Political Radar


February 10th, 2014

The state Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee on Monday evening moved out a GMO labeling bill.

The bill, by Sen. Suzanne Chun Oakland, is not that different from legislation that cleared the Senate Health Committee in late January. It would require food with genetically modified organisms offered for retail sale to carry labels starting in January. Violators could face $500 fines and one year in prison.

But the beauty of the bill -- and the reason the Senate Health Committee and the Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee held a joint hearing Monday -- is its referral. The bill does not have a referral to the Senate Agriculture Committee, where Sen. Clarence Nishihara, the chairman, is opposed to GMO labeling.

The bill -- if it passes the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday -- would go before the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee and the Senate Ways and Means Committee. Sen. Rosalyn Baker, the chairwoman of the Senate Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee, is skeptical about GMO labeling, but the path for the bill might be a little easier with the Senate Agriculture Committee out of the picture.

*Update: The Senate Health Committee voted 2 to 1 on Thursday to advance the bill.


16 Responses to “Movement”

  1. sue:

    wOW... mahalo for explaining!

  2. kamaaina808:

    Awesome - hope it passes.

  3. Guido Sarducci:

    Scientific American: Labels for Genetically Modified Foods Are a Bad Idea

  4. Manoa_Fisherman:

    Nothing like having the patients in charge of the insane asylum! How much will this add to the cost of living in the state? Ask all the food in the grocery store to be labeled and you will find less items for sale because who wants to take the chance that some poor farmer wasn't a genetic scientist. Does the word ABSURD come to mind when the State Senate starts to look like the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland by shouting "OFF WITH THEIR HEADS". Will someone reign in the irresponsible legislation? Is there an adult who can stand up to these idiots?

  5. LabelItHI:

    American Academy of Environmental Medicine Position Paper on GMO

    130 Studies Regarding GMO Labeling

  6. Manoa Kahuna:

    "Instead of providing people with useful information, mandatory GMO labels would only intensify the misconception that so-called Frankenfoods endanger people's health. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the World Health Organization and the exceptionally vigilant European Union agree that GMOs are just as safe as other foods. Compared with conventional breeding techniques (which swap giant chunks of DNA between one plant and another) genetic engineering is far more precise and, in most cases, is less likely to produce an unexpected result. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has tested all the GMOs on the market to determine whether they are toxic or allergenic. They are not." Scientific American

  7. Especially Incognito:

    GMO or any processed foods is with preservatives or chemicals..

    Labels will only confuse unless one is a chemist.
    Putting labels can only fit if lettering is in small print.
    I assume that not everyone reads small prints in anything
    they buy.
    Labeling GMO will only cover up the transparency of the plastic wrappings.

  8. Guido Sarducci:

    Food warning labels are used to advise consumers of potential health hazards. Not a single peer-reviewed study has demonstrated any health hazard from GMOs while thousands of studies have shown the absence of hazard. Therefore the labels themselves would be a lie. Those who are saying "consumers have a right to know" have it backwards. Consumers have a right to expect that the warning label is mandated only to warn of legitimate health hazards, not to promulgate mindless hype and ignorance designed to herd shoppers into the aisles of expensive 'natural' food stores run by the Gabbards' cult.

  9. Sayer:

    It's always telling when GMO propagandists try to discredit their opponents with slander and name calling -- even bigotry. The fact is people have a right to know what's in their food. Simple, straightforward information. Nobody's even trying to ban GMOs. But the profiteers know people really aren't into GMOs so they want to keep them in the dark.

  10. Guido Sarducci:

    "Nobody's even trying to ban GMOs?"


  11. kamaaina808:

    Nothing like reading proGMO folks freaking out on a blog so late in the morning. Goes great with my non-GMO coffee & muffin. 🙂 Do you really think all the bad-mouthing of those who want to know what's in their food makes you look respectable, credible & uh, 'scientific' or something?

    Let's see... cost of labeling GMO foods. That's a big argument, right? Ok, what's the cost of ink nowadays? An nth of a cent? How about for 12 letters and a space? Hard for me to believe that printing "Contains GMOs" on a package or label is going to raise food costs exorbitantly. BTW, tofu made with Non-GMO soybeans doesn't cost more than regular tofu, so there goes the absurd 'health food store' conspiracy theory. Besides, Safeway sells organic. Foodland sells organic. Costco sells organic. Sam's CLub sells organic. Whole Foods is committed to labeling all GMO foods by 2018. I'm in full support of their efforts because I care what goes in my body, and I care what I feed my family. Whether you like it or not, it's the consumer's right to know, period.

    Fact is, especially with so many diseases caused by obesity and health problems caused by preservatives, allergens, etc., intelligent people are becoming aware of what they eat. Faulting them (and blaming others) for wanting to know how their food is raised, what allergens it contains, and if it contains GMOs or not is disingenuous, at the very best.

  12. Auto de Fe:

    Enjoy your modified muffin:

    How to Use Anti-GMO Ordinances to Seize Marijuana Plants: A Guide for Police Departments


  13. Miles Rose:

    Hey Guido, get a clue! Food labels = ingredients and nutritional
    values NOT warning labels. GMO is novel science. Where are
    the long term studies? Animal studies are exceedingly grim!
    Arrogance cannot trump the truth. If Biotech wants to replace
    our food supply our public officials must be u equivocality
    sure of long term safety.
    Moreover, GMO's should be banned! Independent
    EIS's have not been conducted to determine LONG TERM
    viability. Closed field trials of experimental/patented "food"'s
    should be the only exception! Nutritional equivalence of
    non-GMO and GMO DOES NOT EQUAL DNA equivalence!!! The onus of safety cannot be
    entrusted to GMO's developers.
    Long live Tulsi : )

  14. Kuliouou mother:

    Hope this passes! The people have spoken.
    It's our choice not government or the big companies.
    Labeling is the least they can do.

  15. Aliijr:

    Humans have tinkered (guessing) with unscientific (what if) crossbreeding of ornamental plants, animals, and food since the dawn of humans. Along the way there have been flops (due to guessing and what ifs) but there have been marvelous improvements. I believe GMO to be safe through and by improvements in our understanding of science and technology. Corn is a marvelouse example of successful crossbreeding. Today, it is very difficult to find in stores, any packaged products that doesn't contain some form of corn product. It makes no sense to me, to label everything GMO. I think we're thinking backwards about labeling products. Products produced "naturally" should be labeled "Non-GMO" just like items labeled "Organic". That way, it would still be a choice to everyone and the added cost would be passed on to those who care to buy "Non-GMO" products.

  16. Especially Incognito:

    Muffin? You don't need drugs.
    Lack of oxygen to the brain
    to one who is already without breath.

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