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Federal, state officials talk GMOs at Maui council


WAILUKU, Hawaii >> U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials told a Maui County Council committee they haven’t heard of any health issues related to eating genetically engineered rainbow papaya.

EPA biotechnology special assistant Chris Wozniak told the committee Tuesday eating rainbow papaya is the same as eating a papaya with a virus, which is a “common occurrence.”

The Maui News reported a Maui doctor told the committee there could still be risks. Dr. Lorrin Pang says just because it occurs naturally, doesn’t make it safe.

The committee is reviewing a voter-initiated measure that would place a moratorium on the cultivation of genetically modified organisms in Maui County. On Tuesday, the committee heard from officials with the EPA and state departments of agriculture and health.

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