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Maui vs. Monsanto: The Battle Over GMOs in Hawaii

No one would be surprised if a presidential election or a decisive senate race held the title of most expensive election by voter in American history. This distinction, however, belongs to a relatively unknown 2014 ballot initiative in Maui County, Hawaii known as the Maui County Genetically Modified Organism Moratorium Initiative.

This ballot initiative in Hawaii did not earn the title of most expensive election per vote by accident. The referendum proposed a moratorium on the growth of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in Maui. The debates in the run-up to Election Day were contentious. On one side of the debate stood an American industrial titan: Monsanto. On the other side were Hawaiian citizens who believed that the initiative was key to the preservation of native Hawaiian culture. Hawaiians went to the polls knowing that the vote would determine the future of agriculture on their island. In the end, the Yes camp calling for a moratorium on GMOs won a narrow victory. However, the ballot measure’s result was struck down the next day in federal court.

The referendum was about more than just GMOs and agriculture; it was about preserving Hawaiian culture. Just like in the battle over the Dakota Access pipeline, the dispute in Hawaii reflected the tension between local environmental values and commercial forces. The referendum was the product of a long-running dispute between native Hawaiians and an American corporation. Years before the 2014 referendum, Maui County passed a similar ban that prohibited the genetic modification of kalo, the sacred Hawaiian taro plant. The moratorium was simply an extension of this earlier and more specific regulation of genetic engineering in agriculture.

Commercial agriculture is king in Maui and the largest piece of this industry belongs to Monsanto. Monsanto is the largest agrochemical and biotechnology company in the world. It is also deeply controversial. With annual revenues exceeding $15 billion, Monsanto is both lauded by some as the future of agriculture and attacked by others as a threat to small farms everywhere. The company’s controversial reputation dates back to the 1980s when Monsanto pioneered the use of genetically modified plants in commercial agriculture.

Hawaii is Monsanto’s agricultural center and a frequent testing ground for its new products. Maui has some of the most fertile lands in America. Crops from corn to papayas to coffee flourish in the wet climate and fertile soil, making it the perfect location for an agricultural giant like Monsanto. With 1381 fields in the state, Monsanto tests chemicals, genetically-engineered crops, and sells seeds to other agricultural companies seeking better crops.

Monsanto poured millions of dollars into their campaign against the moratorium. While anti-GMO groups raised and spent about $60,000 in total, Monsanto and Dow Agrosciences spent nearly $7 million. According to Maui County Councilwoman Elle Cochran, this campaign had a major impact. Locals had their televisions, computers, and radios blanketed with ads. Additionally, Cochran said that Monsanto’s financial might and the hope of future campaign donations won the support of many councilmembers. Pro-GMO citizens and politicians also pointed to the economic boon that Monsanto has helped to provide. But Monsanto’s expensive campaign ultimately proved to be unsuccessful at winning the referendum.

Supporters of the moratorium took advantage of several popular apprehensions in Maui about Monsanto. As commercial agriculture becomes more prominent on the island, traditional Hawaiian farming methods continue to lose ground. Supporters of the moratorium, including Councilman Alika Atay, stressed that restricting GMOs would protect small, local farms against large-scale companies like Monsanto.

Many Hawaiians fear that Monsanto will use pesticides excessively and will accidentally release chemicals into the environments if open-air tests go wrong. These concerns are grounded in some history. In 2002, Monsanto paid $390 million to the residents of Anniston, Alabama, where they knowingly released PCB, a harmful chemical, into landfills and creeks, thereby polluting water supplies and soil. In Maui, however, there is no evidence of such foul play.

Perhaps most importantly, supporters of the GMO moratorium warned that GMOs pose a large health risk to Maui. Those who oppose GMOs frequently mentioned the possibility of contamination from genetically-engineered Monsanto crops to non-genetically engineered crops in neighboring fields. Grassroots groups like the Sustainable Hawaiian Agriculture for the Keiki and ‘Aina (SHAKA) used these popular fears to successfully build support for the moratorium on GMOs in Maui.

However, most of these fears have little scientific basis. While pesticides might pose a risk to ecosystems like Hawaii’s, scientists have nearly universally concluded that GMOs pose no health risks. According to Yale professor of plant biology Stephen Dellaporta, fear of GMOs is unwarranted.

“If the topic was climate change, very few people would be contesting it. But for some reason, with GMOs, the science is just as convincing, but somehow people think it is a controversial topic,” he said in an interview with The Politic.

While Dellaporta acknowledged that pesticides and herbicides pose some risk to the environment and that GMO to non-GMO contamination has happened, he told the Politic that the risk from these factors is negligible. He explained that new forms of herbicide break down in the soil much more quickly than in the older herbicides. According to Dellaporta, the scientific community views the rise of GMOs and the emergence of hardier and more nutrient filled crops as a clear positive.

While its claims are scientifically dubious, the SHAKA Movement’s rhetoric had plenty of shock-value. Its website links to articles that warn readers about dramatic new scientific studies and claim to provide evidence of epidemic-like health risks posed by GMOs. While these articles do not convey legitimate scientific findings, they were effective in creating opposition to Monsanto, even among Maui’s leader. In an interview with the Politic, Maui County Councilwoman Elle Cochran said, “these companies like Monsanto are putting out poison.”

