Promoting Sustainable Agriculture, Self-Sufficiency & Healthy Food Choices

In Hawai‘i, we import more than 85 percent of the food we eat.  At the same time, the average age of a farmer in Hawai‘i is almost 56 years old.  Our agriculture industry is at a crossroads; if we truly want to grow more of what we eat, we must encourage the consumption of locally-grown produce, empower our local farmers who are growing food, and cultivate a new generation of farmers to choose agriculture as a profession. The growth of farmers’ markets and school gardens are a step in the right direction.  We must continue to work toward food security in Hawai‘i and a revitalization of our rural areas. 

Advocating for Transparent Food Policy/GMO Labeling
Fighting for sensible, transparent food policy has been among Tulsi's key priorities in Congress. She has pushed for transparent, easy-to-read labeling of foods with genetically modified (GMO) ingredients so that people can make their own informed decisions about their food. Currently, the Food and Drug Administration requires the labeling of more than 3,000 ingredients, but it has resisted labeling for genetically engineered foods. Tulsi fought against legislation like the DARK Act and other misleading bills that compromise food transparency. She is continuing to work to pass the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, which would simply empower consumers to make informed choices by requiring genetically-engineered whole and processed foods to be clearly labeled.

“I’ve pushed  for transparent, easy-to-read labeling of foods with genetically modified (GMO) ingredients so that people can make their own informed decisions about their food.” -Rep. Tulsi Gabbard 

Protecting Against Invasive Species 
In Hawaiʻi, invasive species like the coffee berry borer, fire ant, fruit flies, and macadamia felted coccid and others cost our local farmers and agriculture industry millions in lost revenue every year, threaten our unique ecosystem, agriculture and waterways, as well as our food supply and public health. Tulsi has introduced the Areawide Integrated Pest Management (AIPM) Act and Macadamia Tree Health Initiative to support long-term and sustainable solutions to fight invasive species in Hawaiʻi and across the country. AIPMs have a long history of success in Hawaiʻi. They have helped to increase the number of commercial farms and also help local farmers increase their crop diversity, decrease their use of harmful pesticides, and manage pests in a sustainable and cost-effective way.

More on Promoting Sustainable Agriculture, Self-Sufficiency & Healthy Food Choices

June 23, 2020 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Ed Case (HI-01) along with Hawaii's U.S. Senators Mazie K. Hirono and Brian Schatz, urged U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue to utilize USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) emergency funding if necessary to quickly detect and eradicate the Asian giant hornet, sometimes referred to as the murder hornet.
 
May 28, 2020 Press Release
Washington, DC—This weekend, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Members of Congress from Hawai‘i and the U.S. Island Territories sent a letter to U.S. House leaders urging them to support local crop diversity and food security in upcoming emergency legislation responding to the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis.
 
May 26, 2020 Press Release
Honolulu, HIOver the weekend, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Ed Case (HI-02) along with Hawai‘i’s U.S. Senators, Brian Schatz and Mazie K. Hirono, called on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to expand its Coronavirus Food Assistance Program to include Hawai‘i’s unique specialty crops and help Hawai‘i farmers.
 
February 26, 2020 Press Release
Washington, DC—Last week, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (MP-at large) introduced H.R. 5950, the FAS School Meals Improvement Act, which would restore eligibility for federal school meal programs to Freely Associated States (FAS) migrants.
December 10, 2019 Press Release
Washington, DC—Yesterday, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Ed Case (HI-01) introduced H.R.5362, the Spittlebug Act, which would help fight the invasive Cercopoidea, or spittlebug.

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