And the European Commission concluded last year: "Biotechnology, in particular GMOs, is not per se, more risky than conventional plant breeding technologies."
"We have a very strong and reliable regulatory system. It takes 10 years to get anything to market," said Alicia Maluafiti. She is the Executive Director for the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association.
She says companies are already required to label GMOs with known allergens or toxins.
"We need to do a better job of educating them, that they are just as healthy and safe and nutritious and any food," she said.
Right now, the world population sits at seven billion, and is expected to reach nine billion by 2050.
Global demand is skyrocketing for vitamin-enhanced foods, crops resistant to pests and the elements, or simply a papaya that’s free of the ring spot virus.
"Without transgenic papaya we wouldn't even have an organic papaya and papaya would be gone," said Maluafiti.
"I think it's a great science, but I think we have to evaluate everything based on the science behind it," said professor Hector Valenzuela, who is a crop extension specialist at the University of Hawaii.
He said genetic engineering has its place, but it's also taking away from what Hawaii needs most, which is focusing on foods people can grow and eat.
"Food security consists of communities being able to take care of themselves," he said.