Maui May Become Hawaii's Next Battlefield Over GMOs and Pesticides

PF Bentley

The fight over genetically engineered crops and pesticides is shifting to Maui.

Councilwoman Elle Cochran plans to submit a bill to the Maui County Council on Friday requiring agricultural companies to disclose details about their pesticide use to the county, while farmers would have to report any genetically altered organisms they are growing.

The bill mirrors legislation that recently passed on Kauai over the protests of biotech companies that have vowed to sue the county.

It also comes on the heels of Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi signing Bill 113 into law on Thursday. It bans biotech companies from growing genetically altered seeds and farmers from harvesting any new GMO crops.

The spate of legislation reflects a growing frustration at the county level toward what some council members say is lax state oversight of pesticides and GMO crops. And it marks a widening offensive by the increasingly organized anti-GMO movement in Hawaii.

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