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Kauai mayor vetoes GMO bill

November 1, 2013
The Associated Press

LIHUE (AP) - Kauai's mayor vetoed a bill Thursday that would have regulated the use of pesticides and genetically modified crops by large agricultural businesses.

Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. said in a statement that he agreed with the bill's intent but he vetoed the bill because it was legally flawed.

The Kauai County Council passed the measure, Bill 2491, by a 6-1 vote about two weeks ago. It would have required Kauai's largest agricultural companies to disclose the presence and use of pesticides and genetically modified crops.

It also would have established pesticide-free buffer zones around schools, hospitals, homes and other areas. It would have required the county to conduct a study on the health and environmental impacts of the industry.

But Carvalho said in a letter to council members that existing federal and state laws appear to pre-empt the county from enacting its own pesticide laws.

The bill also may violate Hawaii's Right to Farm Act, he said.

The mayor said he wants the county to go ahead and study the health and environmental impacts of the industry and will work with the council to find money to fund an analysis.



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