Letters — Councilwoman Margaret Wille’s Response To The Passage Of Bill 113

Councilwoman Margaret Wille’s response to passage of Bill 113:

Thank you Mayor Kenoi for signing Bill 113. Together we can, and today together we did, take an important step towards preserving and protecting our precious island –  malama ‘aina.

And as we share a common destiny, thanks to all who participated in this important island-wide conversation – regardless of the position taken,  These past six months by way of the Bill 113 council legislation, we together took a big step towards sculpting our island’s future. We are clearly moving in the direction of environmentally sensitive community based farming with respect for the health of our soil and with respect for our watersheds and coastal waters, in a way that is pono and respectful of each other.

Our federal and state government officials have been lax. In 1992 our federal government established the absurd agricultural policy that GMO foods and crops are “substantially equivalent” to the corresponding non-GMO crops. The result was no requirement of any pre-market health studies for GMO crops and foods. Likewise there has been no requirement to assess the adverse impacts of the cultivation of GMOs on the health of neighboring property owners and on the health of our people especially those most vulnerable – the keiki now and those of future generations.

And to date our state legislators have followed the lead of their federal counterparts, and have not regulated these ag-chemical GMO corporations.  And instead our state government has catered to these seemingly all-powerful multinational corporations.

For this reason the last defense here and around the country, has been that of municipalities and counties taking a stand, based on the precautionary principle, to protect their people and their lands from becoming just one more GMO industry dominated location.

For these reasons our state legislators should take heed of the Kauai and Hawaii county legislation addressing the cultivation of GMO crops and related toxic pesticides. Rather than seeking to undermine these neighbor island efforts, our state should set an example by embracing the wisdom and farsightedness of these efforts.

With much aloha, Margaret Wille, Hawaii County Council, District 9 (North and South Kohala)

10 replies
  1. Obie
    Obie says:

    “Our federal and state government officials have been lax.”

    Really ??
    Here are links to the FDA, USDA and EPA. I would hardly call this lax.




    In the meantime our County Council called in Jeffery Smith as an expert witness.Every credible scientist in the world has dismissed his books and videos as pure fiction.His main claim to fame is he believes he can fly.

  2. tia
    tia says:

    For those who are able to read, The UNITED STATES is a for-profit corporation whose bottom line is PROFITS. This includes all its alphabet creations (FDA, USDA, EPA, IRS, FBI, CIA, etc…) Why be a slave.

    In UNITED STATES CODE, Title 28, in Section 3002 Definitions, it states the following:
    (15) “United States” means—
    (A) a Federal corporation;

    (*)”United States” is the “District of Columbia” incorporated.
    “The United States government is a foreign corporation with respect to a State” Volume 20: Corpus Juris Sec. § 1785, Also: NY re: Merriam 36 N.E. 505 1441 S. 0.1973, 14 L. Ed. 287

    The new “United States” includes States such as District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. It does not include the 50 states united.
    i.e. Title 26 Section 7701 Definitions (a) (9) and (10) 42 U.S.C. 405 (2)(c)(vii)

  3. Emily
    Emily says:

    Mahalo Margaret-

    I hope that this is only a beginning, but it is such a hopeful and important beginning. Thank you for being willing to take on such a controversial and important issue. My hat is off to you and to Billy Kenoi and to the council members who listened to their constituents.

  4. dd
    dd says:

    Mono cropping is not a good idea. Put all the same bananas and this is what happens. Diverse planting with different varieties to fall back on if some get sick. Nothing to do with gmo.

  5. NeighborWatch
    NeighborWatch says:

    links to FDA, USDA and EPA, HA HA Ha seriously?
    We’re from the gov. we’re here to protect you? LOL
    Yea those are three gov. agencies I’d trust with, YOUR life, not mine.
    Brainwashed much?

  6. punated
    punated says:

    The banana fungus doesn’t have anything to do with monocropping. It started in Africa and is spreading globally at a very fast rate now. The irony of this growing situation is that the same thing happened with the ringspot virus. Puna was the last area to get the ringspot virus but it did and nearly wiped out papaya farming. This banana fungus is now being reported in Indonesia and Latin America. It’s just a matter of time for it to get here, especially looking at how the coffee borer got here. The biggest threat around here after typhoon, tsunami, earthquake, and volcanic eruption is invasive species. The coffee borer is documented to have started in Kona and now spread around the island. It’s pretty obvious, somebody smuggled in African coffee trees with the idea to make a Kona-African blend coffee.

    Armchair quarterbacking monocropping is a silly activity. Look at any larger scale production farm and they are monocropping. Macadamia nut, papaya, banana, orchids, lettuce, tomato, all the production level farms around here are monocropping, and rotating crops. The simple answer is logistics. What plants mix well with others to not monocrop? How easy is it to switch from harvesting lettuce to picking papaya every 10 feet? The irony here is harvesting a varied crop would require more robotic pickers, eliminating the prospect for local labor.

    All this is doing is making Hawaii island more dependent on imports and less self sufficient. Since this law only bans growing or conducting research, it does zero for importing mainland and other country approved GMO produce. The point is this law only affects local farmers. All it is going to do is decrease the number of small local farmers and make food more expensive. Otherwise, it is just a blue law, and will be another strange anachronism for Hawaii county to have in its records.

  7. tia
    tia says:

    Since the GMO debate, we’ve seen more and more young people learning permaculture and pumping out a new generation of progressive farmers who understand that food self-sufficiency means local and that health depends on the health of the soil and life of the land. Out with the old antiquated ideals of ‘modern’ forceful ag with chemicals. In with the new ‘traditional’ methods of caring for the aina so that it will sustain us. Imua! There is a silver lining to this GMO thing after all…creating awareness. We are aware and awake.

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