Honolulu, Hawaii
                                                   , 1999

                                 RE: H.B. No. 336
                                     H.D. 1

Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twentieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 1999
State of Hawaii


     Your Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred H.B.
No. 336 entitled: 


begs leave to report as follows:

     The purpose of this bill is to facilitate the import into
and use of microorganisms in the State by, among other things:

     (1)  Requiring the Department of Agriculture (DOA) to
          maintain lists of approved, restricted, and prohibited

     (2)  Providing on a case-by-case basis, a procedure for
          allowing the importation of microorganisms that are not
          on any list; and

     (3)  Allowing DOA to publish interim rules in a newspaper of
          general circulation and increasing the number of days
          currently required for publishing from the date of

     The Hawaii Agriculture Research Center testified in support
of this bill.  The Department of Agriculture, the University of
Hawaii (UH), and the Hawaii Branch of the American Society of
Microbiology commented on this bill.

                                 STAND. COM. REP. NO. 914
                                 Page 2

     Your Committee recognizes that due to the ever-increasing
and changing uses of microorganisms, particularly in the area of
biotechnology, Hawaii's business and research community and
others must be allowed greater flexibility to import and use
microorganisms.  However, your Committee is also aware that the
import and use of microorganisms must also be done in a manner
that will not be detrimental to agriculture, horticulture, the
environment, animals, and humans.

     Upon careful consideration, your Committee has amended this
bill by:

     (1)  Deleting the requirement that importers of animals that
          are not on the lists of prohibited, restricted, or
          conditionally-approved animals meet permit requirements
          consistent with Centers for Disease Control and
          National Institute of Health guidelines before a
          special permit may be issued by DOA;

     (2)  Requiring the Board of Agriculture to maintain a list
          of nonrestricted microorganisms, rather than approved
          microorganisms, allowed entry into the State without a

     (3)  Authorizing DOA to issue emergency permits on a case-
          by-case basis to state or federal agencies or the state
          university for the import and possession of
          microorganisms that are on the list of prohibited

     (4)  Changing on a case-by-case basis the procedures for
          allowing the importation of microorganisms not on any

     (5)  Allowing DOA to publish interim rules at least once
          statewide within ten days of issuance, rather than at
          least once within seven days of issuance in each
          newspaper of general circulation in the State; and

     (6)  Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for clarity
          and style.

     Your Committee notes that there is agreement by DOA and UH
that this bill, as amended, is a step in the right direction to
facilitate the import and use of microorganisms.  Your Committee
further notes that DOA and UH will work together during the
legislative interim to address other concerns related to this

                                 STAND. COM. REP. NO. 914
                                 Page 3

     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your
Committee on Agriculture that is attached to this report, your
Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No.
336, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second
Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 336, H.D. 1, and
be placed on the calendar for Third Reading.

                                   Respectfully submitted on
                                   behalf of the members of the
                                   Committee on Agriculture,

                                   FELIPE P. ABINSAY, JR., Chair