As we told you early on, the ban on GMOs on the Big Island of Hawaii was inevitable, and coming this Fall. Many didn’t believe it when they heard it, citing that October’s move wasn’t a cemented ban just yet. But it was clear to all who were making moves in Hawaii that this ban was going to go through. The one major flaw of the ban is that it exempts or “grandfathers” existing GMO crops, which while limited to papaya plants, does exempt a major crop from the prohibition.
In any event, the Hawaii County Council passed a bill Tuesday that bans biotech companies from starting new operations on the Big Island and further prohibits the expansion of genetically altered crops.
This groundbreaking bill passed 6 to 3. It is always possible that Mayor Billy Kenoi could potentially veto it, sending it back to the county council, but most believe this is highly unlikely, as the council could then override a veto with a vote of six members, and make the mayor look incredibly weak. As politicians don’t typically like to make losing moves like that, Kenoi will likely stand down and allow this vote to stand.
This finalization of the bill comes only three days after Kauai pushed forward legislation that increases regulations of biotech.
(Article by Isa Abu Jamal; image use and modified via a DDees anti-GMO picture)