Thursday, October 10, 2013

SPECIAL MEETING for GMO Bill 113 on October 15, 2013 at 4 pm

SPECIAL MEETING: 4 PM - October 15, 2013
Council Hearing for GMO BILL #113

Bill 113 was passed by the PSMTC on October 1, 2013 it is now before the COUNCIL for the first of two readings, on October 15, 2013.

Bill 113 GMO Prohibition (Comm 393.62) is on the Council agenda Tuesday, October 15, at 4:00 p.m. in Kona. Testimony is allowed on this second draft of Bill 113. There is a possibility that testimony could continue on Wednesday, but that is not known at this time. Don’t wait on that possibility….send your written testimony now.
In conjunction with the bill is Comm 394 formation of Ad Hoc Committee Relating to GE Crops and Plants, and testimony can be given on this.
Submit Testimony:
This is the last step to PASS the BILL!

Councilmember Wille is interested in passing the bill and forming an ad hoc committee as quickly as possible. One reason is the looming threat from the next Hawaii Legislature to pre-empt home rule. There is a problem with the bill….it allows Big Island Dairy’s GMO corn to continue to grow.

The bill grandfathers in GMO corn in Pepeekeo, Honomu and Ookala (approx. 350 acres) spread along the Hamakua coastline, allowing it to continue to grow, but not to expand acreage. This exemption is out of sync with GMO prohibition of “open air” cultivation. If GMO corn is not prohibited, non-GMO corn growers in Hamakua and elsewhere on Hawaii Island would be hard put to bring in a clean crop.

It is the intention of Councilmember Wille to have the ad hoc committee remove the GMO corn exemption AFTER the bill is passed. This “good intention” doesn’t assure removal, and could get derailed, leaving Hawaii Island with a second open air contaminating crop alive and well in the field.

Call your councilmember requesting an amendment be written to sunset GMO corn and presented at the Oct. 15 hearing. The Council contact list is attached. Testimony to sunset this corn within 24 months would be a good follow up to a call requesting an amendment. MANY VOICES MUST BE HEARD TO GET GMO CORN OUT OF THE BILL BEFORE IT PASSES.

Councilmember Onishi has drafted three amendments to gut the bill. Please also testify that you do not support these amendments along with their “Comm” numbers.
  1. Comm 393.052 Amendment to Bill 113 to exempt GMO research & cultivation by universities and government agencies, flower/horticulture industry, and allow cultivation of approved GMO crops/plants.
  2. Comm 393.053 Amendment to Bill 113 to exempt GMO papaya from registration. 
  3. Comm 393.054 This amendment repeats papaya and university/government GMO statements in both amendments above.

Mahalo for your continued support and action on this important issue.
GMO-Free Hawaii Island
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