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

July 10, 2015 Press Release
House Appropriations Committee Highlights Domestic Coffee Industry in Annual Agriculture Budget Bill
 
January 14, 2015 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard today sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agriculture Services (FAS) calling on the agency to provide greater visibility to Hawai`i macadamia nuts on its export list to foreign markets.

In December 2014, Congresswoman Gabbard visited India at the personal invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During her stay, some of the visits included those with business leaders to discuss a bolstered Hawai`i-India trade relationship focused on the growing food retail market in India.  

September 19, 2014 Press Release

Washington, DC– Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today announced the U.S. Economic Development Administration will invest $2,178,250 to support the design and construction of an agricultural business accelerator for small farmers and agricultural markets in Kamuela on Hawaiʻi Island.  The project is expected to save 39 current jobs, create 28 new jobs, and generate greater food self-reliance and sustainability.

May 7, 2014 Press Release

Vermont Governor Set to Sign First State Labeling Law Tomorrow

January 29, 2014 Press Release

Bill also authorizes funding to combat the devastating impact of the coffee berry borer

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