The hard-working farmers and ranchers of Hawaii have been targeted by activist organizations that have waged a heated campaign against biotechnology and pesticide use.
Thanks to our extended growing seasons, Hawaii is home to several seed-producing companies that have helped us transition from the once dominant sugar and pineapple plantations to now include high-tech agricultural production and research facilities.
Anti-pesticide and anti-GMO activist organizations with nationwide stature have recognized that if they are able to shut these farms down, they will affect agricultural biotechnology in the rest of the United States. Misguided laws are being enacted in Hawaii through a campaign of fear, charged emotional appeals and deliberate misinformation. These aggressive tactics are dividing local communities and dragging farmers into battles with national, if not global, implications.
Kauai County, Ordinance 960
A new law in Kauai County imposes onerous disclosure and notification requirements and sets arbitrary buffer zones on farms that use restricted-use pesticides or produce GMO crops. The law ignores the fact that farmers already have voluntary buffer zones and notifications in place and are reporting details of restricted-use pesticides as part of the county’s “Good Neighbor Program.”
Hawaii County, Bill 113
Although GMO crops have become a significant part of agriculture in Hawaii over the last 20 years, Bill 113 bans cultivation of any new genetically altered crops, including GMO papayas, unless registered with the county.
Maui County, November Ballot Question
Maui County is currently the most vulnerable in this scientifically bereft battle. Voters this November will decide whether to adopt a “Moratorium of the Cultivation of Genetically Engineered Organisms,” affecting two local biotech seed farms that contribute tens of millions to Maui’s economy and employ hundreds of local residents.
Read full, original post: The Showdown Over GMOs and Pesticides in Hawaii