Regardless of the scientific conclusion on the topic, grassroots organizers found enough votes to get a referendum on Monsanto on the ballot, an effort that Cochran called “earth-shattering, history in the making.” Finally, on November 4, 2014, Maui county voters got to make their voice heard formally. They voted on the Maui County Genetically Modified Organism Moratorium Initiative. And the moratorium won. It seemed to the organizers of the vote that the people of Maui had won a massive victory over one of the biggest multinational corporations in the world.

In reality, Monsanto’s work had just begun. Immediately, executives sprang into action trying to block the referendum, which would have halted their essential testing of crops and chemicals and cultivation of GMOs on the island. Pro-GMO organizers, insistent that Maui’s economy depended on support from large agricultural companies, joined the protest.

These efforts proved to be crucial. Just one day after the moratorium was successful at the ballot box, Federal Judge Susan Oki Mollway stepped in and blocked the ban on GMOs from taking effect. Mollway stressed that her decision was not because of the content of the bill, but rather because such a ban preempted state and federal laws.

Nevertheless, Monsanto issued a statement saying that the ruling protected “freedom to plant the seeds of their choice, whether those seeds are conventional, organic, or have biotech traits.”

More than two years after the public referendum, the battle continues. Monsanto has gone to great lengths to ensure that the federal injunction stays in the courts and has invested large amounts of money in elections in Maui county. Similarly, local organizers, led by Maui County Councilman Alika Atay, have upped the pressure on Monsanto. Cochran hopes that a GMO ban is in Maui’s future, but says that she does not see a resolution in the immediate future.

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  • mauisurfer

    you say
    “Mollway stressed that her decision was not because of the content of the
    bill, but rather because such a ban preempted state and federal laws.”
    exactly wrong
    The court ruled that the County ban was preempted by state law.
    How could a County Ordinance preempt state or federal law?
    Evidently author does not know anything about law or the structure of government.
    And the research is even worse, no mention of how many countries have banned gmo’s or why.
    This article reads like it was dictated by Monsanto PR Dept.

    • Maui surfer, you either don’t know or forgot that the Intermediate Court of Appeals upheld Mollway’s ruling, as well as similar rulings on Kauai and Big Island. I think you’re the one who does not know anything about law or structure of government.

  • 808Hawaii

    Many of the ‘facts’ in this article are incorrect. You are on the wrong side of history on what the biotech/chemical industry is doing to contaminate four Hawaiian islands – against their consent, but with the collusion of legislators accepting campaign contributions. #FollowtheMoney

    Learn some real science from Dr. Lorrin Pang (Maui Health Dept. Officer)

    • If you follow the money — the money that is funding the anti-GMO movement in Hawaii – you will see that it leads straight to mainland groups like Pesticide Action Network and Center for Food Safety, which are funded by the elite heirs and heiresses of fortunes gained in oil and manufacturing. That is, the money that’s disclosed. Groups like SHAKA and others are not transparent about who is funding their work, even as they demand transparency from others.

      • Rob Bright

        WOW! Did you attend Trump University to study Disinformation 101?

        • I doubt you’re actually interested in facts, but here’s some reading, just in case you actually do want to inform yourself:
          http://kauaieclectic.blogspot.com/2014/04/musings-dirty-money.html

          • Rob Bright

            You post some industry-funded blogspot as a rebuttal??? Don’t tell me… you’re a genetic literacy project supporter too, right? I guess you also fawn over those antiscience, corporate meat puppets like Folta and Entin as well…

          • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

            Lol she just linked to her blog

          • Rob Bright

            Too funny!!! So she’s an expert in BS, eh?

          • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

            She says she is not a real journalist but a blogger so tries to avoid ethics rules. I feel sorry for her to come to our islands and make a living as a paid PR blogger.
            http://www.civilbeat.org/2016/08/reader-rep-commenters-paid-or-not-should-adhere-to-standards/

          • That’s OK, Kanawai, I don’t think you could actually grasp the complexity of anything that isn’t in a prepared meme format, anyway.

          • Rob Bright

            Well, Miss Conrow/ Conway — as someone who relies on alternative facts, you certainly have no moral high ground to stand on now do you?

          • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

            I have a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Stanford…what are your qualifications to be paid PR from Cornell you didn’t even go their did you? Do you even have a degree in journalism. Not that you need one but the lack of ethics from bloggers such as yourself has ruined the reputation of blogs and even news as a whole with your pay for play.

            http://www.nature.com/articles/srep37855

            http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S004565351400352X

            http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperDownload.aspx?paperID=57871

            http://www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8106.pdf

            https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-seed-companies-control-gm-crop-research/

          • If you’re so proud of your supposed academic qualifications, then why are you using a fake name, which makes it impossible to check your claims?

          • To borrow your own comment, “Kana”: “As detailed in an article called The Fake Persuaders, the scientists who initiated the petition, and made inaccurate and inflammatory statements about the authors, were not real people.”

            You guys use the exact same tactics as the people you criticize! It’s hilarious!

