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Crash and Burn: GMO Bill SB110 "Sneak Attack"

I wrote about how SB110 went from a completely blank bill to one preempting counties from regulating GMOs and pesticide disclosure in my DougNote post. (This is the bill that was being called "Hawaii's Monsanto Protection Act.") The hearing on this bill was scheduled the very next day, 2/4/2014, at 2:46pm (less than 24 hours) and NO TESTIMONY would be allowed. That didn't stop Walter Ritte or Kauai Councilmember Gary Hooser from flying in. If Senate Ag Committee Chair Clarence Nishihara wanted to pull this sort of stunt on behalf of his GMO industry sponsors, he'd have to endure a stare down with them and with the standing-room-only crowd that packed the small committee room.

With six Agriculture Committee present, Nishihara hemmed and hawed through other business until he could not delay any longer. He also gave a long, detailed, and seemingly endless speech about the bill. He was waiting for Senator Glenn Wakai to join the group whose vote would pass the action needed to create the new text. Wakai didn't show up. I livestreamed the event, but here's an edit -- with Nishihara's rant preserved in toto:



This use of a "short form" bill which makes a lateral pass of contents from a failing bill (SB3058) to a completely blank bill, then scheduling hearing in less than 24 hours with NO TESTIMONY allowed, strikes many of us as completely underhanded and sleazy.

The GMO touchdown they hoped for didn't make it this attempt, but is there anything to prevent them from trying again? Nope.

Welcome to Crazytown, the Hawaii Legislature 2014

H. Doug Matsuoka
5 February 2014
Makiki, Honolulu

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