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POLICY & REGULATION: Hawaii: Big Island Mayor Signs Biotech, GMO Ban Into Law



                                  PART 1


------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   HAWAII: BIG ISLAND MAYOR SIGNS BIOTECH, GMO BAN INTO LAW

SOURCE:  Huffington Post

AUTHOR:  Sophie Cocke

URL:     http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/05/big-island-biotech-ban_n_4395521.html

DATE:    09.12.2013

SUMMARY: "Mayor Billy Kenoi signed Bill 113 into law on Thursday, prohibiting biotech companies from operating on the Big Island and banning farmers from growing any new genetically altered crops. "

----- archive: http://www.genet-info.org/information-services.html -----


HAWAII: BIG ISLAND MAYOR SIGNS BIOTECH, GMO BAN INTO LAW

Mayor Billy Kenoi signed Bill 113 into law on Thursday, prohibiting biotech companies from operating on the Big Island and banning farmers from growing any new genetically altered crops.

The bill exempts the island?s GMO papaya industry.

Kenoi said that the new law signals the county?s desire to encourage community-based farming and ranching, as opposed to playing host to global agribusiness corporations in a letter to council members announcing his decision to sign the bill.

None of the biotech companies that have taken up root in Hawaii in recent years, such as Monsanto, Syngenta and Pioneer, operate on Big Island. The new law makes sure that remains the case.

"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," Kenoi wrote to council members. "We are determined to do what is right for the land because this place is unlike any other in the world."

Kenoi said debate over the bill at times grew ?divisive and hurtful? and that some of the island?s farmers have been ?treated disrespectfully.? He urged community healing.

"We are determined to reunite our farming community to create a stronger and more vibrant agricultural sector," he wrote. "It is time to end the angry rhetoric and reach out to our neighbors."

The majority of Hawaii?s farming industry opposed the bill.

Passage of the Big Island bill comes just weeks after Kauai passed its own law relating to GMO and pesticide disclosure. A bill similar to Kauai?s law is expected to be introduced in the Maui County Council on Friday.



                                  PART 2

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   HAWAII ISLAND MAYOR SIGNS BILL RESTRICTING GMO CROPS

SOURCE:  Star Advertiser

AUTHOR:  

URL:     http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/breaking/20131205_Hawaii_island_mayor_signs_bill_restricting_GMO_crops.html

DATE:    09.12.2013

SUMMARY: "Hawaii island Mayor Billy Kenoi Thursday afternoon signed a bill designed to limit the future planting of genetically modified crops."

----- archive: http://www.genet-info.org/information-services.html -----


HAWAII ISLAND MAYOR SIGNS BILL RESTRICTING GMO CROPS

Hawaii island Mayor Billy Kenoi Thursday afternoon signed a bill designed to limit the future planting of genetically modified crops.

"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," Kenoi said in a statement.

The bill, approved last month by the Hawaii County Council 6-3, restricts the planting of genetically modified crops to enclosed structures like greenhouses.

Farmers who already grow GMO crops would be exempted from the new ban. That includes the Big Island Dairy and papaya growers, who largely rely on modified varieties that are resistant to the ringspot virus.

In 2008, the county adopted a more limited genetically modified organism bill that banned genetically modified coffee and taro.

Hawaii County is the second county in the state to restrict genetically modified crops. The Kauai County Council voted Nov. 16 to override a veto of a bill requiring large farms to disclose use of genetically modified crops.



                                  PART 3

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   HAWAII TAKE MORE STEPS TO LIMIT SPREAD OF GMO CROPS

SOURCE:  Reuters

AUTHOR:  Christopher D'Angelo

URL:     http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/07/usa-gmos-hawaii-idUSL2N0JL1RL20131207

DATE:    09.12.2013

SUMMARY: "Critics of genetically modified crops have introduced new measures to limit the spread of biotech corn, soy and other crops on the Hawaiian island of Maui, pushing back against companies that want to use the tropical region as a testing ground."

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HAWAII TAKE MORE STEPS TO LIMIT SPREAD OF GMO CROPS

Critics of genetically modified crops have introduced new measures to limit the spread of biotech corn, soy and other crops on the Hawaiian island of Maui, pushing back against companies that want to use the tropical region as a testing ground.

Maui County Councilwoman Elle Cochran introduced a bill on Friday that would require companies to disclose when they use pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on the island.

The bill is modeled after a measure approved on the island of Kauai last month that controls the planting of biotech crops and the use of pesticides by agrichemical companies.

The Kauai bill requires large agricultural companies to disclose pesticides and GMOs, as well as establish buffer zones around schools, homes and hospitals. Similarly, the Maui bill targets companies that use more than five pounds or 15 gallons of restricted use pesticides annually.

On Thursday, Hawaii Island Mayor Billy Kenoi signed into law a measure that prohibits biotech companies from growing any new genetically modified crops on the largest of the archipelago's islands.

An exception to the new law is GMO papaya, which has been genetically altered to resist disease and is now extensively grown in Hawaii.

"Today our communities expect that government will be as cautious as possible in protecting our food and water supplies," Kenoi said in a statement.

"This ordinance expresses the desires and demands of our community for a safe, sustainable agricultural sector that can help feed our people while keeping our precious island productive and healthy."

The Hawaii law goes into effect immediately and includes fines of $1,000 per day for noncompliance.

The measures in the Hawaiian islands are part of a larger battle brewing in the United States and several other countries. Biotech crop critics argue that genetically modified crops, first introduced in 1996, lead to increased pesticide use, environmental damage and health problems for people and animals.

The most popular biotech crops are corn and soybeans that have been genetically altered to make the plants tolerant of chemical herbicides and resist pest damage. Farmers say using biotech crops improves production and makes fighting weeds easier.

