Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Citizens to Monsanto: 'Get out of Hawaii'

GMO
Citizens to Monsanto: 'Get out of Hawaii'

Beyond Pesticides

A protestor sums it up for Monsanto outside its corporate headquarters in Oahu on June 28.

Several organizations, including Occupy Wall Street Maui and GMO-Free Maui, as well as more than 100 concerned citizens, held a protest on June 28 in front of the Monsanto Corporation headquarters in Kunia on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii. According to the organizers, the protesters met in Kunia and marched more than half a mile to the Monsanto compound for two hours of roadside sign-waving and chanting, demanding that Monsanto leave Hawaii and saying they need real food, not exported GMO seeds and chemical contamination. The group also demands that genetically engineered (GE) food be labeled.

The protesters wore masks to protect themselves from pesticide drift and GE spores, received lots of support from many in passing cars that honked their horns and waved in support. A nearby resident came to find out what was going on and soon donned a mask himself as he was unaware of the dangers so close to his house. The resident expressed concern about the large trucks and equipment operating at night at Monsanto’s fields.

Monsanto operates about 8,000 acres in Hawaii for GE seed production. According to organizers, these operations use the most valuable agricultural lands and water in food production, as well as large amounts of chemicals and pesticides that are required to grow these crops. Hawaii is a global center for the open-air field testing of experimental GE crops, but no impact studies have been conducted.

Food security is a growing concern in Hawaii as the majority of the food is imported while the biotech industry grows GE seeds for export. The need for locally grown, wholesome, natural, non-toxic food is high on everyone’s priority list. Walter Ritte of “Label It Hawaii” offers a strong message for Monsanto: “Get out of Hawaii, grow food, stop growing seeds and chemicals, grow food, we need food security over here.”

Monsanto stopped operations for the afternoon because of the protest and allowed most workers to leave early. Monsanto erected a barrier and manned a security station at the entrance to their compound. There were several Monsanto employees filming the protesters throughout the event.

This protest follows similar protests recently held on the islands of Maui and Kauai against Monsanto. Activist organizations on the other islands vowed solidarity and stated that they are planning more protests until Monsanto leaves the islands.

Recently, the U.S. has moved to deregulate several varieties of GE crops. However, these decisions fail to take into account several scientifically-validated environmental concerns, such as the indiscriminate nature of genetically modified gene flow in crops, a heavy reliance on faulty data and a high degree of uncertainty in making safety determinations. They also overlook the problem of pesticide-resistant weeds and insects, as well as the widespread corruption of conventional seed varieties by GE strains and documented severe economic injury to farmers and markets. Overlooked as well are possible health consequences from eating GE food, still largely unstudied and unknown.

Fortunately, GE crops are not permitted in organic food production. For more information about why organic is the right choice, see our Organic Food: Eating with a Conscience Guide and visit the Organic Program page. For more information on the failure of genetically engineered food, read Genetically Engineered Food Failed promises and hazardous outcomes, from the Summer 2011 issue of Pesticides and You, or go to our Genetic Engineering Web page.

For more photos and videos of the event, follow the links below:

Visit EcoWatch's GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISM page for more related news on this topic.

 

Marilyn Angel Wynn / Getty Images

By Christina Gish Hill

Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts. And traditional Native American farming practices tell us that squash and beans likely were part of that 1621 dinner too.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Former U.S. Sec. of Energy Ernest Moniz listens during the National Clean Energy Summit 9.0 on October 13, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Isaac Brekken / Getty Images for National Clean Energy Summit

By Jake Johnson

Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Climate change can evoke intense feelings, but a conversational approach can help. Reed Kaestner / Getty Images

Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.


Read More Show Less
A rare North Atlantic right whale is seen off Cape Cod Bay on April 14, 2019 near Provincetown, Massachusetts. Don Emmert / AFP / Getty Images

An extremely rare North Atlantic right whale calf was found dead off the North Carolina coast on Friday.

Read More Show Less
Sprinklers irrigate a field of onions near a Castilian village in Spain. According to a new study, the average farm size in the EU has almost doubled since the 1960s. miguelangelortega / Moment / Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

A new report released Tuesday details the "shocking" state of global land equality, saying the problem is worse than thought, rising, and "cannot be ignored."

Read More Show Less