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Protect Kona Coffee from GMO: Kona Coffee Farmers Association Supports County Bill 79

KAILUA KONA - On June 18th, the Board of the Kona Coffee Farmer's Association unanimously voted to adopt and support Hawaii County Bill 79 to prohibit GMOs on the island.

“Bill 79 will ensure the most protection possible for our heritage crop, 100% Kona coffee,” says President Cecelia Smith.

The Kona Coffee Farmer's Association (KCFA) endorses the Hawaii County Council Bill 79, regarding the prohibition of genetically modified organisms, as put forth in its final language for County Council vote by Councilperson Margaret Willie.  This will add protection against the impact of the many unknowns of GMOs. The Bill provides details for Registration, Enforcement and Penalties, which go beyond the scope of the 2008 County law prohibiting GMO coffee and taro.

Colehour Bondera, chair of KCFA's Geographical Identity Committee, says, “The KCFA urges concerned citizens and farmers to speak up in favor of Hawaii County Council Bill 79 in order to assure that GMOs never taint Kona Coffee.”

Bondera went on to say, "Last month, Oregon wheat tested positive for unintentional GMO contamination, and Japan temporarily suspended imported shipments of wheat. For Kona coffee growers, Japan and Europe are significant markets. We cannot afford even the perception of potential contamination that research trials of GMO coffee can cause.”

Kona Coffee Farmers Association encourages the community, especially coffee farmers, to come testify in person to the County Council on July 2, in Kailua-Kona at the West Hawaii Civic Center.

To submit written testimony, indicate SUPPORT BILL 79 in your email subject line and submit before noon on July 1 to counciltestimony@co.hawaii.hi.us.

Short URL: http://www.hawaiireporter.com/?p=379873

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