Hawaii Bans Biotech Coffee

Hawaiian Gold Kona Coffee has just received protection against genetic engineering.

The Hawaii County Council has banned growing biotech coffee as well as taro. I agree with this decision. They need to draw some lines about this, because it can get out of control very easy.

According to a recent press release:

The new ordinance, which makes it unlawful to grow genetically engineered (GE) coffee or taro anywhere on the Island of Hawaii, was strongly supported by coffee and taro farmers.

Coffee growers testified that the planting of genetically engineered coffee would contaminate and damage markets for their premium Kona coffee, costing them their livelihoods.

Farmers of Hawaiian Gold Kona coffee and other coffee argued that they would lose their “specialty coffee” status and/or organic certification if biotech coffee were ever planted on Hawaii Island. The Kona coffee industry brings more than $25 million into the state each year.” Beside fears of “contamination,” some residents apparently brought up possible health concerns: “There were compelling testimonies from mothers of children who have complex allergies.

Allergic reactions are one potential health threat of biotech crops, and taro is known world-wide as one the most hypo-allergenic foods on earth.

More information on the ban is available at checkbiotech.org.