Business / In Brief • Mar. 14, 2013

Down to Earth stores to require GMO food labels

Down to Earth Organic & Natural will begin requiring store products with ingredients containing genetically modified organisms to be labeled by 2018.

The decision follows a similar announcement by Whole Foods recently.

“Whole Foods’ announcement is a game changer,” says Mark Fergusson, Down to Earth chief organic officer. “It marks a big victory in the move towards the labeling of genetically labeled foods. Down to Earth will monitor and review the situation and may move our implementation date earlier if that becomes possible.”

He said that GMOs pose health and environmental risks.

Started on Maui in 1977, Down to Earth has four stores on Oahu and one in Kahului.


Bank of Hawaii extends American Samoa run

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa – Bank of Hawaii has agreed to keep a branch open in American Samoa for another year while local officials try to help set up a replacement, an aide to Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga said.

Iulogologo Joseph Pereira, Moliga’s executive assistant, said Tuesday that one branch will now close March 15, 2014, while a second will close Friday as originally planned.

“Gov. Moliga wanted to make sure that there is a U.S. chartered bank still in the territory while seeking a U.S. replacement bank,” Moliga said.

Bank of Hawaii’s exit without a replacement would leave ANZ Bank, which is owned by Australia New Zealand Banking Group, as the only bank in American Samoa. ANZ is not based in the United States but is allowed to do business in the country.

Honolulu-based Bank of Hawaii originally announced plans in November to close both its branches in American Samoa. But the bank agreed last week to delay closing one and is now extending that delay.