The state Department of Agriculture issued a statement Monday endorsing Kauai County Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s assessment of a bill to regulate genetically modified crops and pesticide use on the Garden Island.
Carvalho vetoed the bill last week due to legal concerns, prompting a backlash from its supporters.
In its statement, the department said it reaffirms “the mayor’s assessment” about enforcement and legal issues.
“The Department of Agriculture is in the process of implementing guidelines for companies regarding pesticide disclosure and buffer zones and will be submitting a budget request to the Legislature for additional pesticide inspectors,” Chairman Russell Kokubun said in a press release.
The Kauai County Council has the option of overturning the veto.
The Hawaii County Council will consider its own bill on genetically modified organisms during a special meeting at 2 p.m. today in Hilo.
Kokubun was unavailable for comment Monday.
An Agriculture spokeswoman said Deputy Director Scott Enright plans to provide testimony on behalf of the department at the meeting today.