Kauai’s GMO debate widens the gap between farmers and concerned residents

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Protestors representing both sides of the resolution 2491 debate. via Lia Barrett

On Kapule Highway, in front of the Lihue airport, Kauai’s battle lines are drawn. On one side, native Hawaiians and second generation Filipinos chant in unison — dressed in sky blue “We Are Kauai Ag” T-shirts, and muddy work boots they wear in the cornfields, where they grow GM seed for four of the world’s largest chemical manufacturers. The rarely heard cheer, “G-M-O, G-M-O,” ruffles another pack of activists across the road, dressed in board shorts, flip-flops and fire-engine red “Pass the Bill” tees. They support Kauai County resolution 2491, an attempt to cut the local seed industry off at the knees, which threatens the jobs of their rivals. Most of them are haole, or white, and live nowhere near the farms they hope to shut down.

Inside the overflowing Kauai Veterans Center, tension is high. A parade of residents and a smattering of experts testify before Gary Hooser, who introduced 2491, and his six colleagues on the county council, blessing or cursing the bill in equal measure.

Read the full, original story here: “GMOs are tearing a tropical paradise apart

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