STAND. COM. REP. NO. 253
RE: H.B. No. 174
Honorable Joseph M. Souki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-Seventh State Legislature
Regular Session of 2013
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred H.B. No. 174 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO FOOD LABELING,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this measure is to require, beginning January 1, 2014, the specific labeling of any food or raw agricultural commodity sold in the State that contains or was produced with a genetically engineered material.
The Maui County Council, Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawaii, Life of the Land, Sierra Club Hawaii Chapter, Hawaii Organic Farming Association, Earthjustice, Babes Against Biotech, GMO Free Maui, GMO Free Oahu, GMO Free Big Island, Hawaii SEED, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, Occupy Monsanto, GMO Free NJ, Respiratory & Environmental Disabilities Association of Hawaii, and numerous individuals testified in support of this measure. The Department of Health; DuPont Pioneer; Hawaii Crop Improvement Association; 4 AG Hawaii; Times Supermarket; The Safeway Companies; McCandless Ranch; Syngenta Hawaii; VIP Food Service; Maui Chamber of Commerce; Monsanto Hawaii; Hawaii Food Industry Association; W.H. Shipman, Limited; Hawaii Cattlemen's Association; Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, Inc.; The Grocery Manufacturers Association; The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii; Ulupalakua Ranch, Inc.; Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation; and numerous individuals testified in opposition. The Asia-Pacific Center for Regenerative Design and several individuals commented.
Your Committee recognizes that members of the public have expressed a desire to be informed about which food products are genetically engineered. However, your Committee notes that labeling every food at this point is not realistic and has the potential to be quite costly to both the industry and consumers. In response to the need for some kind of labeling of genetically engineered foods, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Limiting its scope to only imported produce by removing language that referred to food, raw agricultural commodities, animals, and processed foods;
(2) Simplifying the labeling regime and requiring the label on genetically engineered imported produce to read "genetically engineered";
(3) Removing the $1,000 fine for violation of labeling requirements;
(4) Requiring that importers of genetically modified produce label their shipping containers and each piece of produce in the container as "genetically modified" and certify that such produce is not an invasive species upon arrival in Hawaii and before delivery to retail establishments;
(5) Specifying that the import of genetically modified produce in violation of labeling requirements is prohibited;
(6) Changing its effective date to July 1, 2050 to encourage further discussion; and
(7) Making technical nonsubstantive changes for clarity, consistency, and style.
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. 174, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 174, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture,
JESSICA WOOLEY, Chair