Quantcast

Pro Surfers vs. GMOs: New Film Explores Hawaii's Growing Anti-GMO Movement

Some of the world’s greatest surfers—including Kelly Slater, John John Florence, Sebastian Zietz and Dustin Barca—convened on the North Shore of Oahu last December to protest the operations of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) on the Hawaiian Islands, according to Surfing For Change.

Filmmaker Kyle Thiermann, host and creator of Surfing For Change, released the short documentary Pro Surfers vs. GMOs last week, which documented the longboard uprising and explored the surfers' objections.

While on Oahu, Thiermann interviewed casual beach-goers at the Pipeline Pro surf contest, met up with pro surfers and activists to get their perspective on GMOs, joined a march against Monsanto in Haleiwa with hundreds of protestors and ventured to Ma'o Organic Farms on the West Side of Oahu to document solutions for a more sustainable food system in Hawaii.

"There's such an unknown with the longterm effects of all the pesticides, and the herbicides and genetically modified seeds," said 11-time surfing world champion Slater. "Humans are kind of messing with science and just because you can doesn't mean you should."

The anti-GMO surfer initiative is part of a larger battle gaining momentum in the U.S. and other countries between critics who say GMO crops and the toxic pesticides used on them contribute to health and environmental dangers and proponents who argue genetically engineering crops are essential to increasing global food production.

"There's no research done that says they're good," said pro surfer and MMA fighter Barca. "When you look into most of the pockets of these scientists who are fighting for GMO, they're usually bought off by [GMO] companies and have a biased opinion."

Hawaiian islands are a popular experimentation and testing ground for biotech crops for many companies due to an ideal year-round climate, said Thiermann.

Surfing for Change sponsors include: Clif Bar, FCS, Patagonia and Sector 9.

Visit EcoWatch’s GMO page for more related news on this topic.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Bernie Sanders holds his first presidential campaign rally at Brooklyn College on March 02 in Brooklyn, New York. Kena Betancur / VIEWpress / Corbis. Getty Images

Bernie Sanders has become the first contender in the crowded 2020 Democratic presidential primary field to pledge to offset all of the greenhouse gas emissions released by campaign travel, The Huffington Post reported Thursday.

Read More Show Less
An aerial view of the flooding at the Camp Ashland, Nebraska on March 17. Nebraska National Guard / Staff Sgt. Herschel Talley / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The record flooding in the Midwest that has now been blamed for four deaths could also have lasting consequences for the region's many farmers.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored

In tea, food, or just on your windowsill, embrace the fragrance and fantastic healing potential of herbs.

Read More Show Less

By Ana Santos Rutschman

The world of food and drug regulation was rocked earlier this month by the news of a change in leadership at the Food and Drug Administration. Commissioner Scott Gottlieb resigned and will step down in early April. His temporary replacement is Dr. Ned Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute.

Read More Show Less
MartinPrescott / iStock / Getty Images

On Wednesday the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first 20 chemicals it plans to prioritize as "high priority" for assessment under the Toxic Substances Control Act. Given the EPA's record of malfeasance on chemicals policy over the past two years, it is clear that these are chemicals that EPA is prioritizing to ensure that they are not properly evaluated or regulated.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Strawberries top the Environmental Working Group's "Dirty Dozen" list of U.S. produce most contaminated with pesticides. DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP / Getty Images

Which conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables in the U.S. are most contaminated with pesticides? That's the question that the Environmental Working Group answers every year with its "Dirty Dozen" list of produce with the highest concentration of pesticides after being washed or peeled.

Read More Show Less
A drilling rig in a Wyoming natural gas field. William Campbell / Corbis via Getty Images

A U.S. federal judge temporarily blocked oil and gas drilling on 300,000 acres of federal leases in Wyoming Tuesday, arguing that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) "did not sufficiently consider climate change" when auctioning off the land, The Washington Post reported.

Read More Show Less
Mizina / iStock / Getty Images

By Ryan Raman, MS, RD

Oats are widely regarded as one of the healthiest grains you can eat, as they're packed with many important vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Read More Show Less