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Protesters march against Monsanto and GMO food

By Michael Tsai

LAST UPDATED: 09:24 p.m. HST, May 25, 2013

More than 1,000 people marched through Waikiki today to protest agricultural biotechnology giant Monsanto, joining a worldwide demonstration against genetically modified food that organizers said involved more than 2 million people in more than 50 countries.

Local organizers said the noontime march and demonstration was especially appropriate for Hawaii, where Monsanto has been active in developing and testing genetically modified organisms to improve farm productivity and food quality.

“Hawaii is Ground Zero for GMOs,” said Nomi Carmona, who heads Babes Against Biotech, one of several anti-GMO groups that organized Saturday’s event. “We have more endangered species here than anywhere in the world and yet Monsanto has been allowed to release more than 5,000 open-air experimental GMOs here. We don’t want to be poisoned. We don’t want to be experimented on. We don’t want GMOs, period.”

Alan Takemoto, Monsanto’s local community affairs manager, acknowledged concerns over the work done by Monsanto and other corporations involved in agricultural biotechnology, but said that fears have been fanned by misinformation and that the demonstrations may not accurately reflect overall public opinion.

“I believe there is a silent majority that wants to learn more about biotechnology and that is interested in what we can do to find modern solutions and technologies to feed the growing population,” Takemoto said. “We recognize that some may have differing opinions and we welcome open and respectful dialogue with anyone who is truly interested in wanting to learn about who we are and what we do. We’re very proud of the work that we do to make farms nationally and globally become more productive, increase yield and be operate more efficiently.”

The international “March Against Monsanto” campaign was founded by anti-GMO activist Tami Canal with assistance from Seattle blogger Emilie Rensink and Anti-Media.org founder Nick Bernabe. Working with the anarchist website A-Revolt.org, the organizers leveraged social media to raise awareness and promote local demonstrations.

Locally, Babes Against Biotech worked closely with Molokai activist Walter Ritte, Daniel Anthony of Mana Ai, Da Hui, Seeds of Truth, Sustainable Coastlines and GMO Free USA to stage the march in Waikiki.

Carmona said better organization and increased public concern about the potential dangers of genetically engineered food resulted in a spirited but peaceful protest, as demonstrators clad in green marched from down Kalakaua Avenue from Saratoga Road to Monsarrat Avenue, chanting anti-GMO messages and waving homemade signs.

“We were really organized this year and the turnout was incredible,” she said. “This was the funnest march I’ve been involved in.”






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Protest against Monsanto draws hundreds

