Apocalyptic Talk and Serious Issues at Big Island GMO Ban Debate

Sophie Cocke/ Civil Beat

HILO — The debate over genetically modified crops and food is a serious one.

But it can be easy to lose sight of that, especially amid the feisty — some might say volatile — Hawaii County Council Public Safety and Mass Transit committee's debate Wednesday about a pair of bills to ban GMOs on the island. It lasted nearly six hours with plenty of public testimony, and went late into the evening.

Extreme critics of GMOs insisted that such crops and foods might cause cancer, birth deformities, tumors, sterility and could lead to the widespread devastation of farming and health.

One woman suggested that GMOs could be as bad as a nuclear disaster for the planet.

Another resident warned that if he ever accidentally eats genetically modified food and dies from it, he will somehow hold the county council liable.

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