Mark Healey protests Monsanto and GMOs in Hawaii.

“All these poisons will have consequences down the line,” said Mark Healey. “We’ve got to make moves at the moment. ” Mark Healey joined hundreds of professional surfers to protest Monsanto and GMOs in Hawaii.


The Inertia

“All people have to do is look this shit up, and you will be pissed,” said Mark Healey, a man who has made a global reputation by surfing some of the largest waves on the planet. Today, Mark is standing in the pouring rain at the Haleiwa Beach Park on the North Shore of Oahu with a band of 1,000 local residents and professional surfers protesting the use of GMOs in Hawaii. This crowd wants multinational chemical and agriculture corporations like Monsanto to leave. The signs make that clear:

GMO = Herpes. Eddie Wouldn’t GMO. Don’t be a GMHO. Monsanto Mo’ Problems. Poisoning for Profit.

“It’s appalling,” says Healey. “The scary thing is that all these poisons will have consequences down the line. Look at Monsanto. They’ve  made Agent Orange, DDT, and PCB – some of the worst toxins, and it took everybody getting cancer and birth defects to finally do something. Obviously, their track record of human rights is not fucking good. In fact, it’s the worst of any company ever outside of a government regime. So, yeah, we’re supposed to trust these guys unregulated to test things? Give me a break.”

According to Healey, Hawaii has become ground zero for GMO testing for two reasons. First, the climate enables four yields of crops annually (compared to two on the mainland, which substantially increases the toxic output into Hawaiian land), while serving as an operational optimization for biotech companies. Second, the isolation of the islands reduces the risk of spreading harmful chemicals elsewhere.

In the center of the crowd, Dustin Barca grunts into a megaphone. He is standing on a pickup truck and wearing galoshes. Barca is a former ASP World Tour competitor and professional fighter from Kauai. Right now, he’s fighting GMOs. He’s the man who organized this rally and helped pass Bill 2491 in Kauai. The Bill requires more transparency from corporations as well as buffer zones between testing grounds and schools.

GMO fighter Dustin Barca takes a stand

“It looked like there was a hurricane in the morning, and we got about 1,000 people to show up in the pouring rain,” said Dustin Barca. “We persevered and showed the integrity of the people.”

“Surfers are connected to Mother Nature probably more than anybody on earth,” said Barca. “She gives us everything. And me, I grew up super country. We catch our own fish. We catch our own pigs. We eat from our gardens. It’s an easy life. When someone comes in and puts a threat to all the things you love, you’ve just got to do something about it.”

And the surfers turned up. Kelly Slater, Greg Long, Rusty Long, John John Florence, Sunny Garcia, Fred Patacchia, Kala Alexander and many others paraded through downtown Haleiwa (through a flash flood warning and torrential rain) to support the cause.

“I am here because I think that Dustin Barca has some MLK in him,” said surfing and action sports commentator Sal Masekela. “To see the way he’s galvanized an entire state from just a few people is amazing. These are the kind of things that get global momentum. Everything big starts small.”

It’s not often professional surfers talk passionately into microphones and in front of cameras about social and environmental issues. But the issue of genetically modified organisms in Hawaii clearly has struck a chord.

“We feel like we have more to lose than other people, because it’s relevant,” said Healey. “Whereas if you don’t have that attachment to nature, you don’t realize you have so much to lose until it’s gone already. We try to be responsible and make a move before it’s too late.”

He pauses and laughs. “Just another dumb surfer.”

  • Guest

    So a whole crew of high-school dropouts marched, hey? Man, I’m sold. I can only imagine how thoroughly they’ve poured through the science.

    • http://creamabuscaro.com/ Jeff Byrnes

      So your assertion is that the only people in attendance were high school dropouts? Ergo, you claim no one with college educations or advanced degrees were there and/or in support of the movement against GMOs? I think you need to put something more substantial behind your comments than a runny sphincter. How about a thousand bucks if I prove that college educated people with backgrounds in science were there and/or support efforts against Monsanto? Put up or shut up, cynic (though I doubt you have the balls to do either).

  • Stu Azole

    what? GMO’s cause cancer? Really? And all this is substantiated by Dr. Pang, who’s also a big believer in the chem-trail “cover up”? Yeah, that’s good stuff.

