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Governor calls for voluntary restrictions on seed companies

By Rosemarie Bernardo

LAST UPDATED: 12:54 a.m. HST, Sep 24, 2013

The state will create standards and guidelines for seed companies to voluntarily disclose the types of restricted pesticides they use and will set up buffer zones near schools and hospitals, Gov. Neil Abercrombie announced Monday.

But backers of a bill on Kauai to regulate pesticide use and genetically modified crops say the governor's initiative doesn't fully deal with their health and environmental concerns.

In a news release, Abercrombie said, "Kauai legislators and members of my administration have been discussing current issues regarding agriculture on the island of Kauai, including residents being informed about activities in their immediate area.

"We collaborated with the Kauai delegation and farmers about taking steps to address the concerns of the community, including providing disclosure of use of pesticides and creating buffer zones around schools and hospitals," he said.

Companies, Abercrombie added, will voluntarily comply with temporary standards until such time as department heads and others involved can develop rules to be introduced at the next legislative session.

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