Hawaii GMO Fight Turns Ugly for Biotech Giants

Posted on Nov 26 2013 - 12:40am by Sustainable Pulse

Hawaii has long been described as GMO Ground Zero, with biotech giants flocking to the paradise islands for the open air testing of their potentially dangerous new GM crops and pesticides.

However, events over the last 2 weeks have caused Monsanto, Syngenta and friends to panic, as a groundswell of public opinion has left them on the edge of losing control of their home away from homes.

First Blow

The island of Kauai delivered the first big right hook 10 days ago, when Bill 2491, ordering biotech companies to disclose pesticide use, was passed. Kauai County Council voted 5-2 to override Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s veto of the bill, leading to scenes of total jubilation amongst GMO Free supporters.

Andrea Brower, who spent several years co-directing the non-profit Malama Kauai told Sustainable Pulse that; “For the island, the passage of this bill into law means we are finally taking the first step towards getting the information we need to protect our people and land from the impacts of the agrochemical-GMO industry…Once we have full disclosure of pesticides use, along with an environmental and health impact study, it will be more clear what needs to be done to protect people’s health and the environment.”

“For these companies, making information public is dangerous and being held accountable is costly. They are not accustomed to being regulated in any meaningful way, and are afraid of the possibility of government actually working for the good of the people as opposed to facilitating corporate interests. So yes, Kauai’s pesticide disclosure law is a real concern to them because it marks an assertion of people’s rights. Testifying before the Kauai County Council, BASF’s operation manager Kirby Kester stated that the industry was against the bill because it might have the ‘ramification’ of similar laws being ‘adopted in other counties and states.’ Let’s sure hope so!” Brower concluded.

Knock-Out Punch

Just 3 days after the first blow to Biotech’s grip on Hawaii an amazing second slap landed on their already sore faces with the governing council for Hawaii (or Big) Island banning the companies from operating on the island while barring growth of genetically modified organisms.

The Hawaii County Council approved Bill 113 by a vote of 6-3, which would mandate a possible 30 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine for any violator of the ban on growing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on Big Island, officially known as Hawaii Island, the largest and southernmost of the Hawaiian state.

“Finally after six months of tenacious public persistence of the majority of Hawaii island residents, Bill 113 to prohibit biotech companies and new open air genetic engineering has passed Hawaii County Council. Hawaii Island is the last major island with no known open air GMO experimentation and we need to keep it that way and grow local, healthy non-toxic, non-GMO food for Hawaii”, Babes Against Biotech Founder Nomi Carmona told Sustainable Pulse exclusively on Monday.

“The problem starts at the top and falls down on the constituents which is why this crucial push from the ground up at the County level is absolutely warranted, critical and the cleanest, most accountable form of government accessible by the affected constituents we currently have in GMO Ground Zero. We will certainly tackle the State legislature for all the Hawaiian islands and expect more attempts to strip County rights to protect citizens’ life and health as they tried last year, but we are not naive to the biotech lobby influence on key legislators and definitely need to clean House,” Carmona continued.

How many more punches can Monsanto and friends take before they leave Hawaii for good? According to GMO Free supporters they are already down for the count!

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Sustainable Pulse is a global news outlet covering sustainable agriculture, GMOs and pesticides.

5 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Adolph I Monsanto November 26, 2013 at 08:57 - Reply

    This is great news, Hawaii! Keep up the great work.

    But always keep asking, “What will be Monsanto’s next step?”

  2. Mark Korngute November 27, 2013 at 05:36 - Reply

    Something seems a bit fishy. Companies like Minsanto and Dow etc. don’t back down so easily. They must have something up their dishonest, lying, deceiving sleeves. I too believe that mandatory labeling should be mandatory without exception. Not only in the Hawaiian Islands but all of the USA. As a matter of fact, All GMO’s should be outlawed…

    • monsantosucks November 29, 2013 at 23:38 - Reply

      Monsanto and friends big hope lies in the passing of the TPP & Fast Track. If America joins the TPP, ALL laws restricting/banning GMO’s and their creators become null n void along with many other laws including our Constitution! Obama is trying to pass Fast Track by the end of this year. I encourage everyone to research this! TPP & Fast Track only bennifit corporations. America would change completely and for the worse!

  3. Eva November 27, 2013 at 11:01 - Reply

    This is fantastic news! Keep up the good work and get them the heck out of there. Now we need to figure out how the other states can make this happen.

  4. Jack Weber December 2, 2013 at 21:51 - Reply

    While the news so far is good, our battle is far from over. This Bill 113 is currently in the hands of our mayor who must veto it, sign it into law, or do nothing (in which it becomes law) this week. Should the veto occur, we will need every vote of the 6-3 in favor-of council to hold their ground to override the veto. If one council member changes his/her vote, the bill is dead. We have all testified extensively and are ready for anything. Please sign this petition to our mayor in solidarity!


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