Kauai's GMO and Pesticide Bill Is Set to Become Law After Veto Override

Sophie Cocke/ Civil Beat

LIHUE, KAUAI — Pesticide disclosure Bill 2491 is set to become law after the Kauai County Council voted Saturday to override Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s veto of the bill.

After members voted 5 to 2 for the override, the audience in the small hearing room, packed primarily with bill supporters, waved their fingers in the air, hugged one another and cried.

As supporters of Bill 2491 walked out of the Historic County Building, they and many of those waiting outside erupted in cheers. Some began to beat drums. Others hollered, "We Passed the Bill!"

The override came despite protests from the mayor who showed up to plead his case one last time before the council. He told members that he agrees with the intent of the measure, but he urged the council to pursue a more collaborative approach that involves working with state officials and the biotech companies. "I do not believe Bill 2491 is the correct and legal path," he said.

"We are not placed in these positions to be a hero or pave the way for other communities," he said in reference to comments by some activists who support the bill that Kauai should become a model for other counties. "We are here to take care of Kauai and Niihau and the people who live here. Efforts of this magnitude take time, patience and above all heartfelt collaboration — and it takes leadership."

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