Friday, February 8, 2013

Op-Ed: Hawaii 1st US state to pass GMO labeling bill, but with amendment

Op-Ed: Hawaii 1st US state to pass GMO labeling bill, but with amendment

Hawaii might have cause to celebrate, as lawmakers have passed a new measure in the House Committee on Agriculture, requiring labeling on genetically modified food. But is the final bill everything it was hoped to be?
Basically supporters of the bill say that they deserve to know whether the food they are buying has been genetically modified. Jessica Mitchell, a parent who is in favor of the bill, was quoted as stating in an AP report that, “I and many mothers deserve the right to know what we are feeding our children.”  
After numerous proponents of the bill testified before the House committee, it was approved on Thursday, but the bill was amended so as to only apply to produce imported from outside Hawaii. There was some conjecture by opponents that labeling would cause a rise in food prices. However, house agriculture committee Chairwoman Jessica Wooley says that as the bill only affects produce brought in from outside Hawaii, it will benefit local farms and won’t cause food prices to rise. 
However, Occupy Monsanto Maui is reporting disappointment with the amendment on their Facebook page. 
They state that the amendment "only covers incoming raw agricultural products, which means that it basically covers very little, except a little crookneck squash, any Monsanto sweet corn brought fresh into the state, or if a non-browning GMO apple is approved." So maybe it is not time to get too excited.

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