Well, here’s a new development in the genetically modified organisms battle in the islands.

House Bill 686 would prohibit “propagating, cultivating, or farming genetically engineered fish” in state marine waters.

The bill, sponsored by Democrat Reps. Kaniela Ing and John Mizuno, has a hearing Wednesday at the Capitol.

No GMO here: An ahi head at Hawaii's fish auction.
No GMO here: An ahi head at Hawaii’s fish auction. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2015

Should it survive, it would also have to make it past two other House committees before bills cross over to the Senate — no easy hurdle.

HB 686 does not explain why GMO fish need to be banned from local waters.

But it does say this: Genetically engineered “means alterations to a life form or its living progeny at the nucleic acid level, using the techniques collectively referred to as recombinant DNA technology.”

“Recombinant DNA technology,” the bill explains, “does not apply to a material or an organism developed exclusively through traditional methods of breeding, hybridization, or nondirected mutagenesis.”

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