Over 19,000 citizens signed the Maui County GMO Temporary Moratorium petition and now they tell you why they did.

Biotech Dangers from Open Air Experimentation of “GMO” Life Forms and Pesticide Combinations Force Maui County Citizens to Demand Hawaii State Constitutional Protection

Five Maui County citizens are going toe-to-toe with Hawaii’s mammoth agricultural biotech industry with the submission of a new ordinance, written by the people, for the people and voted on by the people, as a ballot initiative in the 2014 November general elections.

This first-of-it’s-kind citizen’s initiative calls for a temporary moratorium of all genetic engineering (GE) operations within the county until the companies deliver a detailed environmental and public health impacts study showing scientific proof that open air experimentation of GE crops and associated mixed pesticide use is not harmful to people and the land.

The five citizens, Mark Sheehan Ph.D., (environmentalist and health advocate) Lorrin Pang M.D., MPH (consultant to the World Health Organization since 1985, selected as one of America’s Best Doctors — top 3%) Lei’ohu Ryder (Spiritual Kumu), Alika Atay (indigenous Hawaiian natural farmer and Hawaiian Spiritual Leader), and Dr. Bonnie Marsh N.D., (Naturopathic Doctor) all spoke of their concerns for the land, the health and well being of all of Maui County’s residents, and particularly it’s children. The evening concluded with a presentation from world-renowned GMO, Roundup and biological weapons expert, Retired Coronel, Dr. Don Huber.

The five citizens assert that the growing of Genetically Engineered (GE) seed, other GMO experimentation and the spraying of pesticide cocktails in Maui County differ significantly from the GE food farming occurring elsewhere in the world, and pose unique risks that have not been studied and are not adequately monitored by county, state or federal agencies.

Hawai’i is the only US state who’s constitution stipulates that the land, water, air and other the Public Trust Resources have rights unto themselves and must be defended from harm and “…shall be conserved and protected for current and future generations.”

“Right now there’s a big movement by the industry, the state and the feds to preempt us, trying to say that we cannot be more precautionary. said Dr. Pang, “That goes against the basic principles of Precaution. ”

“The Precautionary Principle says each lower level of government has the right to be more precautionary than the levels above them. You can’t preempt a local government from being more precautionary.” said Dr. Pang, “If the federal regulators are not going to regulate for us, then the state has a right to do it. If the state is not going to regulate for us, then each county has the right to do it.”

“The Agro-Chemical companies have effectively turned Hawai’i into their own outdoor laboratory, which they operate with impunity.” Says Sheehan. “On Kauai, for example, a documented correlation has been made between rising levels of pesticide application and rising incidences of birth defects. That throws the safety of the entire GE operation into question, which brings the “Precautionary Principle” to bear. Our moratorium shifts the burden of proof back to the Agri-Chemical companies. They have to stop their potentially risky practices until they publically share whatever research they may have that scientifically proves what they are doing in Maui County is not harmful for current and future generations.”

Areas of Maui’s groundwater are already significantly contaminated with pesticides, including DBCP and TCP, from former conventional pineapple growing operations.

The GE operations on Maui involve unprecedented use and experimental mixing of pesticides, none of which have been tested together, nor in concert with what’s already in the ground.

“I’m very concerned for the combinations because each new combination could have stunning effects”, Says Dr. Pang, “The minute you combine them, all hell can break loose.”

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

The land and waters surrounding Maui County have cultural and spiritual significance in Hawaiian traditions. This heritage would suffer irreparable harm if the natural environment of Maui County was contaminated by GE practices.

“If you really step back it may look like we’re just a big experiment, a big research lab to experiment with – effecting people”, asserts Alika Atay, “So it’s questionable, are we being sacrificed?”


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