Maui voters approved an initiative that places a moratorium on GMO cultivation in Maui County (Maui, Lana’i, Moloka’i, Kaho’olawe and Molokini). A total of 23,082 people voted YES in favor of the moratorium, representing 50.2% of the vote, while 22,005 people (48.8%) voted against the measure.
Just 1,077 votes separated the two sides in the final printout, which was released at around 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov.5, 2014. Over $8 Million dollars was spent in advertising to fight the ban by two GMO companies, the largest political spend in Hawai’i history.
The initiative calls for environmental and public health impact studies, public hearings, and a two-thirds vote and a determination by the Maui County Council that operations meet standards. The initiative also calls for the establishment of criminal and civil penalties to be adopted and established for the County of Maui.