Wailuku, Hawaii (PRWEB) April 14, 2014
Over 400 volunteer petition handlers, coordinated by the SHAKA Movement, saw an overwhelmingly positive response from the community and succeeded in gathering over 11,000 signatures in less than 6 weeks, a process for which the county allows 6 months.
Following a ceremony and rally on the lawn of the county building in Wailuku on Monday, April 7th, the petition signatures were submitted to the County Clerk's office for verification. Having never done this before, the office predicted it will take the entire 45 days allowed to complete the task. The five citizens will then be notified how many more signatures may be needed to meet the 8,500 validated minimum required for the proposed moratorium to be placed on the November 2014 ballot.
The citizens expressed confidence in meeting that minimum signature requirement because they already have over 3000 additional signatures ready and 45 days to gather more. They anticipate collecting over 20,000 signatures by May 15th.
Rain didn't stop hundreds of supporters from attending the ceremony led by 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)
Supportive speeches were given by Makana, Maui County council member Elle Cochran, state senate candidate Terez Amato, environmentalist and county council candidate John Fitzpatrick, campaign finance reformer Kory Payne, local activists Courtney Bruch, Dr. Joe Marshalla and Bruce Douglas and Ben Cohen from Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream.
Ben & Jerry’s ice cream has vowed to become completely GMO free within the next two years. “It’s a very difficult task these days to become GMO free in the ice cream industry because most of the feed given to cows comes from GMO crops.” said Cohen. “We're making great headway in that area yet it’s even more difficult finding GMO free sources for all the other products that are added to ice cream.”
The Biotech Industry has converted Maui County, which consists of the three islands of Maui, Molokai and Lanai, into one of the largest biological and chemical test sites in the world. (http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/02/20132514512529904.html Opposition crops up to GMO foods in Hawaii - Feb 2013) The recent identification of 15 “Super Weeds” and over 500 “Super Bugs” that have developed resistance to the chemical pesticides and herbicides used in GE farming, (http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2012/10/19/herbicide-resistant-super-weeds-increasingly-plaguing-farmers Herbicide-Resistant 'Super Weeds' Increasingly Plaguing Farmers - Oct 2012) is fueling aggressive open-field experimentation of new GE life forms, and even stronger combinations of pesticides and herbicides.
“They’ve turned us into guinea pigs for their experiments.” said Alika Atay, one the five citizens to bring forth the new law, “We say: ‘Nuff Already. If there’s a doubt, vote it out, until we’re absolutely sure it’s safe.”
Mark Sheehan, another of the five, released this statement: “They're using this land and endangering everything on these islands in an attempt to control the new outbreaks and problems evolving everywhere GE crops are grown.
The citizens rising up and the birth of the Shaka Movement is in response to reports of new and increased health problems showing up all over Hawaii. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/25/usa-gmos-hawaii-idUSL1N0LU0A220140225 Anti-GMO crop, pesticide ballot initiative launched in Hawaii - Feb 2014) Pesticides and herbicides have been used here for decades. People want to know: What's different now? Are the new GMO’s and experimental pesticides and herbicides behind these heightened levels of health issues? How do we know for sure that the most vulnerable, our keiki, are safe?
The chemical tests results that Monsanto had their employees deliver to Maui’s Mayor last week to try to convince us that what they are doing is safe are misleading in that they were all performed on individual chemical agents under controlled lab environments. (http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/02/15/number-chemicals-linked-to-autism-and-other-disorders-doubled-in-past-7-years/ Number of chemicals linked to autism and other disorders doubled in past 7 years, study shows - Feb 2014) But that's not true to the way the chemicals are being used in the open-air fields of Maui County.
First, the chemicals they spray in Maui County are mixed with carrying agents and surfactants or soaps that change the absorption rates through the skin (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/tx800218n Glyphosate Formulations Induce Apoptosis and Necrosis in Human Umbilical, Embryonic, and Placental Cells. – Dec 2008) and second, they are spraying combinations of chemicals (including insecticides, herbicides and fungicides) some of which linger in the environment or in people’s bodies where they can combine and take on new properties or increase the individual toxic effects of each. These Chemical Cocktails have never, ever, been identified let alone tested. http://rt.com/news/monsanto-roundup-kidney-disease-921/ Monsanto's Roundup may be linked to fatal kidney disease, new study suggests – Mar 2014)
Dr. Lorrin Pang released this statement: “Where are the clinical human studies of GMO’s? Monsanto’s website itself will tell you there are none, because they don’t feel it’s necessary. http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/food-safety.aspx Commonly Asked Questions about the Food Safety of GMO – Apr 2014)
The FDA’s regulatory position of substantial equivalence, the assumption that the proteins, fats, and carbohydrates of a GM plant will always be “the same as or substantially similar” to the non GMO version (http://www.fda.gov/food/guidanceregulation/guidancedocumentsregulatoryinformation/biotechnology/ucm096095.htm Statement of Policy - Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties - May 1992) was written by people who are also Monsanto executives. I’m just not comfortable with that. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/monsanto-petition-tells-obama-cease-fda-ties-to-monsanto/2012/01/30/gIQAA9dZcQ_blog.html Monsanto petition tells Obama: ‘Cease FDA ties to Monsanto’ – Jan 2012)
I’m very concerned also with the results of the mixing of pesticides and herbicides in the environment and in people’s bodies. You may know the effects of each chemical individually but each new combination could have stunning effects. The minute you combine them, all hell can break loose. (http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/11/2/2125 Glyphosate, Hard Water and Nephrotoxic Metals: Are They the Culprits Behind the Epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology in Sri Lanka? - Feb 2014) We’ve only recently learned that, on Kauai for example, they are regularly spraying 70 to 80 different chemicals to kill everything in the soil, the microbes, the viruses, the fungi. That represents 10 to the 23rd possible combinations, a trillion trillion, more than all the drops of water in the ocean.
And they certainly haven’t cleared any of this with the people who have to live with the risk of being exposed to whatever is being tested. This is all quite unethical..”
The SHAKA Movement is an advocacy, communications and educational outreach program and hub, where people and organizations come together to work in unison to affect a positive change for the environment and for the people of the Hawaiian Islands.
SHAKA is committed to bringing forth informed scientific facts through peaceful communications and actions so as to protect, preserve and improve the Public Trust Resources for current and future generations. http://www.shakamovement.com
(http://www.shakamovement.org/?get_group_doc=6/1393919970-CopyofOrdinanceforPetitionerswhichneedstobewithyouatalltimeswhilegatheringsignatures.pdf A bill placing a moratorium on the Cultivation of genetically engineered organisms – Mar 2013
SHAKA Movement Video http://youtu.be/gHncnTwWvco