‘Big Island’ on Hawaii passes bill banning GMOs, exempts GM papayas

d ede d b c c f b edb b f f w px
Anti-GMO signs outside the Hawaii County Council hearing room in September via Civil Beat

By a 6-3 vote, the Hawaii County Council passed Bill 113 on November 19 that prohibits all new genetically altered crops, effectively blocking biotech companies from taking up root on the Big Island. Violators could be fined $1000 a day.

The 200 or so papaya farmers on the Big Island, who grow genetically modified papaya, are exempt from the bill. Mayor Billy Kenoi has 10 days to sign the bill, veto it or or take no action, in which case it would automatically become law. He has not indicated what he might do. However, if he does exercise his veto powers, it is believed there are enough votes to override a veto.

The bill’s passage comes just days after the Hawaiian island of Kauai pushed forward legislation that severely increases regulations of biotech companies.

Dean Okimoto, president of the Hawaii Farm Bureau, said that while the bill targets large biotech, it could end up hurting small farmers down the road. “How can you say you can only farm what you are farming now?” he said. “You may be putting guys out of business by restricting what they can and cannot use going forward. The cattle guys are depending on trying to develop a drought resistant grass.”

GMO supporters have said they may challenge the new law in court if enacted. While the state Attorney General’s Office has declined to give an opinion, county Corporation Counsel Lincoln Ashida has said the county has the legal authority to enact the law.

Read the full, original story here: Council Passes GMO bill

Additional Resources:

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
ft covidresponseus feature

Video: Viewpoint: The US wrote the global playbook on the coronavirus and then ignored it

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend