Kauai County GMO bill passes out of committee

Kauai County Seal
Kauai County Seal

The Kauai County Council Committee on Economic Development & Intergovernmental Relations voted 4 to 1 to approve an amended Bill 2491 and pass is out of committee to the full council.

Councilmembers Gary Hooser, Tim Bynum, JoAnn Yukimura, and Nadine Nakamura voted to pass the bill with amendments with Councilman Mel Rapozo the dissenting vote.

Bill 2491 establishes provisions to govern the use of pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on Kauai.

The amendments change language in the disclosure and buffer zones provisions, changes the environmental impact study into a joint fact-finding study, and eliminates four provisions; permitting, prohibitions of open-air testing of experimental pesticides, prohibitions on experimental GMOs, and a moratorium on GMOs.

In lieu of the moratorium provision, the four large agribusinesses on Kauai have agreed to enter into an agreement with the county to not farm beyond the Wailua River for the duration of the environmental study.

The bill now moves to the full council where it can be further amended. A hearing date has not been set at this time.

Related story: GMO public hearing on Kauai draws hundreds

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