Commentary – Richard Ha on Bill 79, the Anti-GMO Bill

Click to read Richard's Blog on this

Click to read Richard’s Blog on this

Dear Editor,

Bill 79, the anti-GMO bill, has brought out a lot of concern and a lot of anxiety.

I say that we need to slow down. It would be premature to rush into a decision on this bill without taking the time to hear everybody’s input and address all the issues on the table.

Before we make big decisions – any of which could have unintended consequences – we should set up some sort of task force to look at the bigger picture of Hawai‘i’s self-sufficiency, and how we are going to achieve that.

How are we going to get there, all of us together? We need to end up at a place where we aloha each other, and take care of everybody.

Let’s not rush to pass this bill without fully understanding the bigger picture.

Richard Ha

Owner, Hamakua Springs Country Farms


4 Responses

  1. I was really hoping that the people would not get suckered into believing the GMO companies PR. Keep the Islands pure, keep them GMO free. There’s a reason they are banned in Europe.

  2. Bill 79’s supposed exemptions for GM papayas really amounts to defacto ban on them, to wit, from Bill 79’s text:

    “(c) Any person using transgenic organisms in the production of agricultural produce or the raising livestock of any kind prior to the effective date of this article under the exemption allowed in subsections (b) and (c) is exempt from the prohibition set forth above in section 14- (a), provided documentation of the usage, the defined location and the extent thereof, is submitted to the department of environmental management, along with proof that all transgenic organisms are physically contained, as defined herein.”

    “Physically contained” means following USDA protocols and guidelines at the BSL-3-Ag Containment Level or greater as outlined in USDA Departmental Manual No. 9610-001: “USDA Security Policies and Procedures for Biosafety Level-3 Facilities.” –

    Just what is BSL-3-Ag containment? See this slide show.

    And, then, there is the 750 ft wide buffer zone requirement. That would leave a square 100 acre farm with under 8 acres left to actually grow their papayas ! And that assumes no streams within that farm !

    There’s no way that real farmers can operate under such draconian and totally unnecessary restrictions. This is grandfathering in name only.

    There is also these clauses:

    “Section 14-_ Registration.

    a) All persons using genetically modified or transgenic manipulated produce or products of any kind shall register annually with the department, as defined in section __ , beginning within ninety days of the effective date of this article.

    b) All persons using genetically modified organisms or transgenic manipulated produce or products shall be required to pay an annual registration fee of $100 per location. All contiguous land shall be treated as a single location.”

    It says trangenic manipulated produce OR products. That means anything made with anything derived from GMO’s. That includes human compatible insulin, GMO vaccines, sodas made with sugar or corn syrup from GMO crops, etc, etc.

    That flu shot next year may have a $100.00 surcharge per person. The elderly would have to pay it to the county or risk dying. Parents of young infants woulod have to pay $100.00 surcharge each or risk getting the flu and passing it on to said infants.

    Does Wille even care? And, if she does, does she then think it’s worth it, that those would be naturally occurring deaths anyway ? Is that her and Bill 79’s supporters’ idea of pono ?

  3. Aloha
    We have waited and waited and considered. In the meantime we have all been uninformed guinea pigs for the GMO industry since it’s inception many years ago. GMO papayas bankrupted the organic papaya industry while Monsanto has bought politician after politician and run roughshod over us all. Few farmers have benefitted from this toxic industry and the consumers have no choice. We are kept in the dark while apologists for GMO tell us to wait some more and eat some more Roundup. We deserve better from people like Richard Ha and his ilk. Pass the bill and let us finally know what we are eating. Give us a choice to avoid these questionable foods.
    a hui hou
    Bob Jacobson, Retired Hawaii Couty Councilmember, Puna/Kau/South Kona 2002-2008

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