Paia, Hawaii (PRWEB) August 04, 2014
Registered Maui County voters will be asked in November to ratify a temporary moratorium on GMO and Pesticide crop production and open-air experimentation until an Environmental and Public Health Impacts Study (EPHIS) of the practices specific to the fields in Maui County show scientific proof that the activities here are not harmful to the people, the land, water, air, and reefs for current and future generations. (2)
In another similar voter contest, California’s Prop 37 for GMO labeling, advocacy groups funded by the Agro-Chemical industry dwarfed their opponents by spending $64 million dollars on local advertising, some of which was criticized as misleading. (3)
Rather than complying with a new local law on the island of Kauai that created simple buffer zones between pesticide flooded fields and public schools the Agro-Chemical companies chose to sue to block the community’s measure. (4)
“Tax deductible donations are being solicited through a crowd funding campaign at http://igg.me/at/donateshaka to counter the advertising that’s flooding our community from chemical industry backed advocacy groups” says Mark Sheehan, one of the five citizens who initiated a successful local petition drive and a spokesperson for the grassroots group The SHAKA Movement.
SHAKA stands for Sustainable Hawaiian Agriculture for the Keiki (children) and the Aina (land).
Adds Sheehan: “As a grassroots, public service, educational organization, SHAKA is committed to delivering to the citizens of Maui County unbiased, factual information that is not controlled or manipulated by corporate interests. We do so to empower the citizens of Maui County to make a truly informed personal decision in November. We encourage all Maui County residents to register to vote so that the people may determine their own and their children’s future, not corporations. (5)
“It’s unfortunate that the sensationalized fear of loss of jobs in the Ag sector will end up putting at risk our far larger Tourism Economy.” says Sheehan, “Non-GMO is now the top driving factor in brand choice for health conscious consumers. (6) As vacationers worldwide continue the current and growing trend to avoid GMO’s and pesticide exposure, will Maui’s reputation as a center of holistic lifestyles and healthy vacationing suffer?
Says Sheehan, “SHAKA is looking forward to helping find and create alternative jobs for bio-tech workers who may want to transfer to healthier alternatives such as ecotourism and small farm sustainable agriculture. State and federal programs are available for this already. If we raise enough funds we plan to acquiring land and set up schools for Natural Hawaiian Farming and work to bring Maui County back as a premier example of local food security and sustainability.”
1) KITV, April 7, 2014; http://www.kitv.com/news/Petition-could-stop-Maui-GMO-battle/25370686
2) The Washington Times, July 25, 2014; http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/25/gmo-initiative-to-appear-on-nov-4-ballot-in-maui/
3) Reuters, November 5, 2012; http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/05/california-gmo-idUSL1E8M2DGD20121105
4) Reuters, January 11, 2014; http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/11/usa-gmos-hawaii-idUSL2N0KL0CE20140111
5) Time, November 6, 2012; http://science.time.com/2012/11/06/prop-37-why-californias-ballot-initiative-on-gm-food-is-about-politics-more-than-science/
6) Market LOHAS Press Release, March 5, 2014; http://finance.yahoo.com/news/non-gmo-trumps-organic-2014-195600917.html