Is Hawaii’s Anti-GMO Movement Really Just Anti-Science?

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Hawaii is at the center of the fight over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) – and the food people are eating all over the United States.

Because of Hawaii's favorable climate, plant breeders and food companies do huge amounts of research and seed development there, including modifying and transforming crops via all sorts of biotechnology. In 2013, two islands in the Aloha State passed legislation restricting GMO use and local and international activists are pushing for broader bans across the rest of the state. Anti-GMO activists say that the crops are potentially harmful and can contaminate the rest of Hawaii's agriculture.

Legislators are currently considering a bill that would mandate labeling on all foods with genetically engineered material, a move that critics claim would increase the cost of food in Hawaii even more (according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hawaii already pays about 40 percent more for food than other states). Other states are also proposing GMO-labeling schemes because of the fears associated with such products. Connecticut and Maine, for instance, have already passed labeling laws, but they won't go into effect until after other states follow suit.

The battle over GMOs will likely turn on questions of safety and property rights: Are GMO foods safe for human consumption? And who gets to decide how cropland is used – voters or landowners?

Reason TV traveled to Hawaii and reports on both issues.

For more on the situation in Hawaii – and the scientific consensus that GMO foods are absolutely safe to eat – read Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey's story, “The Fable of Hawaiian Frankencorn.” For Reason's coverage of GMOs, go here.

About 9 minutes.

Produced by Sharif Matar.

For full text, links, downloadable version and more, visit: isit

Written by bodyfat52


  1. 8:04 “we cannot just throw it out because you don’t understand it…”
    well, how bout, “you can not just throw it in because you don’t understand
    …put fluoride in everything and then find out 50 years later that
    fluoride is the reason for many cancers and reproduction issues.
    so again, “don’t throw your poisons in because you don’t understand
    it”…thanks scientist who play with nature.

  2. …this was probably a “class project”. it wasn’t very thorough and it
    seems to weigh mostly on one side of the issue. picture quality was

  3. There’s two things that need to be considered:
    1. GMOs can potentialy be dangerous, especially if done incorrectly and or
    done for a cure for a disease or illness. (World War Z, and I Am Legend are
    prime examples while one being a natural mutation and one artificial.)
    2. Organic companies are lobbying to try to get GMOs banned to increase

    both can be debunked/proven by a simple study, the GMOs’ study is already
    taking place, and all that would need to be done to debunk/prove 2 is to
    see if they either meet government regulation as to what is defined as
    “organic” or if they exceed. If they exceed they are most likely not
    guilty, if they just meet regulation then they most likely are.

  4. GMO labeling is about scaring people to think the food item is dangerous
    should it contain a GMO. The anti-GMO and pro-organic crowd is about
    limiting food production as a way to control population growth. Simply put;
    they want to keep food prices as high as possible with less ability to feed
    our growing populations. Easy for them as they’re not the ones starving.
    Ever go into someplace like Whole Foods? Only elitists can afford to shop

  5. Two things are missing from this video. The history of Hawaii and its
    effect on GMOs in Hawaii and the Monsanto Protection Act. This issue is
    both a cultural issue for Hawaii and a science issue. They ignored the
    history and focused only on the science of the issue. They also completely
    ignored the fact that Monsanto got congress to pass the Monsanto Protection
    Act. If GMOs are safe then why did they need to be protected from the

  6. I used to be very sceptical against GMOs after a farmer a few clicks far
    from here lost all his cattle to a feeding study with GMO maize. But the
    hippies and clowns who babble about frankenfood and blabla discust me even
    more than the possibility of cancer.

    Still i wouldn’t eat that shit,

  7. Of course, no one questions an organic grocery owner’s objectivity when he
    champions an anit-GMO cause. But anyone who supports GMO’s must be paid
    shills of Monsanto.

  8. The problem with the organic food lobby is that they think that they are
    better than everyone else!

  9. I tip my hat to you….That was very sophisticated propaganda. I don’t
    understand the details of the science. I’m not a scientist. I’m former
    Special Forces and Intel analyst, so I do understand propaganda. Your very
    subtle equating of transgenic (GMO) with natural selection, cross breeding
    and mutant breeding is genius misdirection to make the average
    non-scientist believe they are all the same and equally benign. The fight
    against labeling is a slap in the face to Americans, telling us we’re too
    stupid to make up our own minds. If you’re so proud of GMO, then put it on
    the label. Coca Cola certainly wouldn’t label their products just cola.

