Olelo Community Media has gathered people from both sides of the GMO (genetically modified organisms) debate for four nights of signature programming that aims to delve more deeply into this often divisive issue.

“The subject of GMOs is clearly one that many people in our community feel passionately about,” says Roy Amemiya, president & CEO of ‘?lelo. “We hope that GMO Week will help all of us gain a better understanding of both the pros and cons of GMO so that our community can create solutions that are in the best interest of Hawai‘i.” 

GMO Week launches on Monday, June 24 and continues through Thursday, June 27, running from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. each night. The ‘Olelo signature productions will air on Oahu on ‘Olelo Channel O‘AHU 55.

Because Neighbor Island interest in GMOs is so great, the shows will be also available during the same times on all of the Neighbor Islands through Channel 54, thanks to the local community access providers Akaku in Maui County, Na Leo ‘O Hawai‘i on the Big Island and Ho‘ike Kauai.

The shows will also available for online viewing through ‘?leloNet On Demand by visiting www.olelo.org.

Monday, June 24 and Tuesday, June 25

GMO Week starts with two pre-recorded shows from panels that convened earlier this month. The June 25 show will present a continuation of what airs on June 24. On the first night, 30 minutes of programming from the pro-GMO panel will be presented first, followed by 30 minutes from the anti-GMO panel. On the second night, the order will switch, with 30 minutes from the anti-GMO panel to air first, followed by the pro-GMO panel. 

Chad Blair of Honolulu Civil Beat served as the moderator for a pro-GMO panel that featured Dr. Dennis Gonsalves, director of the USDA Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo; Dean Okimoto, owner of Nalo Farms and president of the Hawai‘i Farm Bureau; and Adolph Helm, project manager for Dow AgriSciences’ Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i Mycogen Seeds, and the Seeds and Traits Research and Development Project, as well as a board member of the Hawai‘i Crop Improvement Association.

Beth-Ann Kozlovich of Hawai‘i Public Radio served as the moderator for the anti-GMO panel. That panel featured Walter Ritte, manager and teacher at Keawenui Fishpond and Learning Center of Moloka‘i; Gary Hooser, Kaua‘i County councilmember and chair of the Agriculture and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee; and Scott Cooney, an adjunct professor of sustainability at the Shidler College of Business at UH Manoa.

Wednesday, June 26 and Thursday, June 27

In an ‘Olelo first, the public statewide is encouraged to participate in two live discussions on GMOs through live tweets or pre-submitted comments by phone. Questions or comments by phone should be submitted by calling 834.5303 no later than 4 p.m. on June 27. To submit questions via Twitter, the community is asked to use the hashtag #olelogmo. The ‘Olelo web page on this topic is www.olelo.org/gmo.

Questions submitted by the community will be among those discussed by the gathered experts.

The pro-GMO position in both live shows will be represented by the individuals who participated in the pre-recorded panel earlier this month: Dr. Dennis Gonsalves, Dean Okimoto and Adolph Helm.

The anti-GMO position in the live shows will be represented by a number of individuals from the community.

‘Olelo hopes to air similar week-long signature productions three to four times each year to explore other important community issues in depth.

For more information, visit www.olelo.org.

 

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