Mayor has a right to stay neutral on GMO issue

As one of the five citizens who launched the SHAKA Movement petition drive for a ballot initiative calling for a temporary moratorium on planting and cultivating of genetically modified organism crops in Maui County, I’d like to comment on the action of two volunteers; one of whom approached Mayor Alan Arakawa for his signature on a petition. The mayor was on his way to speak at a public meeting and evidently had no time to discuss a hot topic.

The next day, another activist called out the mayor online.

I believe the mayor has the right to sign or not to sign the petition, and he should not be chastised for staying neutral on this matter. I regret any misunderstanding and hard feelings and will coach our volunteers to show more respect when posting to his wall.

More than 500 volunteers have rallied to this cause and not all read the directive regarding respectful comments.

The SHAKA Movement is a nonprofit organization educating the public about the risks of deploying living, genetically engineered organisms into the environment and the dangers of massive use of pesticides in support of those GE crops. We believe that the public and our officials will take enlightened action once they understand the gravity of the issues.

Mark Sheehan

SHAKA Movement