Hawaii GMO Labeling Bill

SUBHEAD: This bill is still alive!  House taking testimony. To be heard March 20th.

By Brad Parsons on 19 March 2014 in Island Breath -

Image above: Illustration of corporations opposing GMO labeling on food. From (http://www.inspirationgreen.com/vote-yes-on-37.html). Click to embiggen.

GMO Labeling Bill  HB2435 hearing.

Monday, March 20th 2014 at 9:35am

Hawaii State House conference room Auditorium

Testify in favor of bill.

See Status and testify here

or email House Representatives here

We have been waiting to get back to you, not wanting to jump the gun, but we had heard that there was a possibility another bill would be "gutted and replaced" with a GMO Labeling bill.  It has finally happened at the last possible moment.

The Venerable House Agriculture Committee Chair Representative Jessica Wooley has dispatched with all the other Ag bills that could have been problematic, and now Monday evening filed SB2435 HD1 PROPOSED a GMO Labeling bill to be heard in the Capitol Auditorium on March 20th some time after 9:35am.

This bill has already been through the Senate.  It only has to pass the House Agriculture and Finance Committees to then go to Conference Committee.

It's time to give it your best shot with your best written testimony and article attachments in favor of GMO Labeling.  If you can make it, on Oahu, in-person would be good, hearing will likely run all day.

This is the last opportunity on this for this year.

When you send in your written testimony, make sure you clarify in the first line of your testimony that it is in "SUPPORT of  'SB2435 HD1 PROPOSED'" not the prior versions of SB2435.  You can submit your written testimony preferably at the link http://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/measure_indiv.aspx?billtype=SB&billnumber=2435&year=2014 via the blue "Submit Testimony" button if you are familiar with that, or you can email it to AGRtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov making sure to put "SUPPORT SB2435 HD1 PROPOSED" at the front of the testimony.

(Tip:  The opponents key argument against will be somewhat erroneously that GMO Labeling would drive up food prices.  That affect would be more than offset if Hawaii did not have to abide by the Jones Act, which very well could come about this year.  GMO Labeling alone won't determine food prices.)

Will send out some sample testimony tomorrow.  Wanted to get this word out as quickly as possible for those who can compose their own testimony in support of GMO Labeling.

From our last episode, "There are some good ideas for amending HB174 that might enable it to move to Conference Committee.  We'll come back to that in our next update, as there is time to work with that."

There has been lots of good news items in our favor, will save 'em for a later update.

Here is a sample of testimony;


This bill responds to and addresses all of the reservations raised by Deputy Atty. Gen. Wade Hargrove in his Memo to Senator Baker last year on HB 174 and GMO Labeling.

This bill maintains the proper balance between FDA regulations and allowed state labeling, respects First Amendment rights, and is now consistent with the Commerce Clause. Further, this bill provides a number of reasonable exemptions to the labeling requirement, and a logical distribution chain of information and realistic responsibility for the labeling. Most importantly, the effective date for this does not kick in until 3 other states have passed a similar law.

Other states have passed such a law and it is only a matter of time before states like California passes GMO Labeling. Presently, Hawaii sources most of it's food via distribution from California, so the GMO Labeling requirement should not add new cost to that distribution channel. Most importantly, other affects upon food costs such as changes to the Jones Act (ex. HCR153) have the very real potential this year to much more than offset the nominal costs of GMO Labeling.

This is a win, win, win bill, Representatives. You have nothing to fear but fear itself. Give the people of Hawaii on this point the informed choice of knowing what they are eating, that 3 quarters of Hawaii residents have indicated they want (HNN HAWAII Poll 2/13). It's time, let's go ahead and pass SB2435_HD1.



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