KEALAKEHE, Hawaii – The GMO debate returns to the Hawaii County Council on Tuesday.
The Public Safety and Mass Transit Committee will again take up Bill 109, banning Genetically Modified Organisms from the Big Island.
The mayor already signed a different GMO bill into law last year. That bill was introduced by Councilwoman Margaret Wille and it created a national stir when it was finally approved by the council after months of heated debate. Tuesday’s bill is the other GMO prohibition bill. It was introduced by Councilwoman Brenda Ford, and its considered to be even more restrictive because it sunsets the use of transgenic papaya, a GMO crop currently grandfathered in under the current law.
The committee already voted the measure down on September 6th, but then moved to reconsider the bill on September 23 because – according to policy – the measure should have first gone to the Environmental Management Commission for their input.
The commission gave bill 109 a negative recommendation, and it is expected that the Public Safety and Mass Transit Committee will do the same during its 2 p.m. meeting.