Political Radar

Seed money

January 13th, 2014

Wealthy mainland philanthropists continued to help underwrite the anti-genetically modified organism movement in Hawaii in 2012.

The Ceres Trust, a Northfield, Minn.-based private foundation led by Kent Whealy, a seed preservation activist, and Judith Kern, a philanthropist, donated $228,550 to Hawaii SEED in 2012, federal tax records show.

The Koloa-based Hawaii SEED is behind groups such as GMO-Free Kauai, which was among the leaders in the push for a GMO and pesticide regulation law on Kauai last year. Hawaii County, meanwhile, approved a law restricting new GMO crops.

The Ceres Trust had donated $145,490 to Hawaii SEED in 2011.

Whealy and Kern are also major donors to the Center for Food Safety, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that has challenged the biotechnology industry. The Center for Food Safety has offered legal help to defend Kauai County from a federal lawsuit from biotech companies.

The Ceres Trust donated $550,000 to the Center for Food Safety in 2012. The trust also gave the center $550,000 in 2011 and $650,000 in 2010, tax records show.

Tax filings for 2013 -- the year the anti-GMO movement broke through politically in Hawaii -- will not be publicly available for another year.

7 Responses to “Seed money”

  1. Johnson:

    Fascinating! Mahalo.

  2. Jaspar:

    So how did the anti-GMO redshirts spend all that money?

  3. Scott:

    No wonder those poor multi-national corporations need to inject some cash into the pro-GMO discussion, what with all those wealthy "mainland" philanthropists throwing their money around.

  4. Guido Sarducci:

    Illegal Mainland Campaign Contributions Flow to anti-GMO activist Ritte


  5. Especially Incognito:

    Another wording is, you reap what you sow.

  6. Chuck Lasker:

    So why haven't they paid for their "Mana March" parade as they'd promised? All that mainland money, and they stiff the taxpayer.

  7. Joni Rose:

    More proof that it isn't local people that are speaking out. No wonder we have so many nasty comments going after the local farmers big and small. The no aloha comes from these folks and it shows.

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