fwd: TARO re: GMO BILL

To: Lcruz
Sent: Sunday, March 04, 2007 8:46 PM
Subject: Fw: Taro Bill Updates All Hui Kalo &Taro Association members we need your kokua on the GMO bill

Aloha;
Here are the taro bill updates for this week. Mahalo nui loa for all your kokua! FYI - The legislature takes two recess days March 5th and 7th so we will need to work fast this week to ensure the bills get to the floor as early as possible. Penny

GMO Moratorium (SB958/704)
SB958 has passed through all Senate committees and is waiting to be heard in its last cross-over committee in the House - the Ag Committee. This bill has maintained the 10 year moratorium and is the one we are focusing on now to push through. In order to get to the floor for a full final vote on each side the hurdle to be crossed this week is to make sure it gets scheduled to be heard in the House AG Committee. We've learned that not scheduling a bill for discussion is a backdoor way of killing a bill (see below regarding the Taro Recognition bill). Our opposition on the bill isn't just UH, HARC and DOA but Monsanto as well - the silent partner driving these institutions. Its worth noting also that a number of articles and letters to the editor have gone out to all the major papers in the State; all have been squashed and in their place, pro-GMO articles and opinions have been printed; particularly in the Honolulu Advertiser.
On March 1st, SB958 was re-referred to the EEP Committee (Energy and Environmental Protection) and referred on to the House Ag Committee. The EEP has already passed two readings of the bill. It is the Ag Committee that will be the tough one.
We need you to call or email the following committee members and tell them at least these things - 1) schedule the bill to be heard; 2) you are a consituent from their island/district and want them to support SB958; and 3) you are a ...taro farmer, educator, cultural practitioner, entreprenuer, etc.

House Ag Committee members
are:
Big Island folks speak out to these Committe members! Toll free from the Big Island - dial toll free 974-4000 +6 and last 4 digits of phone#

Clift Tsuji
- chair (South Hilo, Panaewa, Puna, Keaau, Kurtistown) - 586-8480; fax 586-8484; reptsuji@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Jerry Chang (South Hilo, Waiakea Kai, Kaumana, Keau) - 586-6120; fax 586-6121; repchang@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Faye Hanohano (Puna, Pahoa, Hawaiian Acres, Kalapana) - 586-6530; fax 586-6531; rephanohano@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Robert Herkes (Puna, Ka'u, South Kona, North Kona) - 586-8400; fax 586-8404; repherkes@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Oahu folks speak out to these Committe members!
Tom Brower - vice chair (Waikiki/Ala Moana ) - 586-8520; fax 586-8524; repbrower@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Lyla Berg (Hahaione, Kuliouou, Niu Valley, Hawaii Loa Ridge, Aina Haina, Wailupe, Kahala) - 586-6510; fax 808-586-6511; repberg@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Corinne Ching (Nuuanu, Puunui, Liliha, Alewa Heights) - 586-9415; fax 586-9421; repching@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Joey Manahan (Sand Island, Mokauea, Kalihi Kai, Kapalama) - 586-6010; fax 586-6011; repmanahan@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Colleen Meyer (Laie, Hauula, Punaluu, Kahana, Kaaawa, Waikane, Kahaluu, Ahuimanu, Kaneohe) - 586-8540; fax 586-8544; repmeyer@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Glenn Wakai (Moanalua Valley, Moanalua, Salt Lake) - 586-6220; fax 586-6221; repwakai@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Ryan Yamane (Waipahu, Mililani) - 586-6150; fax 586-6151; repyamane@Capitol.hawaii.gov
Maui folks speak out to these Committe members! Toll free from Maui - dial toll free 984-2400 + 6 and last 4 digits of phone#
Kyle Yamashita (Pukalani, Makawao, Olinda, Pulehu, Kula, Ulupalakua) - 586-6330; fax 586-6331; repyamashita@Capitol.hawaii.gov

As soon as we know the date/time (this week) for the AG Committee we will send out a kahea for testimony - we will need every person to stand up and speak out in support of SB958; especially if you haven't yet done so yet. New voices each time are really important. Hui members who haven't yet testified but support the Moratorium your voice will be critical now!

In addition, once the bill hits the floor, we won't be able to testify anymore. When it goes to the floor, we will need every brother, mother, father, sister, uncle, auntie, cousin to call your individual Representatives and Senators and tell them - vote in favor of SB958!
Don't know who they are? Go to:


Other GMO Moratorium bills
:
HB704, a similar bill introduced on the House side, was cut from 10 years to 5 years without discussion. Still needs to be heard in the CPC (Consumer Protection and Commerce) Committee and it is likely to be killed there just by not scheduling a time for the final hearings.
HB1049 - another 10yr moratorium bill - dead in the water; referred to committee but never scheduled for hearing.
SB1664 - Senate match to HB1049 - dead in the water; referred to committee but never scheduled for hearing.

Taro Recognition Bill (HB1763 and SB1854)
You would think that a pono bill such as the Kalo Recognition bill would have moved through the legislature quickly. Unfortunately, both these bills were deliberately silenced before they ever were given a chance to be heard. In the House and Senate the bills were assigned committees but all committees refused to schedule the bills to be heard - and we tried hard to get them heard! In response to a query as to why the Taro Recognition bills got killed, here's what we learned:
Sent: Friday, March 02, 2007 7:29 AM
Subject: RE: Taro Recognition Bill (HB1763 and SB1854)
�looks like you have your work cut out for you�DOA will likely not support your bill if the GMO companies, like Monsanto, object, because they�d like to get their hands on everything�you may have to go to the press.. for help against the marketing might of the GMOs�at least now you know who your opposition is�

Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2007 8:52 PM

...I don't know the details; but was told by someone whose office dealt w/the bills that the GMOs raised so much fuss, most of the bills would be dead-in-the-water. And in future legislative sessions, if these GMOs aren't reigned in, nothing will move...

As you can see its not going to be an easy battle. So next year we will hana hou! Mahalo to everyone who prepared testimony and gathered signatures for these two bills. We will have to have a strong game plan for next year and will put out the call again when the time comes.

Taro as State plant (HB659/SB950)

This bill calling for taro to become the State plant has been modified to say that it will be the state plant until/unless the state changes its mind (not a lot of clout there). It has passed all committees on the Senate side (SB950) and has crossed-over to the House - to the TAC/WLH, JUD Committees.

On the House side, HB659 has passed through all committees and is listed with a 48-hr notice posted for testimony to be heard on Tuesday, March 6th but not sure where/time yet.

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