Thursday, November 06, 2014


Maui landmark GMO ban on Democracy Now today: “one of the strongest anti-GMO measures ever”

Ballot initiatives to require labeling of foods with genetically modified ingredients, or GMOs, failed to pass Tuesday in Colorado and Oregon, after agribusiness giants Monsanto, PepsiCo and Kraft spent millions to help defeat the measures. But in a victory for food safety advocates, Hawaii’s Maui County passed one of the strongest anti-GMO measures ever, despite the opposition outspending supporters by a ratio of 87 to 1. The Maui GMO moratorium calls for a complete suspension of the cultivation of GMO crops until studies conclusively prove they are safe. Maui is often called "GMO Ground Zero" and the moratorium that passed Tuesday could have national implications because multinational seed producers, such as Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, use the county to research and develop new seed varieties.

by Larry Geller

Maui’s success in passing a GMO ban at the county level was the subject of a segment on Democracy Now this morning that also airs statewide here in Hawaii on `Olelo and other public access TV stations.

The video and a full transcript are available here, or watch the video below. Click the thingy at the lower right for full screen.

In addition to footage of protest marches and the expensive TV ads, the segment featured an interview with Maui’s Dr. Lorrin Pang. For those of us on Oahu who may not have followed the battle for the ballot on Maui, here is the Democracy Now mini-bio of Dr. Pang:

Lorrin Pang, has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization and works for Maui’s Department of Health. He recently retired from being a professor of medicine at Federal University in Brasilia, Brazil. In the capacity of a private citizen, Pang has raised concerns about the possible health and environmental risks posed by GMOs. He was one of the five co-sponsors of Maui’s successful GMO moratorium bill.

(note: as of this posting, the transcript is not yet available on the Democracy Now website, check back later today)

(disclosure: I am the presenter for Democracy Now on `Olelo Public Television)


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