ALOHA FROM HAWAI'I, GMO GROUND ZERO
We started Babes Against Biotech in response to the blatant financial ties between elected officials and the agrochemical biotech companies poisoning the Hawaiian islands. Monsanto, Dow, BASF, Syngenta and DuPont/Pioneer use Hawai’i as an open air laboratory to test genetically engineered crop seeds for export. In developing pesticide resistant Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs,) these multi-national companies create zero local food sending profits off island, while exposing our communities to obscene amounts of restricted and general use pesticides up to ten times the national average. We already have two pesticide linked birth defects doctors estimate at ten times the national average in communities near GE test fields.
Hawai’i, technically a sovereign kingdom illegally occupied by the United States, is no stranger to pesticide abuse which began in the plantation era. Despite persistent toxic remnants, the poisoning continues with large scale GE agrochemical operations. The US formally apologized for illegally overthrowing the monarchy but it remains, subjecting us to war games, experimental bomb testing and military control of crown lands. The often called, “fake state,” continues to allow GE chemical experiments here at some of the highest levels worldwide, while agrochemical executives hold commanding regulatory positions in the FDA, USDA and EPA. The interests of wealthy foreign developers and corporations, have politically trumped our basic requirements of clean air, water, and a sustainable food system.
Our exhaustive efforts helped lead the passage of several county level measures to require stricter industry regulation. Unfortunately, the vast majority of our elected officials take money from the chemical companies and the laws we rightfully passed are not enforced. This year, Maui citizens passed a ballot initiative for a temporary GMO moratorium, requiring health and environmental safety studies before allowing continuing GE cultivation. We won by just over a thousand votes, despite Monsanto and Dow raising $8 million against it. Now Maui county joins Kaua’i and Hawai’i Island on the growing list of counties being sued by the agrochemical industry in an overt attempt to overturn the will of the people.
When BAB began, government, media and chemical companies were ignoring the movement and we had to take a drastic approach to command the attention this issue deserved. We have come a long way since, but the truth is, we have always been focused on GE chemical companies and not the entire biotechnology sector. As our group of passionate, dedicated women expands, naturally our vision and messaging is evolving. We are focusing on solutions since we are well aware of the problems. Our amazing creative director and Maui BAB Coordinator, Miss August and 2015 cover role model Lauryn Rego worked tirelessly to produce this calendar with Miss June, Debbie Hollomon, and we are forever in gratitude to them for elevating our representation of now over 38,000 BAB supporters.
This year's calendar, shot at organic farms on Maui, features Maui BAB leading change in their communities. Each month is an opportunity to discuss solutions to our agricultural crisis. Our intention was to promote community leaders, farmers and small business owners leading by example. It is our hope that this calendar inspires you to vote with your dollars daily, taking part in the food movement wherever you are. It is time to step it up, we have no choice, we must. Our food supply is at stake and our lessons come hard learned from a poisoned paradise. Aloha ‘āina.
You can pre-order Calendars here: http://www.babesagainstbiotech.org/#!2015-calendar/c1vzp