It has been an exciting and challenging year for SHAKA Movement and the sister organization SAFE and the Safe Action Fund. We could not have enjoyed the success we have enjoyed this year without the strong support of our allies.
Despite the challenges, we have a number of victories moving forward in the spirit of moratorium, will keep an alignment with our mission statement which simply put is to inform, educate, protect and defend the keiki, kupuna and the aina. It has been a year of going forward in the spirit of the moratorium.
Our Year in Court
On Friday November 18th, the Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling on GMO moratorium law passed by Maui County voters in November 2014.
The court invalidated the law, stating “By banning commercialized GE plants, the ordinance impermissibly intrudes into the area of exclusive state regulation and this is beyond the county’s authority.”
In making the ruling, the court acknowledged GE practices:
- Cause widespread economic impact on conventional farmers
- And that GE experiments and the plethora of pesticides they use raise environmental concerns regarding harm to animals and plants.
While SHAKA is disappointed in the ruling and believes the three judges misinterpreted Hawaii law, the ruling clarifies that only the state has the authority to protect our environment and our health.
Along with food activists across the state, we must now insist that Governor Ige and our legislators demand the DOA and DOH:
· Test our soils, air and water regularly and publish the results
· Conduct health test to determine public health impacts and
· Take action to protect our air, water and soil
SHAKA is proud of the courage and vision of Maui voters who passed the GMO moratorium initiative. We are grateful to all the donors who contributed to the to the legal fund that advanced this matter to the higher court. By appealing the ruling at the local level, SHAKA and its attorneys were able to play a major role in allowing other communities to protect themselves from the reckless seed industry practices.
Of great significance to the state and local communities across the country, the Ninth Circuit ruled that federal law does not prohibit states and counties from passing local laws to regulate and ban commercially grown crops. This is a tremendous victory for the 38 states that have home rule. Unfortunately Hawaii is not one of those states.
Year in Review
Throughout the year SHAKA continues to inform, educate and protect. Here’s a few things we accomplished this year.
- Professionals were brought in from off-island to speak to the health issues around big agriculture farming practices and pesticide use. We had a healthcare practitioner outreach program.
- We assembled as a group, with banners in hand, at the county building several times.
- The Aloha Aina March in Lahaina
- The cultural event and march at the Iolani Palace, attended to by approximately 1,000, sponsored by our sister group SAFE.
- We created a “Right to Health” platform and brought Zen Honeycutt, from Moms Across America, to Maui to speak and conduct interviews with community leaders and citizens which were spread across the mainland in social media.
- Currently we will be conducting a health study of nearly 1,000 Maui residents screening them for pesticides as part of a larger health study. We look forward to bringing these significant results to light.
To see more of what SHAKA accomplished view the full Year in Review video below.
We would like to thank you for your support and humbly request your continued kokua in our endeavors to protect your right to health here on Maui.