HILO, Hawaii – Hawaii Island farmers and ranchers plan to unite in opposition of bill 79, which would prohibit genetically modified organisms on the Big Island if passed by the Hawaii County Council.
The Hawaii Papaya Industry Association, Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association, Big Island Banana Growers Association, Hawaii Dairy, and Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council will rally in front of Hilo county building on Friday, June 28th at 2 p.m. to “convey to the County Council the importance of allowing farmers, nursery growers, ranchers and retail businesses to have free choices in their livelihood,” according to a media release.
The release states:
|These organizations represent approximately 600 local businesses with 2000 employees. Collectively, they contribute $130 million to the island’s economy.
Hawaii Island farmers, ranchers and business members take health and safety very seriously. They believe that free choice in agricultural practices will enable organic farmers to work collaboratively with those who employ agricultural technology so that all local businesses are at liberty to earn a living, feed their families and provide for economic and food security on the local level.
The organizations that will rally, who sometimes refer to themselves as Freedom Farmers, seek a way to communicate with others about ways to come together to find solutions that allow all to farm on Hawaii Island.
The release also quotes prominent Hawaii Island farmer Richard Ha, who opposes bill 79.
The rally counters large, anti-GMO demonstrations held on Hawaii Island recently.
There will be a big day of testimony and decision making at a special Hawaii County Council committee meeting on July 2nd in Kona.