Genetically modified organisms continue to draw attention at
the state capitol. According to the
Hawaii News Now/Star Advertiser "Campaign 2014 Hawaii Poll", the topic is front
of mind at home as well.
According to the poll, 74% of respondents said they had at
least some degree of familiarity with the issue of GMO foods or growing GMO
crops in Hawaii. 49% said somewhat
familiar, 25% said very familiar. 15%
said somewhat unfamiliar, while 11% said very unfamiliar.
When asked about concern, 14% said very unconcerned, while
20% said somewhat unconcerned. 37% said
somewhat concerned, while 27% said very concerned.
"If half the people are somewhat concerned at the very
least about what's going into the food and whether it's GMO's or identified as
GMO's, I think we should respond to that concern" said Nomi Carmona of Babes
However, Dean Okimoto of ‘Nalo Farms, itself an organic
farm, had a different take.
"How concerned are they really? If you go out to eat at
a restaurant, there's no restaurant unless it's an organic restaurant or vegan
restaurant that is not using GMO".
More than three out of four respondents said they believe
the Legislature should pass a law requiring all GMO foods sold in Hawaii to be
labeled as GMO.
Okimoto said he supports national labeling of GMO's, but
thinks it could be harmful at the state level.
"At the state level; if we label, the costs go back to
everybody else in the state. We end up
with more homeless, we end up with more problems that are side effects of this
Said Carmona in contrast "If I need to stretch my
dollar I need to know what has GMO's and what doesn't. I may not be able to afford organic, but at
least let me choose between GMO's and non-GMO's with my hard earned money".