Kauai Council passes anti-GMO, anti-pesticide bill in 6-1 vote

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Opponents of Bill 2491 outside of Kauai County building. via Honolulu Civil Beat


After 19 hours of deliberation, the Kauai city council voted 6-1 to pass Bill 2491, a controversial bill introduced by councilman Gary Hooser. The bill has been hotly debated for months and has faced several setbacks.

Bill 2491 will require that agriculture companies disclose all information regarding the use of pesticides, including how much is being sprayed and where. It requires the development of buffer-zones between areas where pesticides are sprayed and public places such as parks, schools and hospitals. The bill also forces farmers to publicly disclose when and where they are planting GM crops. Any violation of the bill could lead to prison or massive fines.

Kauai’s Mayor Bernard Carvalho expressed concern over how Kauai was going to fund and enforce the $1.3 million bill, offering a less costly alternative whereby agricultural companies could voluntarily divulge information about pesticide use. Russell Kokubun, chair of the state Department of Agriculture, assured Carvalho that the state could enforce these guidelines by the end of the month. The council, however, remained skeptical that agriculture companies would follow these guidelines without enforcement.

Companies like Syngenta, DuPont-Pioneer, Dow, BASF and the Kauai Coffee Co employ over 600 people in Kauai and will be hit the hardest by the strict pesticide-use requirements. Many are worried that this bill will negatively affect the economy.

Read the full, original story here: “Kauai County Crosses the Rubicon, Council Passes Pesticide and GMO Bill”

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