We're watching to see what the Hawaii County Council does this week with a bill proposing to ban genetically modified taro and coffee on the Big Island. Here's the link to the latest draft of Bill 361.
The Hawaii Tribune-Herald opposes the bill in Sunday's editorial.
The bill passed unanimously in the Environmental Management Committee in early September. According to this article in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald on the committee's action, if the bill becomes county law, and if the legislature next session passed a bill to allow GMO taro and coffee, the state law would trump the county law.
South Kona Councilmember Brenda Ford was quoted as saying,"We all know if this goes to the state legislature, they're not going to do anything as a body."
The bill went to the full Council on September 24th, where it passed second reading by a vote of 6-3. Councilmembers Pilago (introducer), Ford, Jacobson, Hoffmann, Yagong, Naeole voted for, and councilmembers Higa, Ikeda and Yoshimoto voted against.
Should the bill become Hawaii County law, what will the other neighbor island councils do?