HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - 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 Against Biotech.
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 legislation".
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".