Resolution Urges Labeling For GMO Products

City Councilman Tom Berg

City Councilman Tom Berg

City Councilman Tom Berg represents District 1 (Ewa to Makua). Readers may contact him at 768-5001 or email

Label Engineered Foods

Whether or not genetically modified organisms – or engineered food, known as GMOs – should be identified and labeled on products that contain them, is being debated at the neighborhood board level and in Washington, D.C.

There are those who want an outright ban on GMOs, claiming they wreak havoc upon creatures including bees and livestock, and that the chemical industry that is creating the GMOs is playing Russian roulette on the human gene pool with adverse consequences.

In this debate, there are folks simply advocating for the right to know, and they are not taking sides about whether GMOs are good or bad. This faction just wants to know if GMOs are in their food and are asking government to enact a law or policy requiring labeling of GMOs so they can make their own choices.

This debate took over the halls of Honolulu Hale just a few months ago, and the side against labeling won. The vote was 8-1, with mine being the only vote for identifying GMO products. I took the stand that we absolutely have the right to know what is in our food.

After that vote, I spoke at a rally at the State Capitol pushing for labeling and have since held two town hall meetings in Council District 1 that featured presentations on the subject.

Please go to my website ( to watch YouTube videos from those events.

The next town hall meeting on labeling GMOs will be held from noon to 2:30 p.m. April 28 at Kapolei Middle School.

A vote on Council Resolution 12-57 – that urges the Hawaii State Legislature and Congress to take action and give consumers the right to know – is up for adoption and will be heard at 10 a.m. April 25 at Kapolei Hale.

Take Control of Electric Bills

Another consumer rights matter involves the monopoly on electricity here on Oahu.

Here is how some have described their electric bills of late: “How come the fox is running the hen house?”

What does that mean?

It means the very entity that provides us with electricity is also in complete control of distribution, generation and overall supply of electricity.

In other words, when a consumer tries to cut down on his or her electric bill with solar, or other renewable sources, the consumer is penalized with an even higher rate to make up for the electric company’s revenue loss.

The more the electric company loses out by patrons weaning themselves off of the electric company’s power source, the more losses in revenue accumulate for the electric company. Hence, rates go up across the board to make up for revenue losses -a lose-lose for the consumer.

I introduced Resolution 12-62 to get discussions going on how consumers should be rewarded for deploying their own independent power supply. The resolution should not be construed as a guise to be against the electric company, but rather as a means to find out how we can get the fox out of the hen house.

A town hall meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8:30 p.m. May 29 at Ewa Makai Middle School. The school is located at 91-6291 Kapolei Parkway.

The meeting will feature prominent guest speakers who are knowledgeable about how we can implement a better relationship with the electric company and turn that effort into savings for the consumer.