POSTED: 28 MARCH 2008 - 8:30am HST

The Organic Corn Breakout Begins!

image above: Detail from label of No-GMO Popcorn - design by Juan Wilson

Join The Organic Corn Out Break!
by Diana Labedz on 27 March 2008

Unite to Plant, Grow & Eat Healthy food!

There is currently an Organic Corn Out Break happening on the island of Kauai. Kauai's citizens reject the philosophy that we must poison our environment and use the radical genetic engineering of plants and animals to produce enough food for everyone.

Fact: genetic engineering leads to less yield, not more. Concerned and caring Kaua'i citizens have organized to give away organic GMO free corn seeds and seedlings for planting island wide. This is a GMO protest. World citizens have lost the right to know if corn bought to feed families has been chemically modified (contains the pesticide in the corn). We do have the right to plant our own. There is a concern that our corn will be contaminated by the GMO crops that pepper Kauai's Island, next to schools, rivers and in our neighborhoods. Feel free to pick up your seeds at the following locations. For your popcorn pleasure we have bags of Organic GMO free popcorn available.

image above: The No-GMO Popper at Small Town Coffee is wheeled into place

Organic Corn seeds/plants and popcorn can be found at the following locations:

Storybook Theatre - Hanappe - Pop Corn sales
Family Movie Night First & Third Saturday night Family Night

The Lotus Root - Kapaa - Free seeds

Kauai Coffee - Kalaheo - Pop Corn sales

Small Town Coffee - Kapaa - Popcorn Sales
Every Monday night movie night, free seeds and plant'n pots coming soon

Vim & Vigor - Lihue - Popcorn Sales and free seeds

The Far Syde Tattoo - Hanapepe -Popcorn sales,
free seeds and plant'n pots coming soon.

Koloa Natural Foods - Koloa - Pop Corn Sales and free seeds

Papaya's - Kapaa - Popcorn Sold Out
Will have them soon, we are presently sold out

image above: Samples of organic corn seed being freely distributed by No-GMO Corn

Fact: Hawaii is considered to be a "ground zero" for the open field testing of genetically modified organisms. Is this happening in your neighborhood, it is mine.
FACT: Genetic engineered crops threaten organic farming in two ways. First, the widespread use of Bt, (biotechnology) crops is likely to hasten insect resistance to microbial Bt, thereby undermining an important natural insect repellant used by organic farmers. Second, contamination of organic fields with GE traits threatens the market for organic products, which consumers expect to be produced without the use of any genetic modification.

FACT: US farmers have already lost more than $300 million in annual corn export sales to Europe because of tainted crops and the possibility of GMO contamination.

FACT: More than fifty countries require the labeling of GE foods. What's up with the US?

image above: No-GMO Corn growing in raised bed, almost ready for dsitribution

Link here (0801-14CornOutBbreakFlyer.pdf) is a flyer for distribution, feel free to print it out and pass it around.

for more infot:

No-GMO Corn Outbreak!
contact: Diana Labedz
phone: 808-337-9977



POSTED: 29 MARCH 2008 - 8:00am HST

Organic corn ‘outbreak’ reported
by Rachel Gehrlein  on 28 March 2008 in The Garden Island News

In an attempt to make a statement about genetically modified corn on Kaua‘i, a loose conglomeration of community members has started to distribute organic corn seeds and corn seedlings island-wide.

According to Lauren Shaw-Meek, a manager at Vim & Vigor in Lihu‘e, the idea of the organic corn “outbreak” is to bring attention to what the group sees as the perils of GMO corn. By poking fun at the possibility of an organic corn “outbreak” the message is a little lighter and may reach a wider audience.

“It’s a rebellion of sorts,” Shaw-Meek said.

The idea that the organic corn can cross-pollinate with GMO corn puts those at risk who do not want to eat the GMO corn, Shaw-Meek added.

“The GMO companies do open-air testing with pesticides and herbicides,” Westside resident Diana LaBedz said. “The ground becomes sterile, destroying the land for future generations.”

