SB 2777, yet another State Preemption GMO Bill for Hawai’i

Please read the below and send in your testimony for this bill =- thanks everyone
Jim Albertini


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Aloha e Kakou,A new state preemption bill to override Count GMO bans needs your testimony in opposition this week. If you haven’t been following this story, Big Island Bill 113 and Kaua’i Bill 2491 would be made null and void if these State laws are passed.

Via Brad Parsons:
Bill SB 2777 scheduled for hearing next Thurs. 27th that would preempt County authority to regulate Agriculture use of land.

Here is the key section in question in the bill (underscore is an addition, bracketed is a deletion, changes to the law):
SECTION 2.  Section 205-5, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (b) to read as follows:    
(b)  Within agricultural districts, uses [compatible to the activities] described in section 205‑2 [as determined by the commission] shall be permitted[;] without further limitations or restrictions;
After reviewing SB2777, Atty. Paul Achitoff had the following to say about it:  
“This bill would appear to strip counties of the authority to restrict use of agricultural land, and therefore is another preemption bill.  It should be opposed.”
Here is an article fully explaining it, “Reading SB2777 – Another attempt to preempt and weaken local authority”
Calling on everyone to send in testimony OPPOSED TO SB2777 by following these simple steps:
2) If you haven’t already registered, create an account by clicking on REGISTER in the top right corner of the homepage
3) Follow the instruction and sign in to your account
4) Enter SB2777 into the search engine – you will be redirected to the comments page
5) Click SUBMIT TESTIMONY and follow instructions for accepting the small box at the bottom: Terms and Conditions and finally, press submit.
6) You will get a page that says “successfully submitted..
**While a few sentences or paragraph of comments opposed are welcome, you can just click on OPPOSE and SUBMIT and follow the instructions for final submission.**

Action Item #2 – SB 2521 GMO Labeling
You will recall that SB 2521 is waiting to be scheduled for a last hearing/decision making in the CPN/WAM Committees in the Senate.  
We recently learned that the Chair of the CPN Committee, Senator Roz Baker is repeating the following erroneous point in an email to a Maui activist as to why she hasn’t schedule a GMO Labeling bill:
“…the Hawaii State Legislature does not have the authority to require labeling of GMO products that come into the State…”
Senator Rosalyn H. BakerChair,
Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection6th District — South and West Maui
808-586-6070 (voice)808-586-6071 (fax)
Ms. Baker and her source are disingenuously wrong about this.  As you may know, Connecticut and Maine have passed GMO Labeling bills and Vermont and New Hampshire are considering doing the same, in addition to the West Coast states that attempted it on the ballot.  
“Contrary to claims made by companies like Monsanto, states do have a constitutional right to label food. In fact, the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act explicitly allows states to add language to labels so long as the federal government doesn’t require language on the same subject – a right that has consistently held up in federal court.” —
Additional legal sources that explain why states have been and can require GMO Labeling:
1.) Achitoff Memo on Constitutionality of State GMO Labeling
2.) Emord & Associates Memo on Vermont Bill H.112; Relating to State GMO Labeling
3.) Univ. of Vermont Law Clinic; Constitutionality of GE Labeling Legislation in Vermont
4.) Hawaii AG 2013 Memo to Senator Roz Baker on GMO Labeling
Calling on everyone in Hawaii to use the following form letter to let Senator Baker know that we know her position on GMO Labeling is erroneous and we want her to schedule SB 2521 for a hearing/decision making before CPN/WAM:
Subject:  State GMO labeling laws are Constitutional, Schedule SB 2521
Letter:  Dear Senators,  
Food industry lobbyists have a “one-pager” of talking points that state GMO labeling laws violate the First Amendment, and that any state that passes a GMO labeling law will be sued.  Nevertheless states have already begun passing GMO labeling laws (Connecticut & Maine) and not been sued.  
The food industry is wrong on this, but they continue to make these claims in an effort to scare lawmakers like yourself into rejecting GMO (genetically modified organisms) labeling bills.  
The fact is, according to recognized legal experts the food industry is way off base. After extensive research and analysis, the following legal experts have independently concluded that state GMO labeling laws do not violate the First Amendment.  
You can read their analysis here:
1.) Achitoff Memo on Constitutionality of State GMO Labeling
2.) Emord & Associates Memo; Relating to State GMO Labeling
3.) Univ. of Vermont Law Clinic; Constitutionality of State GE Labeling Legislation
Seventy-six percent (76%) of Hawaii residents want GMOs labeled.  I ask that you support the will of the people by bringing SB 2521 to a hearing/decision making in CPN/WAM, support GMO labeling, and not cave into baseless threats by food industry lobbyists.  
GMO News Items
1.) “Perfect Timing: Jon Stewart ‘The Daily Show’ films GMO segment in Kona” features BAB’s and others to appear on-air soon
2.) “Labeling for GMO food garners broad support,” Honolulu StarAdvertiser
4.) “Legal Experts Reject Food Industry Claims That GMO Labeling Laws Are Unconstitutional”
5.) “Toxic waste dumping into quarry by Monsanto continues to poison British village”
6.) Hawaii Island: “Council OKs home rule resolution”
7.) Josephine County, Oregon has succeeded in putting a GMO BAN on their May Ballot

Mahalo nui,
-the team at GMO Free Hawai’i Island
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