Latest Articles

  • New Anti-GMO PAC Forms After Biotech Group Spends $820,000 on TV Ads

    · By Anita Hofschneider

    More than a month after the launch of an expensive TV campaign to persuade voters to reject a Maui County ballot initiative to temporarily ban genetically engineered crops, the Hawaii Center for Food Safety has formed a new group called the Coalition for Safer, Healthier Maui to campaign in favor of the measure.

    The group, which is made up of organizations ranging from Wailuku Coffee Company to Living Aloha Magazine, plans to engage in paid advertising, door-to-door canvassing and campaign mailers. The coalition’s website, voteyesforhealth.org, advertises endorsements from groups like the

  • Pro-GMO Hawaii Farm Group Aims to Spend $400,000

    · By Anita Hofschneider

    The Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation is planning a $400,000 public relations campaign to generate support for farmers and persuade voters to support genetic engineering in agriculture.

    The initiative ranges from running TV ads during football games and popular crime dramas to handing out temporary tattoos to schoolchildren and sponsoring face-painting at community gatherings.

    The effort is “intended to win the hearts and minds of voters and shore up support for ALL agricultural producers,” the organization’s president, Chris Manfredi, wrote in an Aug. 21 letter.

    He warned about potential economic impacts of recent Hawaii

  • Federal Judge Invalidates Kauai’s Anti-GMO Law

    · By Anita Hofschneider

    A federal judge has struck down Kauai County’s ordinance requiring more disclosure from biotechnology companies about pesticide use and genetically engineered farming practices. The court ruling is a setback for the growing movement against biotechnology companies in Hawaii, where seed corn is the biggest export crop.

    U.S. District Court Judge Barry M. Kurren ruled Monday that the Kauai County ordinance known as Bill 2491 or Ordinance 960 unlawfully preempts state law governing pesticide use.

    “This decision in no way diminishes the health and environmental concerns of the people of Kauai,” Kurren wrote.

  • Donations Pour in to Influence GMO Debate, But Are They Being Disclosed?

    · By Anita Hofschneider

    The growing debate over genetically modified food and farming in Hawaii has attracted more than $77,000 so far this year to influence political elections, an analysis of state campaign spending data and additional financial information shows.

    While the issue of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture has been a highly charged political issue in Hawaii for the past decade, the stakes are higher this year as Maui County voters contemplate a proposal in November to ban genetically modified crops.

    The nonprofit group behind the Maui County ballot initiative known as the Sustainable

  • In Hawaii, Who Has the Authority To Regulate GMOs and Pesticide Use?

    · By Anita Hofschneider

    The question of whether or not counties have the authority to regulate pesticide use and genetically engineered crops was at the center of a federal court hearing on Wednesday challenging Kauai County’s new ordinance imposing buffer zones and disclosure requirements on biotechnology firms.

    Global seed companies Syngenta, DuPont Pioneer, Agrigenetics and BASF are seeking a permanent injunction against Kauai Ordinance 960, which prohibits pesticide spraying near schools and hospitals; requires disclosure of restricted pesticide use about certain levels; and mandates disclosure of the cultivation of genetically engineered seeds.

  • Will the GMO Debate Fuel Campaign Donations as Local Elections Heat Up?

    · By Nick Grube

    Major Hawaii biotech firms have always been politically active but more anti-GMO candidates are running this year.

  • Senate Panel OKs Ag Board Nominee Over Opposition from Anti-GMO Activists

    · By Anita Hofschneider

    Sen. Russell Ruderman’s email opposing Richard Ha’s nomination backfired.

  • Bid to Override County GMO Restrictions Is Dead — for Now

    · By Anita Hofschneider

    Legislative efforts to supersede local regulations on GMO use didn’t make it past a key Senate committee.

  • A River Ran Through It: Group Blames State for Wasted Water in Waimea

    · By Nathan Eagle

    Earthjustice files petition against Hawaii’s Agribusiness Development Corporation.

  • GMO Fight Heats Up on Kauai, Big Island

    · By Sophie Cocke

    County bills could have far-reaching impacts on the agribusiness industry, as well as local farmers.

  • New Federal Food Safety Law Confuses Hawaii Farmers, State Officials

    · By Nathan Eagle

    State waiting on feds to issue rules on how to implement Food Safety and Modernization Act.

  • Hana Ranch Being Sold To Big Wind Developer

    · By Sophie Cocke

    Owners of ranch say they’ve reached an agreement with Bio-Logical Capital.