With GMO ban in place in Hawaii County, and citrus greening disease threatening, what does future hold

A few days ago, we learned that the Florida citrus industry, which has lost more than a million acres to citrus greening disease, may have found a GMO solution. Will Hawaii County be prepared if the disease comes to the islands? Although anti-GMO activists like to say they are on the side of farmers, if citrus greening disease makes it to the Big Island and we are not legally allowed to use the Florida solution, it is only homeowners and small farmers who will be hurt.

The members of Hawaii County’s city council “have proven that they cannot separate fact from fiction.” The councilmembers “do not understand farming” or Hawaii’s farmers.The council recently passed Bill 113, which bans the open cultivation of genetically modified crops.

The council brought in Jeffrey Smith, a well-known anti-GMO crusader and former instructor in “yogic flying,” to testify on the supposed dangers of GMOs for half an hour. In contrast, the council allowed several scientists, who were experts in plant science, to testify for a total of three minutes.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Activists promotion of 'fog of misinformation' about GMOs challenges science communicators

Councilwoman Margaret Wille, who spearheaded the bill, “likes to show how many letters she has in favor of banning GMOs, but the smaller stack from people opposing the ban was from the farmers who produce more than 90 percent of the calories grown here on the Big Island,” Ha writes. She has also accused the scientists, who are researchers at the University of Hawaii, of being “mouthpiece[s] for the biotech industry.”

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Read the full, original story: Bill 113: What’s Next

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