- The council that governs Hawaii County voted 5-4 to pursue an appeal of a judge's ruling that a county law banning GMO agriculture is superseded by state law.
- Two new members joined the council recently, and until yesterday's vote it was unclear if a majority of the new council would take action to fight the court ruling.
- The Hawaii County battle is one of two fights over GMO laws in the state working their way through the courts, and the Kauai County Council just struck down a bill that potentially meant tax hikes for companies involved in GMO research.
The most telling item in the latest news out of Hawaii is how close the council vote was. As has been the case across the nation, the fate of GMO votes have been remarkably close. (In Oregon, for example, the statewide election was decided by only 812 votes - a recount widened that margin to just 837 votes.) The lesson, apparently, is that the numbers that divide winning from losing are quite small. And that means that it is possible to tip the scales by convincing just a few folks to your side. And that is a recipe for a lot more battles in voting booths, courtrooms, and fundraising appeals.