by Melissa Diane Smith
The mayor of the Big Island of Hawaii has signed a bill into law that bans all future plantings of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and prohibits biotech companies from operating on the Big Island. In a letter to council members announcing his decision to sign the bill, Mayor Billy Kenoi said that the new law signals the county’s desire to encourage community-based farming and ranching, as opposed to playing host to global agribusiness corporations.
Hawaii is joining Mexico, which recently banned (on an interim basis) the planting of all genetically engineered corn; Peru, which has a ten-year moratorium on GM crops; and Italy, which in July became the ninth European country to ban planting of Monsanto’s GMO corn. In addition, two city councilmen have proposed a motion to make the city of Los Angeles a GMO-Free zone, the largest one in the country, by banning the growth, sale and distribution of GM seeds and plants anywhere in the city. (These actions are pointing to more people in counties, cities, and countries understanding that banning and boycotting GMOs are better uses of our time and efforts than labeling them. See my special report “Why We Need to Focus on GMO Boycotts and Bans” for more info.)