The front line in the fight against Monsanto and the reckless practices of genetically modified farming may be proving to be the island paradise of Hawaii. With such a relatively small population, the effects of GMO and Roundup Ready crops are having a disproportionately adverse effect on the environment and people of this small island chain, and the devastation it is causing is apparent.
Home to what used to be some of the world’s most pristine and fertile agricultural lands, Hawaii is now the global field center for the testing of genetically modified crops and is being severely poisoned as a byproduct.
GMO farming claims to boost agricultural output, but in reality, it is a way to boost the usage and sales of pesticides and herbicides by creating crops that are totally dependent on specific chemicals in order to produce any yield at all. GMO fields are places where massive amounts of toxic chemical are sprayed and distributed.
Hawaii is critical in the fight against GMO’s because major agricultural companies are using these scenic lands to test out new GMO crops, pesticides and herbicides, as well as for the production of GMO seed for distribution to other parts of the world. Hawaii has sadly become a large open-air laboratory where local communities are often maliciously under-informed of the dangers of what is taking place in the surrounding environment.
In the 1960’s Hawaii was even the testing ground for exfoliates including Agent Orange, which is still wreaking havoc on the health of those who have been exposed.
Many of the fields hosting GMO crops are located, literally, right across the road from schoolhouses, communities and traditional farms. People at work and play outdoors will watch in horror as chemical trucks show up and workers in full hazmat protective gear begin spraying heavy quantities of toxic chemicals in the immediate vicinity of local schools and communities.
The idea that these deadly chemicals can be contained within their fields is an abject denial of basic environmental science and common sense, as winds and flood waters frequently reek of chemicals, carrying these toxic soups across the country side and into the Pacific Ocean.
Who is to blame, and who can help?
When local organic farmer Anthony Palazzolo set up an organic farm in the hills of Oahu, he shortly fell ill with chronic respiratory illnesses, wheezing and bronchial spasms, and myriad other health problems. After researching neighboring farms he discovered that his land was surrounded by GMO crop test fields that are owned or leased by the chemical giants Monsanto, Dow, Pioneer, BASF, and Syngenta. Heavy usage of pesticides and herbicides was polluting his farm and wreaking havoc on the health of people living in the area.
In a recently produced documentary, Stop Monsanto From Poisoning Hawai’i: Genetic Engineering Chemical Warfare, about the exacerbating GMO and agro-chemical catastrophe in Hawaii, the Hawai’I GMO Justice Coalition points the finger not only at the big-ag firms and an inadequate governmental response, but also at Kamehameha Schools, one of the largest public trusts in the world.
Founded in the late 1800’s to provide education for future Hawaiian natives, Kamehameha Schools is an educational system with land holdings of 363,000 acres and an endowment of $9.6 billion. Their Wall Street portfolio maintains $2.1 billion in securities and several million dollars in hedge and private equities.
Kamehameha Schools leases tens of thousands of acres to the chemical giants for the purpose of research and experimentation.
With a public image as benefactor to the Hawaiian people and its traditions, Kamehameha Schools might just be the one organization with sufficient clout to get the point across to Big Ag that the people and the land simply cannot survive along side GMO farming.
The Hawai’i GMO Justice Coalition believes that sufficient pressure can be put on Kamehameha Schools to bring this to an end before irreversible, generational damage is done to the land and its inhabitants.
A coalition of farmers, lawyers, activists, surfers, musicians and otherwise ordinary people who desire independence from chemicals and a right to good health, the Hawai’i GMO Justice Coalition has developed a reasonable and common-sensical five point plan for Kamehameha Schools to address this catastrophe.
- Grow a new generation of organic and traditional farmers by creating an entrepreneurial program to train young farmers.
- Test and remediate GMO, sugar, and pineapple land and water supplies.
- Offer at least 10,000 acres of its vast land holdings with 20-year leases for farmers who follow the traditional model of farming for the islands.
- Set up a $50 million local farmer loan fund to assist locals in getting back to the land.
- Provide non-GMO and mostly organic local lunches to its students, investing in the health and awareness of the local population.
Kamehameha Schools could easily play a role in stopping this insane pollution and could play an integral returning Hawaii and the world to a harmonious model of agriculture based on principles established over thousands of years by normal people.
Please watch this video and participate in the campaign to petition Kamehameha Schools for a redress of these important issues.
About the Author
Dylan Charles is a student and teacher of Kung Fu and Tai Chi, and the editor of WakingTimes.com. His other projects include Pura Vida Yoga Vacations which organizes fabulous Yoga Retreats in Costa Rica, and the Offgrid Outpost.
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