As anti-GMO protests pop up
Birth defects are on the rise in Hawaii, leaving many to wonder if pesticides are to blame – including some pediatricians who are witnessing a spike in birth defects in babies.
In the town of Waimea, pediatrician Carla Nelson has seen at least 9 severe heart malformations in babies in the last five years, 10 times more than the national average. For the past three years, Nelson and other local doctors have found themselves at the center of a controversy over whether a cash crop of GM corn modified to withstand pesticides on four of the six main islands is the cause of an economic boom, or the source of the birth defects and illnesses. 
Hawaiians have attempted four times to rein in GMO manufacturers over the past two years, to no avail. On August 9, 10,000 people marched through Honolulu’s Waikiki tourist district, some of them holdings signs reading, “We Deserve the Right to Know: Stop Poisoning Paradise” and “Save Hawaii – Stop GMOs.” 
“The turnout and the number of groups marching showed how many people are very frustrated with the situation,” says native Hawaiian activist Walter Ritte of the island of Molokai.