The biotech crop industry has been fighting back against measures such as those in Hawaii and recent moves in other U.S. states to require the labeling of food containing genetically modified ingredients.

The companies assert that biotech crops are essential to boost global food production and improve environmental sustainability. They say the crops and the pesticides used on them are used safely and are already well regulated by state and federal agencies.

The leading biotech crop companies include Monsanto Co , DuPont, Syngenta AG and Dow AgroSciences, a division of Dow Chemical Com.



                                  PART 4

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   HAWAII: BIG ISLAND MAYOR SIGNS BILL RESTRICTING GMOS

SOURCE:  Capital Press

AUTHOR:  

URL:     http://www.capitalpress.com/article/20131206/ARTICLE/131209935

DATE:    09.12.2013

SUMMARY: "The mayor the Big Island of Hawaii has signed a bill restricting genetically modified crops."

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HAWAII: BIG ISLAND MAYOR SIGNS BILL RESTRICTING GMOS

Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi has signed a bill restricting genetically modified crops.

The mayor?s office says he signed the bill Thursday.

The Hawaii County Council voted to approve a bill restricting the planting of genetically modified crops to enclosed structures such as greenhouses. Critics say the measure will give growers elsewhere a competitive advantage.

Papaya farmers and others who already grow genetically modified crops would be exempted.

Kenoi says in a message to the council that the new ordinance conveys a desire to support community-based farming and ranching over global agribusiness corporations.

The Kauai County Council voted last month to override a veto of a bill requiring large farms to disclose use of genetically modified crops. 



                                  PART 5

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   HAWAII: BIG ISLAND APPROVES GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROP BILL

SOURCE:  The garden island

AUTHOR:  

URL:     http://thegardenisland.com/news/state-and-regional/big-island-approves-genetically-modified-crop-bill/article_ebdda4cb-048f-5083-b461-18790168716a.html

DATE:    22.11.2013

SUMMARY: "A second Hawaii county has approved a bill addressing genetically modified crops. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports the Hawaii County Council in a 6-3 vote Tuesday approved a bill restricting expansion of transgenic crops grown on the Big Island."

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HAWAII: BIG ISLAND APPROVES GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROP BILL

A second Hawaii county has approved a bill addressing genetically modified crops.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald (http://bit.ly/I55i8Y) reports the Hawaii County Council in a 6-3 vote Tuesday approved a bill restricting expansion of transgenic crops grown on the Big Island.

The measure limits most use to enclosed structures such as greenhouses.

Lorie Farrell of Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United says a dozen Big Island agriculture organizations opposed the bill.

Opponents say it will give growers elsewhere a competitive advantage. They also say discussion among council members was not significant before the meeting.

Farmers already growing genetically modified crops, including papaya growers, would be exempt from the new ban.

The Kauai County Council on Saturday voted to override a veto of a bill requiring large farms to disclose use of genetically modified crops.



                                  PART 6

------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:   HAWAII LAWMAKERS MULL GM CROP, PESTICIDE BILLS AFTER COUNTIES TAKE ACTION

SOURCE:  Daily Journal

AUTHOR:  

URL:     http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/1eaa1d2e4fa54dacb0cc694730b9ad65/HI--Hawaii-Agriculture/

DATE:    22.11.2013

SUMMARY: "State lawmakers are considering legislation affecting genetically modified crops and pesticides now that several counties have taken steps to regulate them."

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HAWAII LAWMAKERS MULL GM CROP, PESTICIDE BILLS AFTER COUNTIES TAKE ACTION

State lawmakers are considering legislation affecting genetically modified crops and pesticides now that several counties have taken steps to regulate them.

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Sen. Clarence Nishihara said he hopes the governor will make clear the state has the authority to pre-empt the county initiatives. But Nishihara said he will likely propose a state pre-emption bill next year if Gov. Neil Abercrombie doesn't take the lead, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser (http://bit.ly/18TAqPg) reported.

Kauai County recently moved to require large farms to disclose their use of pesticides and genetically modified crops. The Hawaii County Council on Wednesday approved a bill restricting the planting of genetically modified crops. Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi plans to decide next week whether he will veto the bill.

Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa, after observing developments in Kauai and Hawaii counties, announced Wednesday that he signed a pesticide disclosure agreement with agricultural giant Monsanto, which has farms on Maui and Molokai.

Abercrombie spokeswoman Christine Hirasa said the administration supports local farmers vital to Hawaii's long-term sustainability and is working to expand the state's agriculture industry.

"Any decisions to impose additional regulations above and beyond those already established by federal regulatory agencies should be based on proven science," she said in a statement. "The administration will continue to work toward a regulatory structure that protects and balances the needs of farmers, Hawaii's agricultural industry, and the people of Hawaii."

House Agriculture Committee Chairwoman Rep. Jessica Wooley said she would oppose pre-empting the counties unless it was part of a broader agreement with the counties and others on regulating genetically modified organisms.

"I would not support pre-emption unless we had some significant guarantees in place for all the people who have been so concerned about this issue," she said.

The courts likely will decide whether the county laws are legal, she said.

Wooley said she would again call for labeling genetically modified produce sold in the state. Her labeling bill passed the House last session but did not advance in the Senate.

Sen. Mike Gabbard, who chairs the Senate environment committee, said he's looking at bills requiring labeling for genetically modified foods and greater disclosure of pesticide use. He said he's encouraged that lawmakers are listening to people's concerns about genetically modified organisms.

"I commend the Kauai County Council for taking steps to address health concerns related to the use of pesticides and I also respect Hawaii County Council's right to go with a GMO ban," Gabbard said in an email.

He said he wouldn't pre-empt the ability of counties to act on the issue.