First of all, I didn’t know what the hell a GMO was until a couple months after I moved here, so don’t feel bad if you don’t know either. Start with this article I wrote about the most important aspects, and then come back to learn more about Maui’s GMO Moratorium and what the that means for the future of farming on the Valley Isle.
Maui’s GMO Moratorium
Maui made history last week by passing the first ever temporary ban on all GMO crops until the biotech companies in charge of planting, selling, testing and growing these crops perform proper health and environmental impact studies. This is a big deal for Maui County, and by extension the entire state and country. The giant corporations in question spent $8 million dollars in Maui County alone over the past few months (the most expensive county initiative in history) trying to get people to vote against the ban, and they still lost. How’s that for a giant ‘f you’ to the man?
Basically the problem is that giant biotech corporations are now mass producing our food with potentially (and most likely) very harmful shit, like pesticides that have been found to cause tumors, and claiming that it’s really not that bad for us. The problem then becomes whether or not we believe them, and since they’re constantly shelling out ass loads of money to the EPA and FDA and all sorts of heavy-hitter politicians in Washington, I’d say that anyone who uses bribery as a main source of effectiveness doesn’t generally rank high on the believability scale.
To be honest, I don’t really care that much about eating GMOs on a personal level. Do I think they’re most likely harmful to humans and the environment? Yes. Do I think we deserve the right to know if what we’re eating contains GMOs that have been proven to be harmful to our health? Absolutely. Will that necessarily stop me from eating all foods containing GMOs? I don’t know. There are a shit ton of them out there, and some of them probably happen to taste like fried chicken and burritos.
However, my real issue is that the people in charge of growing the majority of our food shouldn’t be allowed to bully their way into becoming billion dollar corporations, then be allowed to bully their way out of legal issues (like suing the state of Vermont for requiring all GMO foods to be labeled), write their own legislation, pass it off sneakily and patent seeds to sell to other farmers who also don’t want their crops getting destroyed by insects and pests, all while trying to hide the fact that they’re spraying all of our food with tons of poison and pretending it ain’t no thang. That’s total crap.
While I have most definitely eaten a god awful amount of GMO products in my lifetime and am still here to tell you about it, it does make me think twice (and maybe even three times) about how and what we allow ourselves to eat in this country, and how it could be better, both for our personal health and the health of the places we live.
The next step, if I had to guess, will be news that Monsanto, aka the head honcho of GMO corporations, is suing Maui County in order to prove that we don’t have jurisdiction to make them run the health and safety tests that residents voted in favor of. They can afford to do that, so they probably will. It’s not a shocker.
What is a shocker is that gorgeous, relatively tiny Maui County may have just set the stage for other states to stand up and say ‘get the f out’ to GMO corporations, but that all depends on whether the people in charge are too busy cruising their Monsanto-themed yachts around the West Indies to stand up for what voters really want.
So we shall see.