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Posted: Friday, January 24th, 2014 12:40 PM HST

Hawaii lawmakers seek more control of farming laws

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Some lawmakers in the Hawaii House and Senate want to prevent counties from restricting farming beyond state and federal laws.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that bills introduced in each chamber are a response to local laws on genetically-modified organisms.

The bill would expand the state's Right to Farm Act of 2001. New language would say the right to use modern ranching and farming practices "shall be forever guaranteed in this state."

Chairman Clarence Nishihara of the Senate Agriculture Committee says lawmakers can no longer dance around the issue of whether to protect farmers.

The bill may have an especially difficult path in the House. Chairwoman Jessica Wooley of the House Agriculture Committee says she doesn't plan to hear the bill.

Wooley says she'd rather focus on other food issues.

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