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Maui Third Hawaiian Island to Consider Restricting Pesticides and GMOs

(Beyond Pesticides, December 11, 2013) Following the counties of Kaua’i and Hawaii, Maui Council Member Elle Cochran has introduced legislation (full text available here) that will require disclosure of pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture. In addition, the bill requires buffer zones and a health impact study.

The Council Member feels it is important to make permanent a voluntary agreement reached between the Mayor of Maui and Monsanto, according the Associated Press. Monsanto, which has written on similar legislation in the other Hawaii counties, maintains that, “Monsanto is committed to being a good neighbor and responsible business. We have very strict policies and practices in place to ensure we meet all state and federal laws, operate in a responsible and safe manner.” The Maui Farm Bureau has said that these technologies are necessary to grow food for a growing population.

Kauai made history in Hawaii and worldwide in November when it enacted a law to force public disclosure of large scale production of experimental genetically engineered organisms and pesticide use. Using the authority vested in local political subdivisions by the state’s constitution, the law seeks to “to establish provisions to inform the public, and protect the public from any direct, indirect, or cumulative negative impacts on the health and the natural environment of the people and place of the County of Kaua‘i, by governing the use of pesticides and genetically modified organisms.” The Council, with an outpouring of community support, voted 5-2 to override the Mayor’s veto of Bill 2491, introduced by Council Member Gary Hooser. The bill was originally passed by the Council on October 16, 2013 by a 6-1 vote. For more details on the legislation, see GE Restrictions Become Law, Kauai Council Overrides Mayor’s Veto.

On December 5, 2013, Mayor Billy Kenoi signed into law a bill Bill 113, which was introduced by Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille, that bans new open growing of GMOs in Hawaii County, the Big Island. The measure passed the Council on November 19. In a letter sent with the signing of the bill, Mayor Kenoi said, according to bigislandnow.com, “Our community has a deep connection and respect for our land, and we all understand we must protect our island and preserve our precious natural resources. . .We are determined to do what is right for the land because this place is unlike any other in the world. . . “With this new ordinance we are conveying that instead of global agribusiness corporations, we want to encourage and support community-based farming and ranching.”

Council Member Brenda Ford had introduced legislation to ban all transgenic crops on the Big Island. It failed in committee. The bill that ultimately passed contains an emergency exemption for insects and diseases that threaten a crop. The exception requires a Council vote after a determination that there are no viable alternatives. Much of the papaya grown on the island is genetically modified to resist the ringspot virus. However, Kaua’i is home to a larger number of genetically engineered crops than the Big Island.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: Associated Pressbigislandnow.com


2 Responses to “Maui Third Hawaiian Island to Consider Restricting Pesticides and GMOs”

  1. 1
    Hawaiian Islands are leading the WAY=- becoming Self Reliant as The Original Way Returns and Rises Says:

    Go Maui – Kanaka!

    Who will be the first to BAN ALL
    ? Thank you to Big Island !

    Kauai – let’s follow through and up – must head for the constitutional big ban of all pesticides and ge’s (organic herbs repellants have been used by many other farmers to replace!toxic pesticides, round up, etc! While we ARE Saving and Protecting our Beee nations , our helpers)— many kudos to all of you and your hard,. determined , work. the Ge-GMO-Pesticide Big Ban movement for humane food health and All of Life is just beginning and it’s time.
    We deserve this.

    Selling out is not an option nor a solution anymore!


  2. 2
    Jackie Says:

    Monsanto has admitted to having polluted the entire planet. What makes you think that they have changed in anyway now? The pesticides that are being used now are only a molecule away from what happened during the years of DDT and PCB’s.
    We don’t have a Rachel Carson to protect our environment today. We need everyone to stand up to these companies and defend our planet for future generations.
    We are in jeopardy of altering every living creature. We have pesticides in our oceans, the water we drink, in our bodies and in the bodies of all living organisms. It rains pesticides.
    We are just now passing on the harm that was done to us back in the 50’s 60’s and 70’s. Our children are now experiencing
    the endocrine disrupting health diseases that are directly linked to the altering effects of pesticides exposure.
    Please don’t let them feminize males and make women infertile. Please stop them from doing anymore harm to our world.

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