsanto uses massive quantities of the industrial solvent Hydric Acid, maybe the enviro-nuts should try to ban that too. Hydric acid corodes metal, is a major component of acid rain, and inhaling even a small quantity can be fatal. It is also found in significant quantities in all of our rivers, streams, and lakes.

    • http://www.ElementalCosmos.com Caleb Kent Grayson

      yeah.. we’ve all heard the water joke before. getting’ old.

      • First Officer

        Yeah, it’s right up there with chemtrail, vaccine, GMO and flouride fears.

  • Brlfsp

    What’s with the guy in the red diaper and skull mask, draped in the Hawaiian flag?

  • Mahukaawenui

    Save the Krill. Harpoon a whale

  • maui music

    It’s not rocket science, Monsanto AKA Monsatan is not about feeding people, its about feeding there bank accounts. We on Maui are trying to protect our soil, our Aina, our Children our Health. If you have any doubts there are many Moms in Kauai and Maui who live near schools that are close to the agri-chem corporations. When the children are getting sick, when mothers are giving birth to babies with birth defects, it is time to get real

    • RobertWager

      Monsanto makes approximately the same money that Whole Foods makes. There by your reasoning…

      Birth defects. Wow have you got it backwards. look up fumonisin B1 and corn and birth defects.

  • maui music

    Robert I do not know who you are or who you work for, If you lived near one of the fields in Maui near monsantos, like many of my friends and were to discover the health issues that come from that I am guessing you would have an aha moment. I do not know where you get your facts but I am willing to bet Monsantos makes Billions more then whole foods. #rd Kauai had a 10x increase in rare birth effects from woman living near GMO fields where they spay unknown cocktails of pesticides. I am not against GMO, I TRY LIKE HELL TO NOT EAT THEM just not GMO fields on Maui


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