Hawaii GMO food labeling bill tabled

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The Hawaii Senate committee on agriculture, consumer protection and health decided on Friday to table a proposed bill that would have required food containing genetically modified ingredients to be labeled.

The bill was tabled because legislators were concerned about how the labeling could potentially hurt the island’s food industry, said Sen. Rosalyn Baker, chairwoman of the consumer protection committee, told the Associated Press. She said senators are going to push for a resolution instead of a bill to ensure that more research is done with GMOs.

During the hearing, several employees of Monsanto Company testified that genetically modified food is not harmful and that labeling would drive up the cost of food and endanger jobs.

Originally the bill would have required any GM food sold in Hawaii to be labeled, but the House Agriculture Committee amended the bill to make it only imported food.

According to the Associated Press, Attorney General David Louie told lawmakers last week that the proposal likely violates the U.S. Constitution’s provision on interstate commerce. He said the bill may also violate businesses’ right to free commercial speech.

The agriculture industry greeted the decision to table the proposal as a victory. Those who supported the proposal were disappointed in the decision.

Sen. Josh Green, chairman of the Senate Health Committee, told the Associated Press after the hearing that even though the law won’t pass this year, it will happen in the future.

“Even the biotech industry is going to realize over time that the public trust is more important than any of the dissenting views today,” Green said.

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Missouri  |  March, 25, 2013 at 04:11 PM

Yes, "public trust" must be considered, and over time the public has come to see that the anti-GMO crowd is one composed of and led by charlatans delivering a dishonest message of misinformation and fear aimed at the casually informed in hopes of building a support base for achieving their goal of banning modern crop production. It is a classic case of ignorance versus science.

hawaii  |  March, 27, 2013 at 02:00 AM

innsbrook you are so naive. no news is good news to you. i bet your fat as hell from eating all that gm food and are starting to develop symptoms of illness. if not i hope so cause i wont feed it to my family. you probibly have none so you dont have to worry about anyone but yourself. i cant wait til there is evidence that gm crops are bad since there is none proving it good in any way. if these companies want to stop world hunger then why arent they even trying to donate any of it instead of only wating for their profits.

Wisconsin  |  March, 27, 2013 at 03:38 PM

I don't know where you were raised Jenikeni, but where I come from we don't attack people who posted a general comment...please grow up and have a civil conversation. I probably have eaten more GMO Grains in my food and from the grain pit than anyone, and thats since 1996 when I was 13 years old. I work for a grain elevator and eat all those freshly harvested GMO Soybeans, GMO Corn and a few wheat kernels now and then... I am about 15 pounds overweight(seeing as that is a concern of yours), but that has to do with my overconsumption of the plentiful & healthy foods that we are so blessed with in this great country. The true problem is the misinformation spread by the Anti-GMO crowd. Agriculture doesn't talk about all the good involved with GMO's(I am not saying they are perfect!) on reduced insecticide & herbicide use, less exposure to different chemicals needed to control these pest issues, etc., I think its sad when we hear about the health issues of using our cell phones(p.s., I have a cell phone and I do use it too much, maybe I can blame my 15 pounds overweight on that; hmmm...) and the studies that are concerning the amount of low dose radiation causing a higher occurance of brain tumors...but we don't have protests of that, now do we? I just wish people would listen and learn versus the confrontation of listening to the mainstream media feeding people to the way they think we should believe. I know that I will be accused of working for Monsanto, and I am sorry to dissapoint you and tell you I don't...but then I guess that won't affect your opinion much either. If everyone opened their minds and looked at the big picture, I think many people would ne suprised to see what they would find... Have a Great Day!

Cleveland  |  April, 01, 2013 at 03:37 PM

Democracy has failed us. The corporately owned media fails to educate us for fear of revenue loss. Monsanto has bought themselves invincibility in the eyes of the law. Label it yourself! http://labelityourself.org/liy/

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