  10. Such a shame. I love down to earth when I’m in Hawaii because they have
    some really good vegan food, but I can’t in good conscience spend money
    there know how how anti-science/anti-gmo they are.

  11. Great video, But people just don’t want to understand, they don’t get that
    bananas, corns, and so much more were made by humans. They don’t understand
    that scientist studied to make a sweeter, healthier, less seeds product.
    And that the tests prove that. You want to solve the gmo conflict?, then
    education and information (like this video) may be the answer. Great work

  12. ” Anti- Science”. smh so basically they want you to think that if you avoid
    GMOs then you’re and idiot.

  13. If GMO was so bloody wonderful all the companies trying to prevent labeling
    would be plastering their products with notifications that it included
    “added GMO goodness”, “packed with twice the splice of the competitors
    brand”, etc, But they want to be sneaky and hide it because they don’t want
    people to have a choice in what they put into their bodies. Why should
    people have freedom when companies need profit? What a ridiculous ideal!

  14. why do then second and third generation of rats lose their urge to mate
    when fed GMO , and when they do mate [ if successful cause of low sperm
    count ] most babies are malformed or die soon after .

  15. look a propaganda video look up the old cigarette commercials where doctors
    told us how great they are for us and which brand they choose. hahahahha
    liars and failures Monsanto is for PROFIT only

  16. This video is filled with either absolute ignorance or Monsanto (or
    connected to) employees.

  17. Interesting how some people conflate the idea of concealment (opposing
    labeling) as something that is scientific:
    “Our GMO foods are GREAT! They are wonderful and safe for you…(but, hey,
    yeah Suzy Homemaker, you are too stupid to know that, so we can’t let you
    know you are eating them)” 

  18. Organic foods are overrated. They are over priced, and the benefits of them
    do not justify the cost. GMO foods can be much more healthier, such as
    genetically engineering vitamins into the foods, which lack them. Also, you
    can make the food last longer, and you can dramatically reduce the cost to
    produce food. With the growing population of the world, you simply cannot
    feed everybody with organic based food.

  19. 8:06 Basically Mark Fergusson doesn’t care why you agree with him or how
    bad the reasons for you agreeing with him are just as long as you agree
    with him. Brilliant marketing strategy Mark, I’ll give you that. In a
    moral void I’d congratulate you for it.

  20. Can anyone site the benefits of eating food that “hasn’t” been sprayed with
    copious amounts of petro-chemical nerve gas. I personally like pesticides.
    Got a garage full of them, thanks for asking. Yeah they cause cancer
    sometimes, but cancer is largely a byproduct of scientific progress. Agree.

  21. Just the regular proproganda that implies you are too ignorant to make food
    choices for yourself. Move along to some real info.

  22. Because not wanting to consume proven cancer-causing genetically modified
    poison is now considered “anti-science.”

  23. No question to it; GMO causes damage to everything it touches. Anywhere you
    see GMO crap growing, BURN it!

  24. The entire environmetalist movement is just a Communist ploy to destroy
    free enterprise and to replace it with a worldwide dictatorship. There are
    valid concerns about the environment, but the environmentalist movement
    just uses these concerns as means to an end.

  25. seriously you are doing a disservice to humanity for covering up the real
    agenda of Kauai and the islands, it is not just the GMO that is herbicide
    ready but it is the testing and spraying toxins at levels 10 times the
    amount allowed on the mainland. Your disregard for the pesticide and
    herbicide spraying at levels that are unacceptable around the world
    especially next to innocent school children’s water source and family’s
    homes is astounding. This is not just about genetically engineered
    organisms this is about using the most fragile environment on the planet to
    test poisons and toxins. So quit your lies and dumbing down the general
    public. GMOs are not as wonderful as you say considering there needs to be
    more pesticides and herbicides used with the GMO, the yields have been
    marginal compared to traditional farming methods and natural crops.
    Unbelievable that you people think this is some communist agenda. Get your
    heads out of your anus and think and do some research. You don’t have to
    always reinvent the wheel.

  26. Your link in the description doesn’t work! Please fix. I’m super interested
    in the sources. Thanks

  27. where can I find info on why we are seeing more crop diseases in hawaii, or
    how new pest insects arriving to the islands. what is being done about this

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