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Hawaii House Revives and Kills GMO Food-Label Bill

For Related Articles and More Information, Please Visit OCA's Genetic Engineering Page, Millions Against Monsanto Page and our Hawaii News Page.

HONOLULU - An effort to require labels on genetically modified foods in Hawaii was brought back to life in the state Legislature, but it died in committee on Thursday almost as quickly as it was revived.

Representative Jessica Wooley, chairwoman of the House Agriculture Committee, gutted an agriculture bill to replace it with the GMO-labeling requirements.

Wooley, D-Kaneohe, was transparent about the fact that she had drafted a "gut-and-replace" bill, a legislative maneuver disdained by government watchdog groups like Common Cause. "That is one prerogative of the chair if we believe there is an issue that needs to be heard," she said.

Supporters told the committee that Hawaii residents have the right to know what's going into their foods.

"As a farmer and a consumer, I want to know if my food has been modified," said Robert Petricci, a representative of Puna Pono Alliance, a group that advocates for sustainable, healthy policies and has more than 1,800 members. "At present it's almost impossible to know what's GMO free."

Carrie Martell, a mother who lives on the North Shore of Oahu, said her son suffered from rashes and temper tantrums but didn't test positive for any allergies. When she stripped genetically modified foods from his diet, his episodes stopped, she said.   
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