Genetic Literacy Project

It was deja vu for the Hawaii County Council on Tuesday as it voted against a full ban on genetically modified crops while meeting in committee.

The vote was the second time the council’s Public Safety and Mass Transit Committee had considered Councilwoman Brenda Ford’s bill.

The result was the same: one yes vote and a negative recommendation to the full council.

Ford, the committee chairwoman, said she didn’t expect a different result but nonetheless was required to bring the bill back to the committee after the Environmental Management Commission reviewed it. The commission also gave it a negative recommendation.

The vote came about two months after the council passed a bill banning open-air use and open-air testing of modified crops, with exemptions for altered crops already grown on the island. That ordinance is currently being implemented.

Though with fewer people, the public testimony was also largely a repeat of past sessions on the topic, with opponents of GMOs urging the council to “protect the aina” by banning biotech companies and their products.

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