Kaua’i goes rogue, anti-GMO bill passed, legal fight looms
by Jon Entine, Genetic Literacy Project, UPDATED November 16, 2013
As the GLP’s Jon Entine reports in Forbes, an a Kaua’i County Council member selected less than 24 hours earlier because of his known opposition to crop biotechnology provided the deciding fifth vote on Saturday to override the county mayor’s veto of a bill its supporters hope will deal a fatal blow to agri-businesses on Hawaii.
The 5-2 vote means that Bill 2491, which requires large farms to disclose pesticide use and growth of genetically modified crops, is now law. It will take effect in nine months—if it survives an inevitable legal challenge.
The vote by Chock, a favorite of the antis, who was selected on Friday to fill a vacancy on the council, was the difference maker. The council normally has seven members but has been down one for weeks since Nadine Naka-mura resigned to become Kauai County managing director.
Chock’s rushed selection on Friday and his Saturday vote capped a week of intrigue that raises numerous ethical and legal issues. The new council member was not elected by popular vote. Rather, the anti block chose him over former council member KipuKai Kualii, who came in eighth in the last election, just short of being elected. In short, a person hand selected by the fierce opponents of crop biotechnology got to cast the deciding vote on whether one of the most controversial agricultural bill’s in Hawaii’s history would become law.
For the moment, the mayor is being conciliatory. In a statement after the vote, Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., “Of course we will honor the Council’s decision and I will continue to work with my departments to determine how we will implement this new law, which is scheduled to take effect in nine months.”
What’s the backstory and the latest twists in this bizarre saga?
Read the full, original story here: “Fix Is In On Anti-GMO Bill As Kaua’i Goes Rogue, Setting Hawaii County On Path To Legal Conflagration"
KGI: Chock Claims to be Undecided
CB: Kualii claims he strongly supported overriding the mayor’s veto.