In Unexpected Move Big Island Mayor Approves Bill Restricting GMO Crops
In a move that took many anti-GMO activists by surprise yesterday, Hawai‘i County Mayor Billy Kenoi signed a bill banning biotech companies and farmers from growing any new genetically altered crop on Big Island.
In a letter explaining his decision, Mayor Billy Kenoi acknowledged that the bill had been “divisive and hurtful” at times and said it was “time to end the angry rhetoric
and reach out to our neighbors.”
Bill 113 effectively halts the expansion of GMO crops on Hawai‘i’s largest island (after which the state is named) by prohibiting open-air cultivation of new varieties of transgenic plants. This means biotech companies like Monsanto, Dow, Du-Pont-Pioneer, BASF, Syngenta — who have established themselves on other Hawaiian islands like Kauai, Maui, Molakai, and O‘ahu — won’t be able to grow GMO crops on the Big Island.
The new law, however, exempts papaya growers who cultivate transgenic varieties of the tree that are resistant to the ringspot virus, and Big Island Dairy, which grows GMO corn to feed its livestock. (Big Island, incidentally, was one of the first Hawai‘ian islands to pass any kind of GMO regulatory bill — back in 2008 it had banned GMO coffee and taro.)
In a letter sent yesterday to council members explaining his decision, Kenoi said: “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.”
End of excerpt.
Got to love how chemical company-biotech mouthpieces constantly use that line about decisions being made out of fear and not science. Agent Orange was science? PCBS? Proliferating birth defects is science? Proliferating diseases? Weed resistance? Monoculture? These companies pushing GMOs don't practice science. They practice marketing and sales and using their money and political ties to push poison. Last I knew science was supposed to be used to better mankind, not destroy it.
Congratulations Hawaii for choosing life.