Hawaii County Council Passes Biotech Ban

John Pritchett/Civil Beat

Despite opposition from most of Hawaii’s farming industry, the Hawaii County Council passed a bill Tuesday that prohibits biotech companies from operating on the Big Island and bans growing any new genetically altered crops.

"We are at a juncture — do we move forward in the direction of the agro-chemical monoculture model of agriculture, or do we move toward eco-friendly, diversified farming?" Councilwoman Margaret Wille, who introduced the bill, told Civil Beat after the vote.

For Wille, the 6-3 vote in favor of Bill 113, is a decisive victory for the latter.

"There is no sacred cow when it comes to how do we protect the future health of the island and the kids," she said.

The bill now goes to Mayor Billy Kenoi for review. The mayor, who hasn’t taken a public stance on the bill, has 10 days to veto it.

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