Hawaii Bans GMO Crops
Hawaii bans GMO crops, well Hawaii’s Big Island that is. This is a great step in the fight against GMOs. Large biotech companies like Syngenta, Monsanto, Pioneer, Dow and BASF do have GMO farms on the smaller islands of Oahu, Kauai and Molokai.
Those who support the ban on GMOs believe GMOs introduce foreign substances into the body that are harmful to the body.
Apparently the Mayor of Hawaii agrees. On December 5, 2013 Mayor Billy Kenoi signed Bill 113. Mayor Kenoi sent this message to the Hawai’i County Council.
The message reflects a major concern of Mayor Kenoi and his community that they have a deep respect and connection to the land of Hawaii and GMO crops undermine that respect and connection.
They felt the need to ban GMO crops to preserve the island’s natural resources, and were determined protect the land and the uniqueness of its plant life and crops.
GMO crops do have their benefits and this fueled a great debate between the opposing sides of the issue. In the end the passing of Bill 113 made it clear that the benefits gained through doing business with global agribusiness corporations did not outweigh the damage done to the natural resources of Hawaii.
Resources would be used to support and encourage community based farming and protect the people’s connection to the land.
Hawaii Bans GMO Crops – Summary of Bill 113
No open air cultivation, propagation or development of genetically engineered crops or plants.
Crops or plants being cultivated, propagated or developed prior to the effective date of this article are exempted provided locations or facilities are registered within 90 days.
GMO papaya in current and future locations is exempt provided commercial locations or facilities are registered.
Violators fined $1000 per day, per location and responsible for costs of investigation, court and legal costs, and for damage to non-GE crops, plants, neighboring properties or water sources.
Check here for the full summary of Bill 113.
Hawaii Bans GMO Crops – My Concerns
I understand that big business wields a mighty sword and many times compromises are made and outcomes are not as unfavorable to big business as they may appear.
I hope there aren’t any loopholes that will allow the exempted crops to be allowed to grow after the crop is harvested. If so the current amount a GMO crops being produced will remain the same, though new crops in different areas will not be allowed to be planted.
Either way this struggle will not be won easily because big businesses that have vested interest in these GMO crops will not give up on losing money easily. A step in the right direction has been made though now that Hawaii’s Big Island bans GMO crops.