More good news from the Hawaiian islands: just days after Kauai passed a bill to require agri-biotech companies to disclose information about the pesticides used and GMO crops planted on its land, Hawaii’s Big Island has passed a bill that “bans biotech companies from taking up root on the Big Island and prohibits the expansion of genetically altered crops.”
According to a report by The Huffington Post, Bill 113 mandates fines of $1000 per day for farms violating this bill. This bill exempts papaya crops, which already grow in GMO form on the island.
Like Kauai’s recent bill, the Big Island’s bill was preceded by intense debate. One citizen, Helene Love, testified that GMOs are a “huge danger, similar to nuclear disasters.”
Mayor Billy Kenoi has up to 10 days to veto the bill, but has not shown any early public indication of doing so. If this occurs, the council can override the veto with six supporters.
Of the bills considered by Hawaii’s Big Island, Bill 113 is the “the tamer of two bills,” the Huffington Post reports. “Bill 109 would have banned all genetically modified plants, including papayas already grown on the island, and it would have punished violators with jail time.”
Either way, it’s a big step in the right direction for the Big Island!
Image Source: Jirka Matousek / Flickr