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For those fighting for their right to know - to label food products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMO's), the counties of Maui, Big Island, and Kauai agreed on their behalf that the Hawaii State Association of Counties (HSAC) legislative package include a provision to do just that - label food that contains GMO.

However, at the end of yesterday, upon the 11th hour to file the agenda for the Committee on Executive Matters and Legislative Affairs, it was revealed in resolution 12-319 introduced by Councilmembers Stanley Chang, Breene Harimoto, Ernie Martin, Nestor Garcia and Ikaika Anderson, that the HSAC legislative package would be stripped of any GMO right to know - labeling language.

Councilman Tom Berg, the lone vote last year in the HSAC legislative package to include a right to know measure and considered one of the leading advocates in local government to support GMO labeling, stated the last minute move to omit the will of every other county's directive, was a disservice to democracy as a whole. Councilman Berg stated, "Here we are, celebrating Thanksgiving whereby every pilgrim and Native American at the feast knew where their food came from, what was in it, and how it got from farm to fork. The public today is merely asking for those same principles of knowledge be honored so that in the event you do not agree with what is in the food, where it came from, or how it was produced, you can say - 'No thank you.'"

Councilman Berg plans on introducing a CD1 draft to resolution 12-319 for a vote at next Tuesday's hearing which is to be held at Honolulu Hale at 1:00 p.m. Berg's CD1 will reinstate the GMO labeling provision into the HSAC package. Berg added the comment, "To take out the GMO provision before the hearing, is not only undemocratic, but a slap in the face for all of us no matter if we are pro or anti GMO products. We simply want the right to know what is in our food. I think if a pilgrim or Native American said at the table, 'I don't know where this food came from, how it was grown, or how it will bode in your own belly afterwards, just eat it and cross your fingers,' is not the proper route to take. I hope everyone turns up and fights with me to support my CD1 to restore the right to know - label it provision."

NOTE: "All other Hawaii Counties except Honolulu have passed the GMO labeling bill for the HSAC package unanimously and are expecting Honolulu to act in good faith," stated Berg.


Councilman Tom Berg | Honolulu Hale | 530 S. King Street Room 202 | Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
TEL: (808) 768-5001 | WEB: www.councilmanberg.com | E-MAIL: tberg@honolulu.gov

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