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 (H.R. 1699), 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

December 8, 2015 Press Release
Washington, DC—Today, Food Policy Action announced Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) as a top advocate of improving our nation’s food system. The release of their Congressional Progress Report gave the congresswoman a perfect score on Food Policy Action’s 2015 National Food Policy Scorecard.
November 4, 2015 Press Release
Washington, DC—Today Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) was joined by Reps. Chellie Pingree (ME-01), John Garamendi (CA-03), Jerry McNerney (CA-09), and Pedro Pierluisi (PR) in introducing the Areawide Integrated Pest Management Act (AIPM) of 2015 to support long-term and sustainable solutions to fighting invasive species.  The legislation will support farmers, ranchers, and land managers by reducing the impact of harmful invasive species on crops, livestock, and forest areas.  
 
October 29, 2015 Press Release
Washington, DC—Today, the Hawai'i Congressional Delegation praised the announcement that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will provide a green bean pricing valuation for Hawai'i-grown coffee starting in January 2016.  Currently, Hawai'i coffee “farm gate value” is based on parchment rather than green bean. Green bean coffee valuation will more accurately reflect market values and make reporting easier for growers. 
 
July 23, 2015 Press Release
Washington, DC—Today, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) voted against H.R. 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, also known as the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act, which would roll back years of progress in ensuring that food with genetically engineered ingredients is properly labeled. Hawai‘i is one of 30 states that have made progress on GMO labeling efforts.
July 22, 2015 Press Release

So-called “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” would overturn state and local laws requiring GMO labeling, denies consumers their right to know what’s in their food

 

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