Marching for health of kids, land, ocean

First photo: Dustin Barca of the Hawaii GMO Justice Coalition leads protesters along Kaahumanu Avenue on Saturday. The “March in March” protest brought together about a half-dozen organizations from Kauai, Oahu, Molokai and the Big Island. Protesters aimed to raise public awareness about the risks of genetically modified foods and testing, he said. “The reason we’re marching is for the future health of our kids, our land and our ocean,” said the co-organizer from Kauai. “Hawaii is ground zero for GMO testing . . . all of our future resources and health are at stake.”

Second photo: Hundreds of people who oppose genetically modified organism testing and farming march in a rally Saturday in the parking lot of War Memorial Stadium. From the parking lot, protesters in the “March in March” event walked along Kaahumanu Avenue until they reached Maui Mall.

Third photo: Pukalani resident Cody Darcy shows his concern about the use of the herbicide Roundup while dressed as a cornstalk in the parking lot of War Memorial Stadium. A carpenter by trade, Darcy said he has followed the rise of genetically modified foods for about 15 years and is tired of its continued use and testing.

Biotech company Monsanto drew the ire of many of the protesters who carried signs against its farming of genetically engineered crops in Hawaii, including on Maui and Molokai. Carol Reiman, Monsanto’s head of government and community affairs on Maui, said that, while the company respects the people’s right to voice their opinion, there have been “many misleading and factually incorrect statements about genetically engineered foods.” According to Monsanto, biotech foods have been well studied and highly regulated, and in more than 17 years, there has not been a documented case of anyone becoming ill because of such foods.