    • http://creamabuscaro.com/ Jeff Byrnes

      Depends on the GMO and how it’s manufactured. Care to explain why over thirty nations have banned GMOs? Oh, that’s right, they don’t have any scientists living in any of them. Of course. Only US scientists on corporate payrolls have a valid opinion on the subject.
      Rude awakening: I lived with a professional physicist from Germany for some years. His two brothers are also professional physicists. All have PhDs. All are members of the UCS. None of them nor any of their many scientist friends and coworkers, that I know of, support GMOs. They’re also all very athletic and fit and are dedicated consumers of whole foods and organics. And they look fantastic for pushing their fifties.
      What was it again that qualified your opinion (other than being an Azole, that is)?

  • joonypie

    I heard Jenny McCarthy marched too while drinking raw milk

  • Tony

    Sorry but he looks like an idiot and is one. People who don’t do a good job of assessing risk advising us what to eat. I guess they forgot about the organic food that has killed people over the years

    • http://creamabuscaro.com/ Jeff Byrnes

      Please supply statistics that show how many more people have died from consuming organics (and how) vs. the deaths and atrocious health attributed to consuming inorganic, pesticide laden, and genetically modified foods.
      You could kill someone by running them over with a bicycle but you’re far more likely to succeed in the task with a Mack Truck.
      Do you always argue with logical fallacies to make a point… on the top of your head?

  • Tony

    BTW The current day Monsanto didn’t make PCBs or agent orange and even th sold Monsanto never made DDT. He is a male — I guess since Hitler was a male as well lets blame him for Hitler. New Monsanto as formed in 2000 from Pfizer/Pharmacia/ The chemical part was spun off as Solutia. The new Monsanto has the same name but different owners and employees.

    • Stu Azole

      sshhhh, these guys don’t want logic. They want PANIC! After all, emotional protest is far more valuable than informed protest.

  • Tony

    I am pretty sure those guys are smokers of weed but I guess that is 100% safe and organic

    • http://creamabuscaro.com/ Jeff Byrnes

      Every state that has legalized medical mj has seen, on average, a 9% decrease in traffic incidences related to DUIs. So, yeah, it is safe – and generally much more organic than alcohol.
      Google this: 9% decrease in dui medical marijuana
      and eat crow.

  • Stu Azole

    I hope every one of their sponsors stops using cotton, probably the largest GMO crop by far, immediately. I’m sure that’ll help the bottom line. LOL.

    • http://creamabuscaro.com/ Jeff Byrnes

      There were many people in attendance who represent Patagonia. last I checked they are one of the biggest companies spearheading the movement to draw down from GMO and pesticide laden crops. Also, your “all-or-nothing” cynicism is childish. Changing the system takes time, not snide condescending remarks from the safety of a desk chair. What are you doing to help, Azole?

  • Educate Yourself

    Stu, Tony & Guest: Wake up and educate yourself.
    http://youtu.be/uZgrOFjhzdg

    • Stu Azole

      LOL. I feel dumber now.

  • Sunova Surfboards Australasia

    yep ,so joining the ‘discussion’ with a bunch of know it all cynics…

  • http://creamabuscaro.com/ Jeff Byrnes

    You buy from Patagonia (many in attendance were from/representing them) and other similar clothiers. Best way to get the rest of the industry to pat attention and change is to support companies that offer alternatives, NOT simply run your cynical mouth like an armchair warrior offering no solutions.

  • http://creamabuscaro.com/ Jeff Byrnes

    I’m seeing a lot of comments about the lack of scientific evidence in the cynical comments below.
    A word about scientists: scientists, many with PhDs, work for big tobacco (and other nefarious corporations). They were hired to illegally make cigarettes more addicting and harmful.
    I’ll put my faith in scientists (I know many personally) who put human health and safety at the top of their priorities over those who put profits and personal gains over the people any time. You’d be wise to do the same.
    A word about cynics: cynicism is the cheapest and flimsiest of all ways to make a pretense at being intelligent and informed. Most cynics are also the biggest cowards I’ve ever met.
    There goes another whaaa!-mbulance. Must be on the way to pick up another cynic.