Decision Making on GMO and Local Agriculture Bills
By Wendy Osher
Four bills relating to GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and the local agriculture industry are up for decision making today before the House Committee on Agriculture.
Items under review include HB 174, a GMO labeling bill that seeks specific labeling for any food or raw agricultural commodity sold in the state that contains or was produced with a genetically-engineered material.
Another bill requires a permit to introduce or develop a new GMO. HB 97 would require a permit from the Department of Agriculture to import, introduce, or develop a new species of genetically-engineered organism. The bill would enable the department to determine whether to grant a permit and under what conditions, if any, based on the department’s determination of the level of risk presented to agriculture, horticulture, the environment, animal, or public health.
Other bills offer exemptions including HB 747, which exempts from the general excise tax amounts received for the slaughter and processing of poultry and livestock. HB 96, would create an income tax exemption on the first $50,000 of income for family farms, family farm communities, and family farm cooperatives.
The bills were previously heard on Feb. 4, 2013, and will come up for decision making at 8:30 a.m. today, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 at the state Capitol.