This might just be the biggest threat to Hawaii agriculture
and Our right to farm that we have ever seen…
Remember agriculture producers only make up 2% of the Nation….Yet we feed us all! It will take knowing agriculture and the community supporting farmers and ranchers if we’re to survive and thrive…
Brenda Ford’s Bill basically bans all GMO production and use, including feed for animals and also includes a requirement to destroy papaya trees and corn currently in production.
Margaret Wille also has Bill 113 that will be heard at the same hearing (agenda attached). Her Bill exempts the genetically modified papaya and other GMO crops currently in production on Hawaii County as long as they jump through her hoops (new regulations, fees and penalties). Her Bill allows no future use of geneticly engineered technology to grow feed, fight diseases in crops and livestock or using them in the future.
Despite the exemption for papaya in Wille’s Bill, papaya farmers are giving her Bill a thumbs down. Their position is that her Bill says that GMO papaya is bad but since it’s already here and widespread the County Council will let it go. She infers their contaminated and inferior; they are NOT their prime is taste and quality. Kudos to the papaya industry for recognizing this and standing their ground…we will stand together with them. “Ag United”
As farmers and ranchers we have the right to farm…with every legal method and technology out there, organically or conventionally, with or without genetic technology and with respect for the rights of our fellow farmers and ranchers to do the same.
Here is what the World’s Health & Scientific Organizations have to say about GMO’s and genetically engineered crops….
World Health Organization “WHO”
“No effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved.”
National Academy of Sciences
“No adverse health effects attributed to genetic engineering have been documented in the human population.”
American Association for the Advancement of Science
“The science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe.”
American Medical Association
“There is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods.Bioengineered foods have been consumed for close to 20 years, and during that time, no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated in the peer-reviewed literature.”
“No scientific evidence associating GMOs with higher risks for the environment or for food and feed safety than conventional plants and organisms.”
French Academy of Science
“All criticisms against GMOs can be largely rejected on strictly scientific criteria.
Union of German Academics and Scientists
“In consuming food derived from GM plans approved in the EU and in the USA, the risk is in no way higher than in the consumption of food from conventionally grown plants. On the contrary, in some cases food from GM plants appears to be superior in respect to health. ”
Yet despite all the science and the evidence Hawaii County is trying to make public policy based on emotions rather than the evidence…Really! Come on…
Instructions on How you to submit testimony…
Needs to be into the Council by 12 noon by September 3rd. Even if you are late please submit it anyway!
By regular mail or Drop it off: Office of the County Clerk, 25 Aupuni Street, Hilo,HI. 96720
By email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Fax: (808) 961-8912
Show up to any Council location Island-wide to testify in person.
Hilo: Council Chambers at the County Building in Hilo, 25 Aupuni Street, Room 1401
Kona: Council Chambers at the West Hawai’i Civic Center in Kona at 74-5044 Ane Keohokālole Highway, Building A.
Waimea: Waimea Council Office, at the Holumua Center, 64-1067, Māmalahoa Highway, Suite 5.
Oral public testimony is limited to two (2) minutes total for all 4 agenda items.
Video Public Testimony: Those submitting video testimony may email a complete web address (url) to email@example.com before 12:00 noon on the business day prior to the meeting. The email shall indicate the appropriate Committee or Council meeting, the meeting date, agenda item (communication, bill, resolution, or report number), and number of testifiers on the video submittal. Each video submittal shall be limited to a single agenda item. Video submittals may contain up to three (3) individual testifiers and shall each be up to three (2) minutes in length.
Example testimony (Cut, paste or change for your personal story!)
Hawaii County Council
Committee on Public Safety & Mass Transit
Wednesday September 4, 2013 1:30 p.m.
Testimony Against Bills 109 and 113
Committee Chair Ford and Members of the Committee:
I oppose Bills 109 and 113 because any anti-GMO legislation in Hawaii County will discriminate against our farmers and ranchers who choose to use approved genetic engineered technology to grow safe and wholesome food and other agriculture products. These Bills also damage Hawaii’s reputation for producing some of the best crops on the planet, harms our markets, and eventually destroy our agriculture industry.
I am pro-farming and the right to farm in the United States of America, still a free country, under laws of and regulated by the USA and the State of Hawaii.
Hawaii’s farmers and ranchers may need virus resistant GMO crops to protect Hawaii from the next papaya virus strain, banana bunchy top virus, tomato spotted wilt and other vegetable viruses, or the bacterial citrus greening disease that is destroying the Florida citrus industry and may soon come to Hawaii. Furthermore, this bill will stop development of GMO ornamental and floral crops with enhanced horticultural or disease resistant characteristics. These Bills would prohibit livestock and aquaculture producers from efficiently growing cost effective feed locally, requiring them to import at a higher price the exact same feeds. How will Hawaii County farmers and ranchers compete when everyone but us has access to GE technology?
The consensus of independent scientific organizations worldwide is unanimous and can be summed up by this statement from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, “The science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe.”
Please vote against Bill 109 and Bill 113
City where I live:
Mahalo for helping with our cause, it matters!
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