Big Island GMO Bill 113

SUBHEAD: Take action today to support Bill 113l banning GMO crops on Big Island with testimony. 

By Gypsie Me on 17 October 2013 in Island Breath -

Image above: From news on "Big Island moves to ban GMOs". From (

The vote after the first reading of Bill 113 at the full Council hearing on October 16th, was 6-2 with Zendo Kern absent, Onishi and Ilagan voting NO. Council Chair J. Yoshimoto changed his previous NO vote to YES.

Mahalos are in order for his support of the bill. Councilmember Onishi's amendments to gut the bill were not brought up for discussion.

The second and final reading of the bill and vote could be scheduled for the next full Council meeting which is November 6th, and we will confirm the date when it is set.

The vote was taken on an amended bill that most citizens did not have an opportunity to see. It's here, (

The bill now includes an "emergency exemption" enabling a grower to apply to Council to use a GMO remedy for a crop experiencing "substantial harm" by a plant pestilence and where there is no alternative solution.

The exemption would be granted for 5 years with possibility of renewal. Councilmember Wille explained that she wrote it to dispel the fears of interested parties.

The registration section was also amended to withhold the exact location of GMO cultivation to public access, to address the fears of GMO growers that they would be targets of vandalism.

This essentially creates a loophole for growing unlimited amounts of GMO crops in locations unknown to the public.

The Emergency Exemption (see page 5 of the bill) is dangerous and has to be removed from the bill before it becomes law.


 PLEASE CALL COUNCIL CHAIR J. YOSHIMOTO TO LET HIM KNOW THAT YOU DID NOT SEE THE NEW EMERGENCY EXEMPTION BEFORE YOU WROTE YOUR TESTIMONY, and testimony must be allowed on it because it changes the bill. Any of the points below would be important to discuss when you contact them. Please also add item #13 Sunset GMO Hamakua corn to your comments.
  1. As we have experienced with papaya, the growers are fighting a losing battle to keep their shrinking markets. Using GMO as a remedy did not save the industry.
  2. This exemption actually guts the purpose of the bill.

  3. This is a loophole allowing exemptions to unlimited GMO crops or other GMO materials.

  4. Contamination from an emergency exempted crop cannot be tracked without expert resources and can occur far from the growing site.

  5. This exemption could allow for GMO crops with new unsafe traits for which the County does not have the resources to evaluate.

  6. A "GMO remedy" can mean newly developed materials applied to crops or soil, not just a GMO crop to replace the affected crop.

  7. Organic farmers cannot use this option if they are losing a crop.

  8. The emergency exemption limits what neighboring non-GMO farmers can grow.

  9. The export market will not support GMO crops, so why allow them to use up precious island resources.

  10. GMO crops destroy life and should not be allowed to replace one on Hawaii Island that is dying out.

  11. 11) It is impossible to verify that there are no alternative sources for a plant pestilence.

  12. If Bill 113 does not provide for enforcement, how will any exempted GMO crop be enforced for contamination or any other "potential" adverse effects?

  13. Sunset the contaminating GMO corn in Hamakua.
SEND THIS MESSAGE OUT TO YOUR NETWORKS. A very large response is needed.


Hawaii County Clerk: 
Stewart Maeda
(808) 961-8271

Fax: (808) 961-8912


District 1
Valerie Poindexter
(808) 961-8018
Fax: (808) 961-8912

District 2   
J Yoshimoto
(808) 961-8272
Fax: (808) 961-8912

District 3   
“Fresh” Onishi
(808) 961-8396
Fax: (808) 961-8912

District 4   
Greggor Ilagan
(808) 965-2712
Fax: (808) 965-2707

District 5   
Zendo Kern
(808) 961-8263

Fax: (808) 961-8912

District 6   
Brenda Ford
(808) 323-4277
Fax: (808) 329-4786

District 7   
Dru Mamo Kanuha
(808) 323-4267
Fax (808) 329-4786

District 8
Karen Eoff
(808) 323-4280
Fax: (808) 329-4786 

District 9
Margaret Wille
(808) 887-2069

Fax: (808) 887-2072
Mahalo for your QUICK ACTION to get this exemption removed from the bill.

See also:
GMO-Free Hawaii Island
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