Activists in Hawaii work to ban GE crops

SOURCE:  Hawaii Tribune Herald, USA

AUTHOR:  Tom Callis

URL:     http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/sections/news/local-news/gmo-critics-fight-ban.html

DATE:    15.05.2013

SUMMARY: “Genetic engineering opponents turned out in force Tuesday before the Hawaii County Council to support a bill that could determine the future of agriculture on the Big Island. The bill would prevent farmers from planting any genetically modified crops not already grown on the island, and has gained enthusiastic support from critics of the biotech industry. […] More than 100 people from across the island signed up to speak before the council’s Committee on Public Safety and Mass Transit. A large majority spoke in favor of the bill, which will be discussed again at the committee‚s May 29 meeting.”

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


GMO CRITICS FIGHT FOR BAN

Genetic engineering opponents turned out in force Tuesday before the Hawaii County Council to support a bill that could determine the future of agriculture on the Big Island.

The bill would prevent farmers from planting any genetically modified crops not already grown on the island, and has gained enthusiastic support from critics of the biotech industry.

“I don‚t want my kids eating it. I don‚t want it in our Hawaii,” said Monique Cobb-Adams, speaking from Waimea.

“I think this type of frankenscience doesn‚t belong here.”

More than 100 people from across the island signed up to speak before the council’s Committee on Public Safety and Mass Transit. A large majority spoke in favor of the bill, which will be discussed again at the committee’s May 29 meeting.

Much of the criticism focused on the biotech companies that have set up farms in every other county in the state to grow seed.

Most of the seeds, primarily for corn, are genetically modified to increase crop yields or lower costs, such as by making plants resistant to herbicides or harmful insects.

Worth about $243 million, that industry has become the largest in the state’s agriculture sector, fueled by the widespread adoption of genetically engineered crops throughout the United States.

The companies, such as Monsanto and Syngenta, benefit from Hawaii’s four growing seasons, but have not established operations on the Big Isle.

Many of the testifiers said they want to keep this industry out of the county, believing it has negative health effects yet to be fully acknowledged and leads to the expanded use of some chemicals.

“Our island should not be used as a laboratory,” said Cheryl King, speaking from Kona.

King said she isn‚t sure if genetically engineered crops are bad for human health, but added she believes the risk is great.

“Once GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are unleashed they are here to stay,” she said.

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2 responses to “Activists in Hawaii work to ban GE crops

  1. “The bill would prevent farmers from planting any genetically modified crops not already grown on the island”…. So the stuff that’s already there is ok?

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