Hawaii Protest Declares Anti-GMO 'Tsunami' is Here

November 4, 2020 0 By PENTICTONLAWYERS

Braving heavy rains, roughly one thousand Hawaiians traveled to the town of Hale‘iwa on the North Shore of Oahu Sunday to take part in a march against Monsanto, adding their support to the growing “tsunami” against genetically modified (GM) crops.

The Aloha Aina (or “Love of the Land”) March, organized by a number of environmental and community groups, was called to celebrate some regional successes against the biotech industry and to raise awareness of the fight, calling on Hawaiian landowners to join the movement and “evict Monsanto.”

“For over 20 years, Hawaii has been the global center for the open-field testing of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs),” writes the group Hawaii GMO Justice.

Oahu’s North Shore, more commonly recognized for its international surfing competitions, is also where biotech companies farm thousands of acres of crop land. World-renowned surfers Kelly Slater and John John Florence joined the Sunday protest along with notable actress and environmental activist Daryl Hannah.

“A huge wave has been built up about GMOs statewide,” said Molokai activist Walter Ritte. “You can hear it, you can hear the enthusiasm going on. We want this message that’s coming from the people to get to the Legislature this year.”

“The potential for a tsunami of change is real and at our door step. Business as usual is over, done, pau.”
—Gary Hooser, anti-GMO activist and former State Senate Majority Leader

The Earth Island Journal reports:

The march specifically called out Hawaii’s largest landowner, Kamehameha Schools, a private college-preparatory school and land trust that owns roughly half of Hawaii’s farmland, which currently leases thousands of acres of land to biotech firms. GMO Justice continues:

A video of the march can be seen here.

The protest follows minor legislative victories against GMOs including the recent passage on the Big Island of Bill 113, which prohibits any new GM crops from being grown, and Bill 2491 on Kauai, which requires the disclosure of GM crops and pesticide use.

Calling these new rules “a floor [for] new regulations, not a ceiling,” Gary Hooser, former State Senate Majority Leader who has championed anti-GMO legislation and took part in the protest Sunday, writes:

“The potential for a tsunami of change is real and at our door step,” he concludes. “Business as usual is over, done, pau [finished].”

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