LaBedz, a member of the Kaua‘i chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, said she is participating in the corn outbreak to help educate people on what is going on around the world on the GMO front.

“World citizens have lost the right to know if corn bought to feed families has been chemically modified (contains the pesticide in the corn),” LaBedz said in a e-mail. “There is a concern that our corn will be contaminated by the GMO crops that pepper Kaua‘i island, next to schools, rivers and in our neighborhoods. Kaua‘i’s citizens reject the philosophy that we must poison our environment and use the radical genetic engineering of plants and animals to produce enough food for everyone.”

Because of this belief, organic seeds, plants and even organic popcorn have been given out around the island.

During Monday night’s movie night at Small Town Coffee in Kapa‘a, organic popcorn was handed out to moviegoers. The Storybook Theatre in Hanapepe plans to distribute the organic popcorn during their family movie night on April 4th.

Free organic corn seeds were given out at the Lotus Root in Kapa‘a, Farsyde Tattoo in Hanapepe, Koloa Natural Foods, Papaya’s in Kapa‘a and Vim & Vigor in Lihu‘e.

Shaw-Meek said the free organic corn seeds “went like hotcakes” at Vim & Vigor
“They went over amazingly well,” Shaw-Meek said. “I’m not surprised the seeds flew out of here because people are excited about the planting season.”

According to LaBedz, most locations are already “sold out” of seeds.

“We have more seeds, we just need to distribute them,” she said.

Agreeing that the group is within its rights to express its message, one research scientist would like to work with them. According to Sarah Styan, a research scientist with Pioneer Seeds and president of the Hawai‘i Crop Improvement Association, farmers around the world are demanding biotec agriculture.

“The whole basis of our business is selling seeds of genetic purity and maintaining the genetic integrity of agriculture,” Styan said. “And just like any business, we are getting product out as fast as possible.”

Styan added that all types of agriculture, including organic, biotec and conventional, are needed to maintain sustainability.

“We need everybody working together,” Styan said. “If we work together, we can make agriculture stronger and improve sustainability.”

LaBedz said Kaua‘i can’t be sustainable with GMO crops.
“If you can’t protect your air, water and land we can’t be sustainable,” LaBedz said. “What they (GMO companies) are doing is permanent. We can’t roll back and undo it.”

[Editor's Note: The following are comments emailed to us concerning restrictions GMO companies have been able to have local property owners enforce on lessess and rentors.]


My understanding is that the large private land owners Robinson, A&B and Grove Farm all have a paragraph in the lease that anyone who leases from them may not grow corn. So it is a law of the lease contract. Robinson, A&B and Grove Farm all lease to one or more gmo companies on multiple sites.

The leases with the GMO companies gives them the sole right to grow corn on all of the owners land. I am not sure if there are any areas where you could lease land (from these owners) to grow corn, but I doubt it.

I am not sure how it works on the state land, some of it is being used for corn I believe.

There was a public notice many years back asking people not to grow corn while they are starting their corn. I think it was more a request than a law.

There could be more to this that I am not aware of. I do remember there being a letter sent out to ask people not to grow corn. Not sure which group was contacted, if it was farmers island wide or all west side residents.

The seed bank folks are excited to grow corn and help distribute seed and corn plants. They love the art work and text, very easy to understand.


Jeri De Pietro




It was a few years ago when they forced all that corn out of the Mana to Polihale area. I know that the state told them they couldn't do it. I think it was in the paper.

I think it was DLNR and there was some Military stuff but I heard from the corn farmer's son that it was mainly the GMO corn contamination issue - the farmers contaminating THEM - that cinched it for getting the farmers out. The pressure from the base didn't help matters though.


Andy Parx


for more see:
Island Breath: Protect the Halao (Kalo, Taro) 3/6/08
Island Breath: Kalo - The staple Food
Island Breath: Taro reseach protested 8/15/07
Island Breath: The Kalo Crisis on Kauai 8/3/05
Island Breath: Backyard Taro Growing 5/24/05