October 17, 2021

Council in Kaua’i Mandates Pesticide, GMO Reports

The Center for Food Safety (CFS) reports that the Kaua’i County Council overturned a mayoral veto of a bill that would require an assessment of risks stemming from pesticide use and the cultivation of genetically engineered crops. Mayor Bernard Carvalho vetoed the legislation last week.

Farm FieldSylvia Wu, an attorney with the Center for Food Safety said in a statement, “the people of Kaua’i have demanded that their elected representatives serve the people, not the corporations. Today the County Council proved that the people of Kaua’i cannot be bullied by big corporations with deep pockets.”

Bill 2491 requires that biotech and chemical companies report and publicly disclose the pesticides and the GE crops they use on the island. In addition, no pesticides can be used near schools, medical facilities, parks, and waterways that flow into the ocean. The County must prepared detailed analyses of environmental and health effects of pesticides and genetically modified crops.

The Mayor vetoed the legislation because of a memo that suggested the bill was preempted by state and federal law. But nothing in federal or state laws preempts local officials’ authority to enact laws to protect citizen’s health. Hawaii is one of only a few states that allows local government to pass laws more restrictive than state or federal law.


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