Maui anti-GMO campaigners petition with 9,500 signatures, pro-GMO groups hold their ground

A total of 9,500 signatures were submitted to the county on Monday as part of a petition calling for the suspension of genetically-engineered operations and practices in Maui County.

The signatures were submitted by The Shaka Movement in an attempt to get the item on the November ballot as an initiative.

Mark Sheehan, one of five residents who started the petition, said the action has become necessary because of the thousands of dollars in campaign contributions to Maui legislators from Monsanto and chemical corporations. “Every day brings more evidence of research studies from around the world linking both pesticides and GMOs to these illnesses and ailments,” said Sheehan in an email communication announcing the group’s progress in obtaining signatures.

The Hawaii Crop Improvement Association released a statement against the initiative saying that, “With almost 18 million farmers worldwide growing genetically engineered crops — 90% of whom are small farmers in developing countries — the SHAKA Initiative would stop Maui farmers from taking advantage of modern technology to help address some of the most pressing problems facing agriculture today.”

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About 200 Monsanto employees on Maui and 140 on Molokaʻi held signs during a rally early April to demonstrate support for Hawaii’s seed industry; while petition supporters joined in an anti-GMO rally held on March 30 in Kahului that drew more than 1,000 participants.

Read the full, original article: Maui Petition Filed Against GMO Industry, Monsanto Responds

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