          • Rob Bright

            You really are an amateur at this, aren’t you? Better catch up on your Ketchum playbook or your handlers won’t pay you.

          • E. Sandwich

            That is spamming.

          • Like I said, I doubted you were interested in facts — even though my blog, which receives zero money from industry, provided links to the source documents. I’ll leave you and your pals to your echo chamber.

          • Two Americas

            Such shameless lying. Unbelievable.

          • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

            Yeah it’s sad that Joan feels the need to move here and then act like the Hawaiians concerned with our safety who voted for tests as this article says was the most per vote in US history just because we were manipulated by mainlanders as she claims…such irony.

          • what Kanawai said…..

          • E. Sandwich

            You should try posting facts and telling the truth for a change. I could change your life.

          • Rob Bright

            She’s really quite pathetic. Pretty laughable. (I kinda feel sorry for her now…)

          • E. Sandwich

            Yup. It looks like she is a industry disinformation echo chamber PR asset with an agenda.

          • Gmo Roberts

            Why don’t you start then by tell us the truth teddy.

          • E. Sandwich

            Who are you talking too?

          • Gmo Roberts

            You know who teddy

          • Rob Bright

            Like I said, you don’t have any facts. Just the Trumpian alternative facts.

          • hey lady, we WON world war 2, and with it comes INFORMED CONSENT, and that is not confined to the Dr.’s office .. do you understand that? and that schmucks like you do NOT determine when we the people are being experimented upon, we do. you stand convicted of serious crimes without knowing it, or are indifferent to history and international LAWS, helsinki accords, stockholm conventions, geneva and nurmeburg codes would all see your ilk HANG.

          • Aaron Aveiro

            It is you not interested in fact. If you were you would belong to the MPM

        • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

          She is a paid PR blogger. Civil Beat even exposed her trolling. She still spends her time in Arizona but tries to say a group of 5 citizens one of which is a Dr. that grew up here and noticed spikes of rare diseases and disorders in close proximity to chemical/GMO fields as part of his job for the state department of health.

          Two more are native Hawaiian, Alika is House of Kamehameha and a farmer who has been since elected to county council. Joan attacks a grassroots organization started by respected community members who defeated the most spent per vote in US history according to this article with only $60k and the truth beat over $8,000,000 in chemical/GMO propaganda.

          The PR company they hired never lost an election until the Maui vote for GMO tests that Monsanto, Dow and the rest of the chemical firms had to sue to overturn the vote. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c852ce833b3e30876acf269dbf0bec917bb5d35bb3eddae011b5791794f34021.jpg

          • Rob Bright

            Wow! What remarkable and brazen ignorance!! (looks like the Trump-effect has released a veritable cornucopia of slimy, corporate, tools!)

        • what Rob said….

    • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

      Lol, follow the money from Joan a blogger who moved here from Arizona and is now working as a paid propaganda piece for neocolonialism.

      From CivilBeat article: Conrow, who works for the Cornell Alliance for Science, to counter anti-GMO news, acknowledges significant bias in her work when she writes lines such as “We’re on the right path,” in relation to GMO development, as part of what she described in that same piece as “our global communications and outreach work.” By using terms such as “we” and “our,” she indicates she has taken a side on these issues.

      So Epler called her out on this veiled approach, an exchange that caught Pellegrin’s attention, with the suggestion, “I do think you should be more transparent because traditional journalists don’t accept pay or assignment from special interest groups.”

      Conrow also has lost her journalistic independence (and credibility) to report fairly about GMO issues, because of the tone of her work on these issues. That is clear, but are her comments on Civil Beat considered journalism?

      In Conrow’s case, her work with the Cornell Alliance for Science conflicts her in matters related to GMOs.”

      The trolling by her Alex and Wager didn’t work on Mauinow articles the PR is being exposed as educated citizens know enough to think critically. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d262157c4409c0397ee151b3e48a21f4275acb27a08cf3dd225bffde2c7d278b.jpg
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bc9bab94505050f335ddced5907f9580434b1eb9d19044e975d3cdf78693e26d.jpg

  • 808Hawaii

    ​Some of the biotech/chem cartel ‘farmers’ in Hawai`i spray up to 16 different pesticides as many times a day on the GMO fields; chemical combinations that have never been studied ‘together’. GMO crops need massive amounts of pesticides.. after all, pesticides are the main money makers for these corporate ‘farmers’. On tiny West Kaua`i alone, up to 100 tons of restricted use & conventional pesticides are used, per year.. contaminating the soil, air, and waterways, and the same massive use of pesticides are happening on Maui, Moloka`i, and North Shore O`ahu; wherever these corporations have set up shop to experiment on GMO and the people & visitors to Hawai`i.

    Our Dept. of UnHealth stopped collecting birth defect data over 12 years ago for some strange reason but anecdotal evidence from doctors, nurses, and parents is alarming. Testing of children’s hair samples near the GMO fields show the presence of 36 different pesticides. The dust from the GMO fields coats the inside of neighbor’s houses.

