Remember who killed GMO labeling bill in Senate

The March 23 demonstration against genetically modified organism foods was the largest turnout I have seen on Maui since the start of the Iraq war. It was a cheerful, happy, mostly young crowd – more than 2,000 people.

The Maui Mall security people didn’t allow them to bring their signs onto the property, but they were very cheerful at the corner of Puunene and Kaahumanu avenues.

Even the rain didn’t stop them. Cars drove along the march, honking and giving the shaka. It was really big.

Too bad the state Senate had just killed the GMO labeling bill. The House passed it but our own Sen. Roz Baker was one of the two committee chairs who killed it in the Senate. It’s hard to understand why – it only required imported produce to be labeled if it was GMO. Only imported produce, mind you, not local produce. Those two senators (Baker and Clarence Nishihara from Oahu) decided for all of us whether we could know which produce was GMO or not.

Naturally, Monsanto claimed “studies prove . . . ” I grew up when the tobacco companies said “studies prove . . . ” so I don’t believe the chemical companies any more than I believed the tobacco companies.

Labeling is not banning. Next year, the Senate should pass the bill requiring labeling. We all should have the choice as to what we decide to eat. And to make a choice we need to know what is in the food.

Meanwhile, remember who killed the labeling bill.

Sally Raisbeck