The Hawai`i County Council will re-convene later this month to vote for the second and final time on a bill that would limit the use of transgenic, or genetically-modified crops.
The Council recessed last night after hearing from 80 people who signed up to testify and will reconvene at 9:00 a.m. November 19, to hear more testimony, followed by decision-making. Bill 113 would ban open air use of GMO crops with some exceptions. GMO advocates say the bill would unnecessarily restrain farmers, by placing them at a disadvantage to growers elsewhere in Hawaii, while critics of the technology say open-air use causes more harm than good, by making it more difficult for non-GMO farmers to ensure their crops dont catch any of the modified genes.
Papaya farmers, who rely mostly on transgenic varieties to combat the ringspot virus, and Big Island Dairy, which grows transgenic corn for feed, would be exempted, but required to sign up for a GMO registry at a cost of $100 a year.