    “Dr. Evslin has been a Pediatrician on Kaua’i for 34 years. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently published an alarming report, “Pesticide Exposure In Children”. It alerted him to the link between pesticides and childhood diseases. He urges us to pass the Kaua’i “Right to Know” Bill 2491 and immediately create buffer zones around schools and public areas. “​

    Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJPVqOu5qCA

  • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

    Maui’s vote was for Longterm Independent Environmental and Health Impact Studies (EPHIS) which are routine; however, never been conducted here or anywhere. These untested transgenic/cisgenic organisms are sprayed with over 80 restricted use pesticides. We have 10 times the national average birth malformations. The EPHIS proposed is science this article’s claims are pseudoscience. Started well with the summation of money spent but then goes onto spout industry propaganda. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d5000f1fceec66b80391db514f32a7cac62422ef731f431f93aa1fc90175a358.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7ce9b47faa791881eeab2da138c9ebf2ef29076024a77cc61e31e63a07bcfc5f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7461518667184d52ecf3a0fe87f27eb56a68c0f8a2d0739222892bc4c0ae9064.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/63b1c7b886d0693aed85945005609583d105ae51e49a03424e7aac3223f3bcf1.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7f63238fab2d0511bc3b141356e8185cc5900087377cde67a2ad512604328a34.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/311ad5d218844bd7ef8892123eaa0cd38d2a758c0523902b9371abc65ce059dd.png

    • RobertWager

      Yup nothing says ” I do not know anything about toxicology” like citing Seneff et al. Thank you for your input.

      • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

        Lol you have lost it, I didn’t cite her and none of the graphs are from her but you insulting someone who unlike yourself was able to make a contribution meaningful enough to earn her PhD something you still haven’t been able to do…Mr. Tail Wager https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3bb6346be3c2e00771bf75332ffd6b3792aeac5f674a2ea74d7090609cf32a3c.jpg

        • alex

          Lol so seneffs PhD is in?

          • Kānāwai Māmalahoe
          • alex

            Seneffs PhD is in?

          • E. Sandwich

            What is your level of education that qualifies you to judge a scientist?

          • alex

            Seneff PhD is in?

          • E. Sandwich

            What is your level of education?

            You sound like a high school dropout.

          • alex

            Seneffs PhD is in?

          • E. Sandwich

            Look what I found in less than ten seconds by using google. You should learn how to use a web search tool so you don’t have to bother others with ignorant questions.

            “Stephanie Seneff is a Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer
            Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. She received the B.S.
            degree in Biophysics in 1968, the M.S. and E.E. degrees in Electrical
            Engineering in 1980, and the Ph.D degree in Electrical Engineering and
            Computer Science in 1985, all from MIT. For over three decades, her
            research interests have always been at the intersection of biology and
            computation – developing a computational model for the human auditory
            system, understanding human language so as to develop algorithms and
            systems for human computer interactions, as well as applying natural
            language processing (NLP) techniques to gene predictions. She has
            published over 170 refereed articles on these subjects, and has been
            invited to give keynote speeches at several international conferences.
            She has also supervised numerous Master’s and PhD theses at MIT.”

            She has an under graduated degree from MIT in biology, and one year in
            graduate school in biology before switching over to computer science.
            Her PhD was on an auditory model for the human processing of speech. So
            that also involved biology, neurology.

            https://www.csail.mit.edu/user/1389

            She works with Anthony Samsel. Samsel is a research scientist and consultant currently conducting field experiments and laboratory analysis of GM crops. Medical researcher and author. Former consultant at Arthur D. Little, Inc. Cambridge, MA…

          • Samsel, Seneff, Seralini and Shiva – the dream team of quack frauds.

      • grinninglibber

        Another Monsanto operative.

      • E. Sandwich

        Tell us, specifically, what issues you have with Samsel and Seneff’s peer reviewed published science.

        It looks to me like you are again proving the fact that industry junk pseudo-science ideology must be protected from real science and the truth at all costs.

        • Gmo Roberts

          Now teddy you know what is wrong with them don’t pretend you don’t.

          • E. Sandwich

            Are you talking to me?

          • Gmo Roberts

            And only you teddy.

          • alex

            Can you tell me if pyrethrum is more toxic than roundup

          • E. Sandwich

            It doesn’t matter because pyrethrum is not allowed in the cultivation of organic crops. I’m not interested in your straw-man.

          • alex

            Lol so pyrethrum the most widely used organic pesticide in organic production is not used on organic crops according to you lol thanks lol cow

          • E. Sandwich

            Yes. It was banned in the last year. It is no longer allowed on organic crops, but conventional GMO farmers are still allowed to use it on heir crops.

          • alex

            Lol keep on lying, is copper sulfate and azadirachtin also banned according to your assertions

          • E. Sandwich

            I should be easy for you to look up. Maybe you are not bright enough to be able to figure out how to do the search.

            Ask some of your co-workers down at the industry disinformation echo chamber goon squad boiler room.

          • alex

            Yea how about you go link some thing from the USDA national organic program stating they’ve banned such toxic chemicals

          • E. Sandwich

            Yea how about you go look it up for yourself. I’m not responsible for the ignorance you show here.

