Opposition crops up to GMO foods in Hawaii

Lihue, Hawaii - Famous the world over as a tropical vacation spot, the Hawaiian Islands are less well-known as ground zero in the debate over genetically modified organisms (GMO), the open-air testing of pesticide-resistant crops and the ethics of patenting genetically engineered (GE) plant life.


Hawaii is home to one of the world’s greatest concentrations of GMO research fields by five of the largest biotechnology and chemical companies: Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences, Syngenta, DuPont Pioneer and BASF.


These transnational corporations prefer Hawaii for growing and testing GE crops because of its abundant sunshine, rainfall and year-round growing climate. GMO opponents say the companies also enjoy Hawaii’s isolation, largely removed from the public eye.


Yet these companies, which have been in Hawaii for decades, are now facing increasing opposition from residents concerned about GMOs, the health and environmental impacts of pesticides and what they see as a lack of oversight and transparency.

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