Published on February 4th, 2014 | by Jeremy Bloom0
New Monsanto Protection Act – this time in Hawaii
Monsanto loves Hawaii. It’s a great place to test new GMO crops – with a long growing season and a very big ocean on all sides (but hey, what could go wrong?).
But Hawaii doesn’t love Monsanto quite as much, and three counties have passed laws limiting both GMO planting and use of Monsanto’s signature pesticides. Most recently, in December the big island completely banned GMO crops.
So what do good conservatives do? When local control goes against you… buy off higher-level politicians and get them to over-ride the locals.
Yesterday the Chair of the Senate Agricultural Committee took the unusual step of creating a “zombie” bill (SB110) that effectively fast-tracks what could be described as a “Monsanto protection bill” through the Senate. In its original form it was not destined to pass due to multiple committee referrals sure to face public opposition each time. This afternoon, with public testimony prohibited by the Chair, the language from that bill will be patched into another bill with no further referrals. This creates a “zombie” bill that will be difficult to stop. It’s usual in our state legislature for a committee chair to “recommend” how the committee should vote–and the members dutifully fall in line.
It’s not the first time the Senate has attempted to help big-money interests override local control.
And yes, there’s a rather blatant conflict… the State Senator fast-tracking Monsanto’s little power-grab is so chummy with biotech lobbyist Alicia Maluafiti that she chaired his recent $500 a head fundraiser.
So we get a pro-industry bill rammed through without any public input.