Maui GMO debate sees more than 100 testimonies; second meeting to be held Friday

Published On: Jan 29 2014 08:07:45 PM HST   Updated On: Jan 29 2014 08:13:22 PM HST
WAILUKU, Hawaii -

More than a hundred people testified before a Maui County Council committee Tuesday on the regulation of pesticides and GMOs.

The bill proposes pesticide buffer zones, and reporting and public notification of pesticide application.

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The Maui News reports that about half of the testimonies were via phone from Molokai residents. That includes a Maui farmer who says the bill should not be limited to farmers.

“One of the things that I think is discriminatory is that only farmers are being targeted for chemical and pesticide use and that’s not true,” said a Maui farmer. “Driving down the road yesterday, and behind a DOT truck, the guy is spraying from the truck – 20 feet away – and going 30 miles an hour. We’re not the only users.”

Supporters of regulating GMOs argue they deserve to know what kinds of pesticides are being used on crops because they worry about possible health risks.

The meeting was recessed around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday with more than 80 people still waiting to testify. The next meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday. New testifiers will be accepted.

The county council committee is in talks of holding a hearing on Molokai.


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