Why must we label it Hawaii? There are multiple labeling bills in the State legislature this session. Again my question is, Why label it Hawaii and my focus is centered on a local produced agricultural crop the Hawaii Papaya.
The Hawaii Papaya is a whole food, a super food actually that is not only healthy but it provides affordable, safe, nutritious fruit for our local community and its an exportable crop that sustains our families and returns dollars to our economy. Why should our farmers be forced to label their fruit? because it’s seed has a biotech beginning? We all know that, having a biotech papaya that is resistant to the papaya ring spot virus aka PSRV; saved the Hawaii Papaya Industry. Do you know that 200-400 small minority farmers depend on this crop to feed their families and they help feed Hawaii?
This bill would require Hawaii farmers to label their papayas, the boxes, the transportation bins and boxes and at the grocery store or farmers market bin. I often see and purchase them 3 or 4 for $1 dollar at the local farmers markets. Yes, thats right the best freakin buy for a buck you can find in Hawaii. Now this exact same fruit if sold by a restaurant, grocery store or any type of food server even if at the same farmers market but sold scooped out and ready to eat, would NOT require any sort of label. The thing is the ready to eat papaya is normally between $2.50 and up, depending on where you buy it. How is that right?
This is not a food safety issue, this bill and other’s like it are scare tactics to force consumers into buying alternatives means and costing us up too 50% more. Just say NO….
A food labeling bill like Senate Bill #2521 only hurts these farmers. In fact it hurts all small food processors and specialty food producers as well. Bills such as this only hurt consumers, farmers and our wallets. Submit testimony opposing this bill today!
SB 2521 Labeling Bill ~ Testimony needed to oppose SB 2521 – This impacts farmers and food affordability for kama’aina!
Email Testimony to: HTHtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov
Senate Bill 2521 Bill Summary
All food products will be required to be labeled “Produced with Genetic Engineering”
Includes all food, processed, raw and fresh foods
Boxes and transportation containers would need to be labeled Genetically Engineered
Fresh products such as papaya would need to be labeled on the shelf and transportation boxes.
No food or raw agricultural commodity can be sold without being labeled. Which conflicts with current FDA guidelines which exempts Raw and Fresh Fruits, Vegetables and Fish from Federal labeling standards.
Cheese, yogurt and any product produced with enzymes
Liquid Milk products
Restaurants and food for immediate consumption
State-level proposals to mandate biotech labeling hurt consumers, small business and farmers!
Mandatory labeling of foods produced using biotechnology would unnecessarily result in higher food costs for consumers – especially those least able to afford it.
The state-borne costs to enforce mandatory labeling provisions may be in the millions of dollars.
Analysis of California’s Proposition 37, for example, estimates annual food costs for an average-income family would increase by approximately $400.
Consumers already have a choice in the marketplace:
Consumers who prefer to purchase food products that don’t contain any biotechnology-derived ingredients, can choose foods labeled “certified organic” or “non GMO.”
We support the Voluntary labeling of food products, as long as those labels don’t infer any difference in healthfulness or safety.
Advocates of mandatory labeling laws falsely believe food safety is at issue:
Foods and food crops produced using biotechnology are among the most reviewed, studied, scrutinized and regulated products in the world.
Scientific authorities such as the National Academies of Science, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of science have looked at HUNDREDS of scientific studies and have concluded that foods with biotech-derived ingredients do not pose any more risk to people than any other foods.