World renowned food security, food sovereignty, and sustainable agriculture advocate Dr. Vandana Singh was scheduled to speak at the Capitol this morning, but her arrival on island was delayed causing her to miss the engagement. Instead, a roundtable discussion on agriculture, specifically Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) took place. The panel was composed of Reps Jessica Wooley and Lauren Cheape, national and local experts in the field, and a special guest from Molokai who has experienced, first-hand, the impact GMOs can have on surrounding communities. The standing-room-only crowd included former Governor John Waihee, several Senators, community organizations, and private citizens.
|Rep. Jessica Wooley hosted the panel|
Lawmakers told the public to expect a number of pieces of legislation regarding GMOs and sustainable agriculture to be introduced this session. The centerpiece of the legislative package is a bill proposing to require the labeling of GMO fruits and vegetables grown in Hawaii for consumption on the islands. The narrow focus of the bill has proponents optimistic that Hawaii may become the first state in the nation to require some form of GMO labeling.
|Paul Achitoff (left) attorney for Earth Justice and Andrew Kimbrell co-author of California's Proposition 37|