Opinion: GMOs: Are they worth it?

Kalena Pfaeltzer, Staff Writer

For years now, people in the state of Hawai’i have been protesting and arguing against genetically modified organisms, better known as GMOs. From the marches to stop an organization called Monsanto, to the voting back in 2014, nothing will stop the people of Hawai’i from trying to ban GMOs.

To understand why the people of Hawai’i, specifically the island of Maui, are outraged with the idea of GMOs is simple. The main organization behind all the madness, Monsanto, has brought over the idea of genetically modifying crops. Monsanto uses pesticides and poisons that are harmful to the people and the environment.

A little background on GMOs: they were said to be banned in several countries and other countries would not even allow GMO testing on their soil. Therefore, we question: Why are GMOs even allowed in our country if other countries are so scared to allow it in theirs? GMOs have also been accused for birth defects, tumors, and other health problems here in Hawai’i.

Monsanto has also been seen spraying their harmful pesticides next to schools, homes, and hospitals, which is why the people in our community stress over Monsanto. There has actually been a case of a virus at a school on Oahu where a lot of kids were getting sick unexplainably. Turns out there was a GMO farm right next to the school, in which they share the same pipes, and they believe that the virus came through their water fountains.

In the year of 2014, there was a vote to either ban GMOs or to keep allowing Monsanto to grow their crops here on the island of Maui. When it was time for the election, lots of people showed up to vote specifically on the GMOs. The polls came in with the result of majority in favor of banning GMOs on the island of Maui. However, the voting was useless because until this day nothing has been done about the GMO testing. People claim that Mayor Alan Arakawa was in favor of Monsanto and helped them out by not passing the ban on GMO testing.

Also, Monsanto has sued against people who has tried to run them out. The county or the island of Kaua’i was sued for running them out and protesting against them. The people of Kaua’i write on their banners “Shame on you. Suing Kaua’i county for the right to spray poisons next to our schools, homes, and hospitals.” Also, enraged protesters write things like “We Deserve The Right To Know! STOP POISONING PARADISE.”

The marches still go on. People are still rising against GMOs all over Hawai’i, and will not stop until Monsanto is out for good. People need to realize the harm that GMOs can do to our personal health and to our environments health. Over the past several years there has been a spike in birth defects in the state of Hawai’i all going back to the GMO testing. To contribute to the movement you can sign a petition, join the marches, or visit http://www.mauigmomoratoriumnews.org to learn more.