          • alex

            Lolz I can’t find anything on the USDA national organic program site about them even restricting the use of pyrethrum….. or any of their other toxic chemical pesticides…. on that note do you want to look at how there is no upper limit on residue or application of organic pesticides…. unlike in all other production where the toxic chemical pesticides used on crops are highly regulated

          • E. Sandwich

            Maybe you should get some one to help you learn to do the proper searches to find what you need. You could hire a tutor.

          • alex

            Maybe you should make obviously bullshit claims we all know you can’t back up with facts

          • E. Sandwich

            Prove me wrong. I posted a fact.

          • alex

            Lol nope you’ve made obviously bullshit unfounded assertions that you have failed to back up with any facts…. put down the crack pipe and then you’re paranoid delusions may ease

          • E. Sandwich

            Go pound sand. I posted facts you can’t refute. I don’t provide anything to known industry PR trolls.

          • alex

            Again nope you’ve made unfounded claims that I’ve asked you support by linking evidence to support… thanks for only being able to call me names because I ask you to back up what you claim

          • E. Sandwich

            I’m not responsible for your education nor do I need to provide proof for slackers who are unwilling or unable to fact check for themselves.

            Fact is pyrethrum has been banned from use in organic food production. It is still available for conventional GMO food production.

          • alex
          • E. Sandwich

            Many issues on the web are not up to date.

            Fact is pyrethrum has been banned from use in organic food production. It is still available for conventional GMO food production.

          • Damo

            Liar, Liar, Granny pants on fire!

            Go back to the transgender, transcendentalism forums, Teddy.

          • razorjack

            E. is correct. Pyrethrum has been banned from use in organic food production. It is still available for conventional GMO food production.

            You really ought to check out the latest organic rules before you shoot your mouth off, headcase.

          • Damo

            Wanna show me where in the rules it says that?

          • razorjack

            Nope. I’ll let you look it up yourself, headcase.

          • Damo

            Cause it doesn’t.

          • razorjack

            Wrong again, headcase.

          • Damo

            Then show where, or admit you are a liar.

          • razorjack

            I’ll flag a troll instead, headcase.

          • Damo

            Flag yourself, I am fine with that.

          • razorjack

            Get some help for your pitiful medical issues, headcase.

          • alex

            You want to look at how in organic production they don’t regulate the upper limits of the toxic chemical pesticides they use…. apparently because the toxic chemical pesticides they use are natural you’re allowed to actually soak a food crip with them and sell them

          • E. Sandwich

            BS. 96% of organic food meets or exceeds USDA organic standards with are 19 times stricter than conventional GMO food pesticide residue limits.

            Organic food is the cleanest most pesticide free food on the market today.

          • Damo

            Once again, that 19 times claim is total bunk you made up.

          • E. Sandwich

            So you say, headcase. We all know you are totally disconected from reality.

          • Damo

            Doubtful that he does. He isn’t the smartest bulb in the pack.

        • alex

          Lol how about the fact that their claimed correlation doesn’t fit as the rise in chronic diseases can be seen before the introduction of gm crops

          • E. Sandwich

            You are spouting ignorant industry PR disinformation nonsense. The study was peer reviewed and published. If you have a legitimate issue please raise it, but give us page and paragraph references so we can all be on the same page.

          • alex

            Go look at the correlations they are trying to claim the data shows a clear rise in chronic diseases before the introduction of gm crops

          • E. Sandwich

            I don’t think you have enough education to be able to understand the science that you are attempting to spin away with your industry disinformation echo chamber PR scripted nonsense.

        • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

          Also he is using a red herring as I didn’t cite them or use their graphs he’s done that twice once is a mistake twice is more of a pattern.

          This article is about Monsanto paying the most per vote in US history to avoid independent tests that them and Dow-DuPont just sued to avoid. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/418d340724b7e89244b72d009a6ceabc802470c3cff32e9ff02ca5a6acab2764.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b66f850809fe373b42b5fb4f2165fa1b2268730661a0f4068cbecbda02e1ed84.jpg

          • alex

            Lol you did just cite seneff, perhaps you should learn your sources before you go pushing debunked unethical crap….that or just keep digging by citing crap like carman

          • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

            Nope I didn’t cite Dr. Seneff perhaps you should follow your own advice.

          • alex

            Lol so all those graphs are from where then, is it just open source obviously bullshit anti biotech propaganda that seneff published in her studies and you have also use them in your links…..

          • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

            The graphs are from the peer reviewed study by Dr Swanson the paper is already linked in one of my comments and at least one of if not all of the graphs from her mention the source. http://www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8106.pdf

          • Gmo Roberts

            Yes the sad part is even all that money could defeat the lies that people like you spread. It is a sad part of human nature to believe gossip over the truth. Congratulations on being part of the problem.

          • E. Sandwich

            Yes. Monsanto is a criminal enterprise. Industry junk pseudo-science cult ideology must be protected from real science and the truth at all costs. Alex is just one of the tools they use to spread their spin and lies.

    • Damo

      Do you have any citations for the claims in your text?

      We already know where the graphs come from and that they are bunk.

