Bill Maher, one of the most outspoken funny men around, is making his comedic rounds, and one stop is in Hawaii. In the islands, he is conducting the Aloha Live Stand Up Tour, and he has some hilarious, if not pertinent advice for the people of Maui regarding their fight against Monsanto and GMOs.
During his tour, Maher spoke to Maui Now about the island’s fight against Big Biotech:
“MN: . . .you may have heard that Maui had its own “power of the people” moment with respect to passing a bill calling for the suspension on the growth, testing and cultivation of GMO crops here in Maui County?
BM: All I can say to the folks on Maui who were a part of this is “You go, girl!” That’s fantastic. I’m jealous. We tried to do something like that in California a couple years ago.
In that case, we weren’t asking Monsanto to change anything. We were just asking that they let us know: Give us the information, label the products, so we can decide for ourselves.
Well, of course, a company like Monsanto, which owns all the great lobbyists in the world, went to work and they convinced people that it would cost them more money at the grocery store.
It was a disingenuous and dishonest thing to say, but it worked and people voted it down.
But we’ll be back again.
These things always take more than one time – medical marijuana, legal marijuana, gay marriage – it takes a while before people get used to an idea. They’ll get used to this, and we’ll have success.”
Though Maher jokes about Monsanto owning all the great lobbyists, he isn’t kidding. There’s a great open document which accounts for at least $1,230,000 in lobbying spending for 2015 here.
“MN: On this end, the bill is moving to federal court. The giant is awake, as it were. From your own firsthand experience ruffling political feathers, do you have any advice you can share?
BM: Get a good lawyer! You have got to fight these people on their own turf with their own tools. You can’t fight them singing Kumbaya.”
There are currently multiple lawsuits concerning Monsanto, as if people really took the comedians’ good advice:
- A class action lawsuit in California claiming that Monsanto falsely advertised its Round Up products.
- Monsanto recently had to pay $350,000 to settle claims in seven states put forth by angry farmers who discovered unapproved GM wheat in their fields.
- Monsanto is in the midst of a PCB lawsuit in St. Louis County which claims the company is negligent for creating this cancer-causing toxin which has harmed people for decades.
- Monsanto and Phillip Morris were recently sued in Argentina for “wrongfully causing the parental and infant plaintiffs to be exposed to those chemicals and substances which they both knew, or should have known, would cause the infant offspring of the parental plaintiffs to be born with devastating birth defects.”
It isn’t a funny matter, but Maher has a way of taking the edge off.
He continues, in his interview with Maui Now:
“Monsanto is – from my point of view – the most evil company in the world and that’s saying something in a world that also includes ExxonMobil, pharmaceutical companies, defense department companies and all sorts of merchants of death.
Monsanto has the potential to REALLY f#@k with all of us.
And they’re ruthless. They’re the Scientologists of the corporate world. I worry a lot about Monsanto, honestly, and I suppose my advice would be don’t bring a knife to a gun fight.”
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.