Farmers on Hawaii’s Big Island say proposed bill could kill local dairy industry

| | November 4, 2013
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The only way to stay in business as a dairy farmer is to also grow corn, Tom Callis reports in West Hawaii Today. Many dairy farmers in Hawaii grow genetically modified corn, which would be banned if the Hawaii County Council approves bill 113. These farmers are concerned that a GMO ban could negatively affect the dairy industry.

For  [Corey] Gillins, the corn, used to make feed for the cows, is a key part of the dairy’s operation and its best chance of survival. It’s a part of the business he watches over closely, making him as much a corn farmer as a dairy operator.

“Our model works that — if you are going to make it — you have to grow corn,” he said.

It’s a lesson that has been learned over the last few decades as the rising cost of shipping feed from the mainland has strained Hawaii’s dairy industry.

But it’s not without its controversy.

The corn is genetically modified to be both resistant to Roundup, a commonly used herbicide, as well as pests. It uses an anti-bug protein referred to as Bt.

Read the full, original story here: “GMO issue strikes chord at corn farm, dairy”

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