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New GMO bill introduced on Big Island

January 10, 2014
The Associated Press

HILO (AP) - A Big Island councilwoman is introducing a bill to ban all genetically modified crops on the island, despite new limits already being implemented through a bill passed late last year.

Hawaii County Councilwoman Brenda Ford is bringing back a bill that was shot down in a committee vote in September.

Ford said it's worthwhile to bring the bill back to have a discussion of where the county moves on genetically modified crops, but she said she doesn't expect the bill to pass.

"I don't think it's a waste of time," Ford said.

Ford said that she will bring the bill back to the council's public safety committee next month.

A bill signed in December by Mayor Billy Kenoi restricts the planting of genetically modified crops to enclosed structures, like greenhouses.

The councilwoman who introduced that bill, Margaret Wille, said she thinks Ford's bill should be discussed even though she isn't confident about its chances.

Other council members said that the county should implement its current plan before taking more action. A proposed committee to study the issue more has already been shot down.

"I think we're done," Council Chairman J Yoshimoto said. "We spent a lot of time on testimony. The council decided as far as the issue itself."

Exempted growers include papaya farmers and the Big Island Dairy, which uses transgenic corn for feed.



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