  • 808Hawaii

    PESTICIDE USE BY LARGE AGRIBUSINESSES ON Kaua‘i
    Findings and Recommendations of The Joint Fact Finding Study Group​

    Link: https://jffkauai.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/jff-kauai-final-report1.pdf​

    ​Government Study Backs Pesticide Rules That Lawmakers Keep Rejecting​

    Link: http://www.civilbeat.org/2016/03/government-study-backs-pesticide-rules-that-lawmakers-keep-rejecting/

  • mauisurfer

    The state of California has finalized its decision
    designating glyphosate, the main ingredient in the pesticide Roundup,
    as a known human carcinogen under the state’s Proposition 65. The
    listing was prompted by the World Health Organization’s finding that
    glyphosate is a “probable” human carcinogen. The WHO’s cancer research
    agency is widely considered to be the gold standard for research on
    cancer.

    “When it comes to Roundup, California has become a national leader in
    flagging the very real danger posed by this vastly over-used
    pesticide,” said Nathan Donley, a senior scientist at the Center for
    Biological Diversity and a former cancer researcher. “The state based
    its decision on the findings of the world’s most reliable, transparent
    and science-based assessment of glyphosate.”

    Earlier this month a report released by a key scientific advisory panel
    concluded that the pesticides office at the Environmental Protection
    Agency failed to follow its own guidelines when it found last year that
    glyphosate — the active ingredient in Monsanto’s flagship pesticide
    Roundup — is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.

    https://oehha.ca.gov/media/downloads/crnr/032817tobelistedglyphosate.pdf

    • alex

      When is the state of California going to equally apply it’s standards,

      • grinninglibber

        Known Monsanto operative.

        • alex

          Lol thanks so much

  • Thank you for reporting that the claims made by SHAKA and the rest are not grounded in science, but have plenty of shock value. That’s how propaganda usually works, and I see they’re still at it in the comments section here. 808Hawaii — what, afraid to put your name behind your nonsense? — is especially misinformed.

    • Rob Bright

      Clearly works for the agrochemical/ biotech industry…

      • Oh, yes, whenever the antis are unable to actually make a reasonable argument, they resort immediately to the tired shill gambit.

        • Rob Bright

          Just calling a spade a spade. You corporate meat puppets are a dime a dozen. (Or, more like 5 cents a post, right?)

          • You obviously don’t know a spade from a hole in the ground!

          • StopGMO

            Speaking to the mirror, are you?

          • And wasn’t it the anti-GMO folks who were paying people to comment?
            http://skepchick.org/2015/05/lets-call-out-anti-biotech-shills/

          • Rob Bright

            Only if you believe the industry propaganda — which clearly you do. Maybe develop some integrity and an actual understanding of real science.

          • Perhaps you should take your own advice. Because you haven’t done anything to indicate you have either integrity or an understanding of science.

          • Rob Bright

            Boy, if I reply 20 times and you counter reply you’ll have earned a whole dollar!!!

          • OK, then I’ll wait until you actually have something meaningful to add. Which means this conversation is over!

          • E. Sandwich

            Garbage in = garbage out.

          • Rob Bright

            Sorry, I gave up on you already. I was actually waiting for you to say something meaningful…

          • E. Sandwich

            You haven’t shown us you have either education, integrity, or an understanding of science.

          • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

            “As detailed in an article called The Fake Persuaders, the scientists who initiated the petition, and made inaccurate and inflammatory statements about the authors, were not real people. However, their emails could be traced back to servers belonging to Monsanto or Bivings, a PR company that was working with Monsanto at the time.”

            “An article on its website, entitled Viral Marketing: How to Infect the World, warns that “there are some campaigns where it would be undesirable or even disastrous to let the audience know that your organisation is directly involved… it simply is not an intelligent PR move. In cases such as this, it is important to first ‘listen’ to what is being said online… Once you are plugged into this world, it is possible to make postings to these outlets that present your position as an uninvolved third party… Perhaps the greatest advantage of viral marketing is that your message is placed into a context where it is more likely to be considered seriously.” A senior executive from Monsanto is quoted on the Bivings site thanking the PR firm for its “outstanding work”.”

            http://www.eater.com/2015/7/1/8878771/10-shady-tactics-big-ag-stole-from-big-tobacco

            http://m.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/27/1373484/-Monsanto-s-Discredit-Bureau-Swings-into-Action

            https://hacked.com/monsanto-hire-internet-trolls/

            https://www.independentsciencenews.org/#article/2034

            http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/may/14/greenpolitics.digitalmedia

            http://naturalsociety.com/monsanto-and-others-caught-paying-internet-trolls-to-attack-activists/

            http://usrtk.org/tag/ketchum/

          • So then why are you using a fake name and pretending to be a real person?

          • E. Sandwich

            Disqus has more people using screen names than people who don’t. It is perfectly acceptable. Many of us have seen how your industry has had thugs and goons try to hack computers, stalk truth tellers and make physical threads to posters and their families.

            Why are you trying to divert using this phony issue?

          • Gmo Roberts

            Oh yes teddy the great conspiracy theory.

          • Damo

            Like how you, using your razorjack account, harassed me when I first began posting here? That stalking of truth tellers?

          • E. Sandwich

            Tell it to your shrink, headcase.

            You are trolling again.

