STAND. COM. REP. NO. 1139
RE: S.C.R. No. 34
Honorable Donna Mercado Kim
President of the Senate
Twenty-Seventh State Legislature
Regular Session of 2013
State of Hawaii
Your Committees on Agriculture and Commerce and Consumer Protection, to which was referred S.C.R. No. 34 entitled:
"SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE TO IMPLEMENT DIFFERENTIATED WATER TOLL RATES AND CHARGES FOR THE HAMAKUA DISTRICT IRRIGATION SYSTEM,"
beg leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to urge the Department of Agriculture to:
(1) Implement differentiated water toll rates and charges for the Hamakua District irrigation system to promote the development and expansion of agricultural activities and processing; and
(2) Submit a report to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2014 on the status and progress of the Department's implementation of differentiated water toll rates and charges for the Hamakua District irrigation system.
Prior to the hearing on this measure, your Committees prepared and made available for public review a proposed S.D. 1 that amended this measure by deleting its contents and replacing it with language urging, among other things:
(1) The University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization to establish an economic model, conduct an economic impact study, and submit a report on the economic impact of implementing a Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) labeling or GMO registration requirement on consumers, the local agricultural industry, and the State's 2050 sustainability goals;
(2) The Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, and Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism to research and submit a report examining whether implementing a GMO labeling or GMO registration regimen is practicable and whether such a program would adversely affect the Hawaii 2050 sustainability goals;
(3) The Department of Agriculture to provide a report that includes detailed cost analyses on implementing GMO labeling and GMO registration regimens;
(4) The University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources to submit a report analyzing peer reviewed literature and studies regarding the long-term safety of GMO crops grown in Hawaii and information on farming practices in Hawaii; and
(5) The foregoing agencies to submit an individual interim report and final report to the Legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the Regular Sessions of 2014 and 2015, respectively, on the research requested in this measure.
Your Committees received testimony in support of the proposed S.D. 1 from Monsanto Co. and Ulupono Initiative. Your Committees received comments on the proposed S.D. 1 from the Department of Agriculture.
Your Committees understand that GMO labeling has garnered much debate throughout the country. While consumers have significant concerns about the safety of GMOs, the agricultural industry and the State have concerns regarding the intended and unintended effects arising from a GMO labeling mandate. Pursuing comprehensive studies and reports from the University of Hawaii and affected state agencies will ensure that the State addresses all parties' concerns in an educated and prudent manner.
Accordingly, your Committees have amended this measure by adopting the proposed S.D. 1 and further amending the measure by:
(1) Urging the Legislative Reference Bureau to provide a report to the Legislature that includes copies of legislation adopted by, or bills or ordinances under consideration by, other state legislatures over the past three years that address GMO labeling, and the outcomes of such bills;
(2) Urging the University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, with the assistance of the Department of Agriculture, rather than the Department of Agriculture alone, to provide a report that includes detailed cost analyses on implementing GMO labeling and GMO registration regimens; and
(3) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for the purposes of consistency and clarity.
As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Commerce and Consumer Protection that are attached to this report, your Committees concur with the intent and purpose of S.C.R. No. 34, as amended herein, and recommend that it be referred to the Committee on Ways and Means, in the form attached hereto as S.C.R. No. 34, S.D. 1.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Commerce and Consumer Protection,
ROSALYN H. BAKER, Chair
CLARENCE K. NISHIHARA, Chair