Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Bill 113 Passed - What's Next?

Aloha e kakou,

Thanks to all of the activists and supporters who worked on this: GMO prohibition Bill 113 passed out of the Public Safety and Mass Transit Committee on Oct. 1, with a vote of 6 – 2 and a positive recommendation to the Hawaii County Council. Councilman Onishi was not present and amendments he submitted to the bill previously will be discussed in the full council when it convenes to take up this bill.
The YES votes were from Councilmembers Wille, Poindexter, Ford, Eoff, Kanuha and Kern. The NO votes were Yoshimoto and Ilagan, Onishi was absent. Although Kanuha and Kern did vote for the bill, they can easily waiver as we can be sure that opponents of the bill will be campaigning hard. In order to prevent a veto by the mayor, 6 votes are needed when the full council votes on it. We have work yet to do to insure the bill’s safe passage.

Council contacts listed below.
An unresolved issue is that the bill “grandfathered in” the GMO corn grown by Big Island Dairy in Pepeekeo, Honomu and Ookala (approx. 350 acres). Councilmember Wille was anxious to pass the bill to defend home rule, that the state Legislature may attack next session and that is why she called for the vote now. She believes that the contaminating corn can be handled later via an ad hoc committee. In reality, non-GMO corn growers would be hard put to safely grow corn on the Hamakua coast by allowing this particular “open air cultivation of GMO.”
A coordinated effort is necessary to urge councilmembers to write an amendment to this discriminating exemption, to have a true “no open air cultivation” law, and a first mention could be made when you send your thanks them.

The formation of an Ad Hoc Committee to study GMO issues and make recommendations or amendments to this bill has been postponed until the bill passes, on advice of corporation council that concurrent work on the bill and in any ad hoc committee is not legal.
The date and time the full council schedules this bill will be sent as-soon-as it is known. There will be opportunity for public testimony after which the Council will vote on it, and that process may take two sessions.

District 1 - Valerie Poindexter 
(808) 961-8018
Fax: (808) 961-8912
Email: vpoindexter@co.hawaii.hi.us

District 2 - J Yoshimoto 
(808) 961-8272 
Fax: (808) 961-8912 
Email: jyoshimoto@co.hawaii.hi.us

District 3 - Dennis “Fresh” Onishi 
(808) 961-8396 
Fax: (808) 961-8912 
Email: donishi@co.hawaii.hi.us

District 4 - Greggor Ilagan 
 (808) 965-2712 
Fax: (808) 965-2707 
Email: gilagan@co.hawaii.hi.us

District 5 - Zendo Kern 
(808) 961-8263
Fax: (808) 961-8912 
Email: zkern@co.hawaii.hi.us

District 6 Brenda Ford 
(808) 323-4277 
Fax: (808) 329-4786 
Email: bford@co.hawaii.hi.us

District 7 - Dru Mamo Kanuha 
(808) 323-4267
Fax: (808) 329-4786 
Email: dkanuha@co.hawaii.hi.us

District 8 - Karen Eoff 
(808) 323-4280 
Fax: (808) 329-4786 
Email: keoff@co.hawaii.hi.us

District 9 - Margaret Wille 
(808) 887-2069
Fax: (808) 887-2072 
Email: mwille@co.hawaii.hi.us

Mahalo for your continued support and action on this important bill.

GMO-Free Hawaii Island GMOFreeHawaiiIsland.org 

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