          • razorjack

            LOL. You consider the fact that I blew up your false narrative and provided facts and the citations to support them that you could not refute as harassment. You are a sick joke, headcase.

            Such a precious little snowflake.

          • Damo

            You never posted a citation in this your life. I think you are confused. I am talking g any when you followed me from thread to thread talking AB it troll drool and forced me to hide my posting history.

          • razorjack

            We all know about your metal issues that has you living in your own paranoid delusions. Alternative realities are a problem for special tender snowflakes.

          • Damo

            My metal issues? My only issue with metal is your insistence that copper sulfate is safe.

            Everything else you said, Ted, Isa lie, like always.

          • razorjack

            Denial is the hardest part to get past. Until then you likely won’t get help for your serious mental health issues. I am not the only person who has tried to help you see reality. You don’t even know who your talking to again. You are a sad sot.

          • Damo

            Good one, Ted. Fool any boys lately?

          • razorjack

            Are you talking to me?

            It looks like your mental health is deteriorating fast now, headcase.

            I feel sorry for you, but your trolling has to stop.

          • I am using my real name as stated on my ID and idiots like YOU Joan keep saying twin towers in reference to THREE skyscrapers huh? it is more than monsanto you lie about, you n your ilk LIE about nearly everything.

          • alex

            So according to scientific data what’s more toxic roundup or pyrethrum

          • E. Sandwich

            Industry disinformation echo chamber astroturf sites won’t impress any smart readers.

          • Rob Bright

            You obviously don’t know the difference between corporate science (ie, tobacco science) and real science.

          • E. Sandwich

            She is lost once he gets off here industry PR troll scripts.

          • razorjack

            Thanks for performing this important and needed public service.

  • Tony

    shows how ignorant the internet makes people.
    1. wasn’t just Monsanto it was several seed companies but mentioning Monsanto only is good for raising money.
    2. Monsanto sells mainly seed not chemicals. But you don’t apparently care about the chemicals that others use…why not?
    3. The land that the seed cos use was used to grow other crops and there were treated with pesticides as most crops are so this really isn’t about chemical use is it. Its a religious fight about how GMO are not natural – a word that means nothing.
    Virtually all are food is genetically changes from its native state. If you were educated about genetics you would understand.
    4. The comments about glyphosate from mauisurfer is that Glyphosate is a know carcinogen – actually it is not. Most government agencies including the EPA, EU, UN etc say it is not. even 3 of 4 groups at the WHO say it is NOT. The forth group at the WHO sponsored by organic food supporter disagreed with everyone and put it in the same hazard group …wait for it….as processed meat or working nights – that’s right processed meats. So if you think glyphosate is a carcinogen then you had better ban …wait for it …..spam.

    This is how stupid science becomes when ill-informed people try to deal with it without an education in science.

    • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

      Tony working for Monsanto seems to have made you blind.

      1. Monsanto-Bayer, Dow-DuPont, Syngenta-ChemChina, and BASF were the Chemical/GMO firms that sued to avoid pesticide disclosure and buffer zones around schools and hospitals where chlorpyrifos drift has already sickened several students and teachers on multiple occasions, the independent tests Maui voted for and the Hawai’i county ban, all of those companies have records as atrocious as Monsanto.

      2.Roundup is a chemical and still provides over half of its revenue seeds coated with neonics from Bayer coat every GMO seed they sell and by far the majority of seed they sell is meant to sell more Roundup.

      3. The chemical corporations that make GMO do so to sell more chemicals and anyone who understands genetics knows that selective breeding does not overcome the barriers to genetic homeostasis as transgenic and cisgenic organisms which create prions as well as the host of related disorders and malformations.

      Hawaii hosts the most GMO open air test sites, anywhere in the world. The most developed trait over the last five years continues to be herbicide resistance. GMO fields here receive 17 times the amount of pesticides as the average field in the mainland, including over 80 restricted use chemicals. The state tested water across Hawaii and over 20 chemicals tested for were all present, carcinogenic glyphosate was found in every water sample they tested.

      4. I still laugh trying to watch you industry apologists try to attack the findings of the WHO IARC with other parts of the WHO that do not make decisions on cancer and admit using corporate sponsored studies. The reason the American Cancer Society and every other real organization has also listed it as a probable carcinogen is because IARC is the world accepted authority on cancer research. That is just one of the problems with glyphosate that California labels as carcinogenic. Spray on RNAi is the next plaque the big six will unleash.

      This is how stupid science is when someone like yourself with no education in this field try to pretend that the big six practice the scientific method. They practice the maximize internal profits while externalizing costs method.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7e909cb73371d279704caaef7ed0ac12dca023511ee5388ddc83edb07b1a171a.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8be113d35c7d8de9a2f8b4647ab52cfeb1abd6487feab2beaa9711f19cca2def.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/22348c0ac8b8755e1646d1a10d9bea6b98e3bce59871dd99b2ef35a442745055.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a55598d49ae7d5886e9bdb89891f195da030cb1947feffdab5f70e3ed90e4f6c.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f38b137a38d6be0c6dc6260d7a0eeca24ff34f61b92c530c8d66511e8bfc00ff.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/516e0465bcd262b6ef36f93f859b74af116de870fbfc5453ef1deab92b3787b1.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2045780746653765bb973f19f4d03011f10618c46bf5ba1fa80c4dd9707982f1.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b4a2ba3039f566a571b3ca32ae3caf855a1c713e23f290630132e804e69e385f.jpg

      • Gmo Roberts

        1. False they sued because the ordinance was illegal. They won because they were fight.

        2. No body makes much off of glyphosate these days. If you knew anything about farming you would understand this as anyone can sell it as most discount stores like rural king already do.

