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Raise Awareness, Inspire Change: Creating a New Food Future

Hawaii, January 2013

Raise Awareness, Inspire Change: Creating a New Food Future Hawaii, January 2013

Artist's Statement - Kaiulani Kimbrell, Media Producer

There’s a secret in paradise. A dangerous secret the world must learn. This video is the humble attempt of my team and me to expose some of that secret… so that we can change the trajectory of our food future, before it’s too late.

Hawai’i is a modern day garden of Eden, home to untold biodiversity and some of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth. It is also ground zero for experimentation with genetically engineered (GE) crops designed to resist ever more deadly poisons. With GE crops and their accompanying pesticides, the land beloved by residents and visitors alike is slowly being poisoned by a handful of chemical corporations.

Public documents filed by Companies like Syngenta, Pioneer, Dow, and BASF admit that they occupy much of the leased agricultural lands in west Kaua'i—at least 12,500 acres. The extensive use of pesticides, including those designated as “restricted use pesticides” by the U.S. EPA due to their potential harm on human health and the environment, is also well-documented. As the chemical companies have admitted, much of their farming operations in Hawaii are focused on the cultivation of genetically engineered crops for exporting back to the mainland and foreign countries.

Recognizing that Hawai’i was becoming ground zero for genetic experimentation, Center for Food Safety helped Hawai’i SEED form in 2005. Providing national resources to assist local efforts, we committed to helping Hawaiians defend their land.

Since 2005, Hawai’i has increasingly become one of the most active states working to pass legislation around GE foods and crops. The tireless work of local leaders was on stage in January 2013, when Hawaii SEED and Ceres Trust helped put together an island tour featuring food movement leaders: Vandana Shiva, Andrew Kimbrell and Walter Ritte.

The tour was titled Raise Awareness Inspire Change.  This film documents that tour.

From a groundbreaking march to the state capitol with a peaceful, powerful rally, to the largest turnout in the history of Kaua’i at the Kaua’i Convention Center, the tour was a huge success. And since the 2013 tour, the forward motion has only increased on the island. A law passed on the Big Island that bans new GE crop planting, and a historic law took effect on Kaua’i to establish buffer zones between GE fields and schools, hospitals and residential areas.

Laws like these are the result of years of effort from passionate voices of civic leaders.

I hope you will enjoy this short video documenting their wonderful work in 2013. I can’t wait to see what the future will hold for Hawai’i and the future of food. If this video inspires you to join the food movement, sign up at CenterforFoodSafety.org.