Monday, February 24, 2014

Maui County Citizens Invoke the Hawaii Constitution GMO Moratorium Ballot Initiative

The first-of-its-kind ballot initiative in Maui County to enforce the Hawai'i State Constitution's unique mandate to protect current and future generations was initiated on Friday, February 24th at 2:00 PM at the Maui County Clerk's office.

Five Maui County citizens, Mark Sheehan Ph.D., Lorrin Pang M.D., Lei'oho Ryder, Alika Atay, and Dr. Bonnie Marsh N.D., submitted a new Ordinance to become law that was written by the people, for the people, and to be decided upon by the people, as a ballot initiative in the 2014 November general elections.

To complete the submission process and secure the Initiative's presence on the 2014 ballot, the citizens must gather 8500 registered voters' signatures on petitions by March 31st. 

Feb 24th, 7:00 to 9:00 PM, in the McCoy Theater at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center. To kick of the petition drive, the public and press is invited to a free petition drive kick-off event: Monday, 

The evening will include a panel discussion and public press conference with the five citizens bringing forth the initiative, petition signing ceremony and petition gatherer sign up so everyone can gather signatures, followed by a special guest presentation by world renowned GMO and Roundup expert Dr. Don Huber.

The event is sponsored by the SHAKA Movement (Sustainable Hawaiian Agriculture for Keiki (children) and " 'Aina (land)), and advocacy, communications and information hub in Hawaii.

Mark Sheehan, one of the five citizens bringing forth the initiative said, "The citizens of Maui County have serious concerns as to whether the GE operations, the use of Pesticides, and the testing of GE crops, occurring in Maui County are causing irreparable harm to the people, the Environment, and the Public Trust Resources."

The Hawai'i Constitution states that the Public Trust Resources (including but not limited to the land, water, and air) "...shall be conserved and protected for current and future generations."

The five citizens assert that the Genetically Engineered (GE) growing and testing occurring in Maui County (also known as GMO) is different than GE food production farming occurring elsewhere in the world, and therefore poses different circumstances, risks, and concerns.

In Maui County, the farming and testing of genetically engineered (GE) crops include the cultivation of GE seed crops, experimental GE test crops, and extensive pesticide use including the testing of experimental Pesticides in what is effectively an outdoor laboratory.

Areas of Maui's groundwater are already significantly contaminated with Pesticides, including DBCP and TCP, from former conventional pineapple growing operations. The propagation, cultivation, raising, or growing of GE Organisms in Maui County involve unprecedented use of Pesticides which may greatly exacerbate an already existing problem.

The five citizens state that the Hawai'i Dept. of Agriculture does not have an adequate regulatory structure in place to monitor GE crops or to aid in the understanding of the impacts of these crops on Maui's economy, environment, cultural heritage, or public health. Moreover, the land of Maui County and the water surrounding it have cultural and spiritual significance to the indigenous people of Hawaii. This cultural and spiritual heritage will suffer irreparable harm if the natural environment of Maui County is contaminated by the propagation, cultivation, raising, or growing of GE Organisms.

Another concern is that there are no known or proven scientific methodologies or procedures to recall GE Organisms or remediate/decontaminate the Environment from any damages once GE Organisms are released into the Environment and contamination has occurred.

Therefore, the citizens of Maui County call for a suspension of all GE operations within the County through a Temporary Moratorium Initiative until a detailed environmental impact analysis of the impacts stemming from the cultivation of GE crops and their associated Pesticide use is provided and reviewed by the people and County Council.
To stay informed on the subject or to help please visit
 Published on Feb 23, 2014

I got very emotional. My body wasn't 100%, so had to leave the Shaka Movement Kick-off early.
Still gets to me...I can hardly believe this is going to happen.
A few years ago 9 out of 10 people DID NOT know what Monsanto or GMO was when I asked...
People were like..."TMI (too much information)", or "I don't like you cause you talk about pesticides"...
We will see.

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