        3. Another misguided thought as companies do not try and get you to spray more chemicals. They just want you to use theirs vs. a competitors. This is simple economics that is obviously way above you as usual.

        4. A lot of things in this world are listed as probable carcinogens including working third shift. They even clarified their classification that the general population has nothing to worry about, but fools like you just wish to fear monger.

        • 1. You’re wrong, Mollway ruled with the argument that the Sate preempted the County and the Feds preempted the State , She was WRONG and the 9th Circuit Court of appeals ruling said so. The 9th Circuit got it partially wrong too since they ruled that the State preempted the County, which according to the Hawaii State Constitution this simply isn’t true. They did rule that the State isn’t preempted by the feds when it comes to GMO crops, which Mollway said it did. If only the 9th Circuit and judge Mollway read/understood the Hawaii State Constitution. Hawaii counties being separated by Water have unique laws governing them when it comes to agriculture and other issues , and in this case it was not understood by either the State or federal Courts. The 9th Circuit court was a win for SHAKA in that it granted the States power over the feds when it comes to GMO crops, unfortunately for Hawaii we are not a Home Rule State.

          2. Wrong again, In 2015, the company made nearly $4.76 billion in sales and $1.9 billion in gross profits from herbicide products, mostly Roundup.
          3. WRONG again see number 2
          I’d go on but correcting shill’s isn’t worth much of my time these days…

          • alex

            Lol are you on crack

          • Gmo Roberts

            You don’t really read up much do you. Most of the crops grown in Hawaii are experimental hybrids that haven’t been deregulated yet. This means they fall under federal jurisdiction. Secondly, Monsanto’s roundup sales while a large number is dwarfed by there seed numbers and by other roundup manufacturers such as those in china. Generic brands easily out sale Monsanto, not to mention that your number includes all crop protection products not just roundup brands as well.

          • If you’re implying I didn’t read the courts decision, you’re wrong, not only have I read it several times, and after having reviewed it, with some of the attorneys involved, at the time of the decision on November 19, 2016 , I helped write some of the press releases that followed. I.e. “This ruling creates a specific distinction between experimental crops and commercial crops. States and home rule counties may regulate and/or ban “commercial” GMO crops. However, “experimental” GMO crops cannot be regulated or banned as the federal government regulates them.” Quoted from my posting here…
            http://www.mauigmomoratoriumnews.org/shaka-movement-press-release/
            Not sure if you had a point to make here or not.
            Your next “point” is equally a mystery, the fact that Monsanto doesn’t earn a majority of its profit from Roundup doesn’t mean they
            a) earn nothing from it.
            b) don’t wish to increase what profits they do make from it.

            Where is your peer reviewed paper proving the safety of GMO ( particularly roundup ready ghost)?

      • I am so sick of monsanto rats in every corner of our lives I only hope & pray this does not end peacefully, the havoc & cancers & misery & trucker dukes galor these lying lowlifes have inflicted us with deserve real payback, my version of it, lots of rope in public.

  • ”” The company’s controversial reputation dates back to the 1980s””,, are you kidding me!!?? Agent Orange was a long time before the 80’s, then there is new zealand ‘ let Us Spray’, and the Benjamin & Isaac Monsanto reciepts!! 80’s alright, the 1780’s.

  • Aaron Aveiro

    Anyone notice thevprocess the Pro-GMO crowd uses the same tactics that Shillary Clinsanto and the Dumocrats use???
    Even as Monsanto’s ruse unravels at a breakneck pace in the courts the MPM members continue to lie and call people with PoD’s stupid.
    And ignore the facts that everything the GMO industry has claimed are lies.

    • SageThinker

      Propaganda is a huge dark force in the world today. Climate change denialism was a biggie too, and Trump’s guy Mercer did a lot on his behalf to get him elected too. We’re drowning in a sea of propaganda.

    • Damo

      Nope, but I have noticed that someone with the integrity of a child rapist (convicted twice) is spreading rumors about scientists.

  • Anonymous

    I am a layperson with questions. What usefulness do GMO crops have except the ability to withstand being sprayed with chemicals? Is it not true that in many cases the effects of ingesting/breathing chemicals aren’t known until decades later? Why would a farm grow a GMO crop over the traditional variety in Hawaii unless wanting to use these chemicals? Eating a GMO plant isn’t what bothers me. It is eating a GMO knowing that by its very purpose to withstand chemical herbicides and pesticides pretty much ensures that it has been doused heavily in several chemicals that I will now ingest. I realize that there is no guarantee that a non-GMO crop is chemical free, but are they used as liberally with non-gmo crops?