Report Title:

Genetically Modified Organisms; Taro; Moratorium



Imposes a 10-year moratorium on developing, testing, propagating, cultivating, growing, and raising genetically engineered taro in the State.  (HD1)



S.B. NO.



S.D. 1


H.D. 1








relating to genetically modified organisms.





     SECTION 1.  Kalo (colocasia esculenta), the Hawaiian word for taro, is a culturally significant plant to the kanaka maoli, Hawaii's indigenous peoples.  According to the kumulipo, the Hawaiian creation chant, kalo grew from the first-born son of Wakea, the sky father, and Papa, the earth mother, through Wakea's relationship with his and Papa's daughter, Hoohokulani.  This son, named Haloa, was stillborn and buried.  From Haloa's grave grew the first kalo plant.  Wakea and Hoohokulani named their second son Haloa, after his older brother.  From the second Haloa came the genesis of man.  Kalo provides the kanaka maoli's life-giving sustenance, poi, and is seen as the older brother of mankind.

     Over three hundred kalo varieties may have existed at the time of the arrival of European explorers.  Today, there are approximately seventy varieties of taro and, of these, the majority are unique to the Hawaiian islands due to the horticultural skills of native Hawaiian farmers.

        The important cultural relationship between kalo and the kanaka maoli continues today in the cultivation of kalo and ohana, the Hawaiian word for family.  The cut stalk of the kalo, called the huli, is planted to become the next generation.  Huli means to turn or turn-over.  When "ohana" is broken into root words, "oha" is the smaller taro corms growing from the older part of the taro plant that is used to feed one's family and "ana" is a conjunctive word connoting regeneration or procreation.

        Therefore, kalo intrinsically ties the interdependency of the past, the present, and the future, the essence of procreation and regeneration, as the foundation of any sustainable practice.  Kalo expresses the spiritual and physical well-being of not only the kanaka maoli and their heritage, but also symbolizes the environmental, social, and cultural values important to the State.  This relationship is symbolized in the use of the kalo plant upon the crown of King Kalakaua and today in the logo of the office of Hawaiian affairs and many commercial enterprises throughout the State.

     The purpose of this Act is to recognize the importance of the kalo in the heritage of the State by creating a ten-year moratorium on developing, testing, propagating, cultivating, raising, and growing of genetically modified taro in the State of Hawaii.

     SECTION 2.  Genetically modified taro; moratorium.  (a)  Until June 30, 2017, no genetically modified taro shall be developed, tested, propagated, cultivated, raised, or grown in the State.

     (b)  As used in this section:

     "Genetically modified" means alterations to a life form or its living progeny at the nucleic acid level, using the techniques collectively referred to as recombinant DNA technology.

     "Recombinant DNA technology" means the transfer of genes, regulatory sequences, or nucleic acid between hosts by the use of vectors or laboratory manipulations and includes the insertion, excision, duplication, inactivation, or relocation of specific genes, regulatory sequences, or sections of nucleic acid.  This term does not apply to a material or an organism developed exclusively through traditional methods of breeding, hybridization, or nondirected mutagenesis.

     SECTION 3.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2007, and shall be repealed on June 30, 2017.