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Kauai County mayor vetoes GMO bill passed by council

Published On: Oct 31 2013 11:53:32 AM HST
Updated On: Oct 31 2013 07:31:36 PM HST

County of Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr.

LIHUE, Hawaii -

Kauai County Mayor Bernard P. Carvalho, Jr. has vetoed Bill 2491, Relating to Pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms, which was passed by the County Council on Oct. 16.

"I have always said I agree with the intent of this bill to provide for pesticide use disclosure, create meaningful buffer zones and conduct a study on the health and environmental issues relating to pesticide use on Kaua'i," said Carvalho.  "However, I believe strongly that this bill is legally flawed. That being the case, I had no choice but to veto."

Carvalho has released the opinion on 2491 drafted by the Office of the County Attorney, which was delivered to him on Oct. 24.

"Since receiving the opinion I’ve spent hours and hours understanding the points raised and questioning our attorneys on the legal issues," Carvalho said. "While I believe a veto is necessary, we can and will find legal means to address these important health and safety issues."

In his veto message, the mayor urges the council to move forward quickly on funding the joint fact finding study group, which is the first step toward conducting an environmental public health impact study. The study could be recommended via a resolution that is slated for next week’s council agenda.

Carvalho also describes actions being taken by the governor and the State Department of Agriculture to address buffer zones and pesticide use notification.

"I truly believe in my heart that Kaua'i can accomplish anything through cooperation, collaboration, and by working together in the spirit of aloha," said Carvalho.  "This does not invalidate the hard work that has gone into the crafting of 2491. We are moving forward and we will continue to move forward with or without the bill."

Click here to read the full text of the mayor’s message, along with the attorney’s opinion.

Click here to hear what others are saying about the mayor's veto.

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