Hawaii County’s anti-GMO bill 113 passed too quickly, without consideration of unintended consequences

| | December 3, 2013
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Hawaii Island’s anti-GMO bill 113 was pushed through Hawaii County Council too quickly, writes farmer Richard Ha. It shouldn’t be about “us versus them” or “GMO vs organic,” but rather doing what is right for the community. There is a relatively small group of farmers and ranchers who, between them, cultivate 90 percent of the food produced on the Big Island. They have now banded together to say the same thing: “We need to think this through more carefully.” The consequences of bill 113 were not considered thoroughly. Consider the risk of rising energy prices, Ha writes: Hawaii’s climate offers a year-long growing season, and farmers must ward off pests somehow. Without advances in biotechnology that could provide pest-resistant crops, they’d have to use more petroleum-based chemicals to fight off pests and make fertilizers. With rising oil prices and an impending energy crisis, this practice is not sustainable. Opponents of biotechnology should keep an open mind to innovations that could increase agricultural sustainability. “We need to slow down, and research, and make informed decisions,” instead of rushing forward with legislation.

Read the full, original story here: Big Island’s Anti-GMO Bill 113: It’s Not ‘Who’ Is Right, It’s ‘What’ Is Right

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