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CEI wrote:
I think these protestors have way too much time on their hands.
on May 25,2013 | 02:52PM
HDougMatsuoka wrote:
Protests in 436 cities in 52 countries across the face of the Earth, and you say they just have "way too much time on their hands"? It takes a tremendous dedication of time, money, and effort to stage an organized protest of this magnitude. The interference of GMO corporations like Monsanto on our lives and government must end.
on May 25,2013 | 06:00PM
Skyler wrote:
CEI must have stock in Monsanto.
on May 25,2013 | 10:04PM
st1d wrote:
matsuoka and skyler must be getting paid by the multi-billion dollar diet supplement vitamin and homeopath industry currently pushing antioxidants as the cure de jour.
on May 26,2013 | 12:08AM
sayer wrote:
Uh no....People are concerned about scientists purposely mutating our food with bacteria and viruses.
on May 26,2013 | 11:04AM
2_centz wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on May 25,2013 | 06:32PM
IAmSane wrote:
? Why even bring that up?
on May 25,2013 | 07:10PM
Venus1 wrote:
Do you know what modified food does to your body???
on May 26,2013 | 01:28AM
Tony96822 wrote:
Its day off and the waves are small. Good time to protest.
on May 25,2013 | 03:27PM
jusjoking wrote:
Just label non GMO foods NON GMO. If people feel the need to know, they can purchase NON GMO labeled products. Which allows them pay for this nonsense instead of everyone.
on May 25,2013 | 03:33PM
jomama wrote:
"We will continue until Monsanto complies with consumer demand." Actually, Monsanto like any company is driven by consumer demand. Guess what, consumers don't care if its GMO, want plenty of it, and don't want to pay more.
on May 25,2013 | 05:04PM
hi96822 wrote:
Actually, its the food companies not monsanto who will comply with consumer demand and dump the GMO ingredients they are using in their products and replace them with non-gmo ingredients. Its only been since about 1996 that GMO ingredients entered into the food supply, and they can easily switch back---well actually, they have, in countries that require GMO labeling--these companies, say kelloggs or heinz for instance, when they sell their corn flakes or ketchup in Europe where they have GMO labeling laws, those products donʻt contain GMOs because the consumers donʻt want them. Its Monsantoʻs and the rest of the bio-tech companies business model that is at stake so they wont listen to us they will just try to hide their creations and lie to us--its up to the food manufactures and consumers asking for non gmo to overturn this business model.
on May 25,2013 | 06:40PM
Venus1 wrote:
If everyone knew the extent of the horror of Monsanto, the protest would be much larger!!
on May 26,2013 | 01:31AM
hi96822 wrote:
The nonsense is allowing monsanto, dupont, dow, syngenta, BASF and Bayer a pass to have a total monopoly on our food supply and food policy and so in our democracy we the people got to fight for our rights or we become a slave society--over 60 other nations in the world have this right to know if GMOs are in their food but not us in the USA----only because Washington dc is owned by these corporations. Food safety is one thing that gets trotted out to confuse the issue-- but GMOing these basic food crops allow these chemical companies to be awarded patents to own seeds which generally will only work with their pesticides--its a business model and they are doing everything in their power to hide their products in our food supply so we cannot differentiate them and so not avoid them---remember when you walk into a supermarket over 70% of the processed food contains ingredients from these chemical companies monsanto, dupont, dow, syngenta, BASF and Bayer---ask yourself--why dont you see their logos in the supermarket, they are after all what is in all of that processed food, why are they hiding, shouldʻnt they be proud of their creations??? why are they hiding?? its very profitable for them to hide.
on May 25,2013 | 06:16PM
izdatso wrote:
Hi Hi. Trick question...I say it slow too fo u. What pesticide work bes with BT corn foh da insects? Same numbah of Albino Giant Squirrels not extinct bah. ZERO. Google it!
on May 25,2013 | 07:45PM
Ronin006 wrote:
The blind leading the blind.
on May 25,2013 | 04:25PM
holumuahawaii wrote:
First we protest the food then we take naps in our tents on the sidewalk. Then we protest the building of buildings, then we take a nap on the beach. Then we go for a swim. Then we protest against the high price of living. Then we take a nap in the park. Protesting is hard work. We should get paid for this! Life is so unfair. Time for a nap.
on May 25,2013 | 04:40PM
hi96822 wrote:
NO, actually protesting and organizing towards something you believe in is fun and energizing and connects communities and people together in a way that consumerism cannot--you also tend to be a lot less snide about things too, ;)
on May 25,2013 | 05:46PM
izdatso wrote:
Soooooo..if you one anti-consumer how you stay here wit us folks zactly? I paid my subscription with one credit card tied to my account in which my hard earned cash from one legit job stay. And you? Bartered fo dis scrip with HSA with...? You deliver newspapers in trade on your organic bamboo bike? Naked? Wow. Lolo.
on May 25,2013 | 07:52PM
mijlive wrote:
2 million people out ot the entire world's population? b.f d.
on May 25,2013 | 05:41PM
IAmSane wrote:
Yeah, man, wake me up when there's a 2 billion people protest. /s
on May 25,2013 | 07:12PM
bumba wrote:
Monsanto should just label the foods and be done with it. At least they'll be able to shut these protesters up. It's going to make zero difference is the sales. Nobody cares except these wingnuts and most of them are freeloading off of government anyway. Let them go to Down to Earth and pay the inflated prices.
on May 25,2013 | 06:12PM
hi96822 wrote:
well at least your first two sentences were correct. the next three no so much.
on May 25,2013 | 06:52PM
holumuahawaii wrote:
These folks want labeling for the same reason that the Nazis wanted Jews to wear yellow stars on their clothing, to set them apart for future permanent solution. Monsanto creates corn and soy bean seeds that farmers buy and use because they are the best and produce the best results. The farmers sell the corn and soybeans to cooperatives and wholesalers who in turn sell them to food manufactures who produce food and sell it under a myriad of labels in such abundance that these products amount to about 90% of all the products sold . The end result that the anti-GMO folks want is nothing short of a return to subsistence agriculture.
on May 25,2013 | 09:58PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
It's good to see such strong support for labeling of GMO products. We have a right to know. Next legislative session this will be an issue to stand up and be counted.
on May 25,2013 | 07:01PM
Skyler wrote:
I truly hope that's the case. Will stand with you on this issue, for sure.
on May 25,2013 | 10:06PM
Wazdat wrote:
on May 25,2013 | 08:02PM
izdatso wrote:
My Hon and I had one delivery to one Waikiki customer and we got twisted up in dis nightmare. We spock Waltah an his band of Haolefornians marching an peacefully chanting. Soo soothing if I wasn't trying to make one living. I spocked one young gentleman and HOOOEY him ovah, (agains my Hons advise) to allow him one opportunity to share his manao. Buggah pull out one "pamphlet" and start read me his manao...WHAT? I stop him right den and as him to speak his manao from dah HEART bah....he say to be honest he one occupy guy an he agains ALL BIG COMPANIES! WHAT? da buggah stay in one AK shirt, whering OAKLEY sunglasses, QUICKSILVER slippahs an LEVI jeans (no can spock da BVD bran) an he tell us he agains ALL BIG COMPANIES! As I levitate agains my seatbelt my Hon hol my arm an calmly as if da braddah stay hungry. He nod yes so she leave him with one musabi an we pull one of our FARM FRESH local grown (rainbow) papaya out of da back an send him on his way. Aloha bah! Spam in da musabi garans from one GMO cornfed hog....and rainbow is, well, you know. An dey say theres 2 MILLION jus like dis? Auwe!
on May 25,2013 | 08:41PM
localguy wrote:
Resembled times when Lemmings increase too much and they mass migrate to a cliff and jump off, making way for new ones. Too bad they didn't keep going to Diamond Head road and ............
on May 25,2013 | 11:06PM
st1d wrote:
reminds me of the moronic convention held years ago when they thought the planets alignment would somehow affect life on earth.
on May 26,2013 | 12:14AM
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