Long promoted as one of the world’s dream holiday destinations (and who in their right mind would argue otherwise!), it turns out that Hawaii and the lush tropical chain of islands its made up of is also an environmental time bomb waiting to go off.
In part due to Hawaii’s lax regulatory environmental laws, a handful of its islands act as the main testing sites for GMO experiments carried out by the world’s leading chemical corporations such as Monsanto. As a result, it’s thought that land, clean water resources and local communities are being exposed to unprecedented levels of herbicides and pesticides, with many of the chemicals in use by these companies being banned in other countries.
You see, these particular GMO crops aren’t engineered to withstand drought and thus solve the world’s supposed food shortage problem (as we were originally told). No, they’re engineered to withstand huge quantities of pesticides. But the only way to test that is, well, to spray excessive quantities of poison on the plants.
The other reason it’s thought Hawaii acts as the pharmaceutical giant’s main testing grounds (rather than say, uh, Mexico), is that it’s positioned smack bang in the middle of the North Pacific, so were anything to go terribly wrong with these experiments the ensuing environmental disaster would in theory be easily contained.
It’s no surprise then that the surfing community in Hawaii is up in arms about all this and pro surfer Kyle Thiermann recently visited Oahu during the Pipeline Masters to try and raise further awareness about the problem while meeting with Kelly Slater, former WCT ripper and fellow activist Dustin Barca as well as other local anti-GMO representatives to see what progress is being made.