Hawaii Island farmers and ranchers plan to rally in opposition of Bill 79 today at 2 p.m. in front of the county building in Hilo.
The Hawaii Papaya Industry Association, Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association, Big Island Banana Growers Association, Hawaii Dairy, Hawaii Cattlemen’s Council are uniting to protest the GMO-ban bill, according to a written statement, to convey to the County Council the importance of allowing farmers, nursery growers, ranchers and retail businesses to have free choices in their livelihood. These organizations represent approximately 600 local businesses with 2,000 employees. Collectively, they contribute $130 million to the island’s economy, according to the statement.
“The bill contains no rhyme or reason,” said to Richard Ha, an island farmer who opposes bill 79. “We should be feeding Hawaii’s people but this bill is pitting people against farmers. We just want to have the freedom to farm.”