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The Hawaii County Council passed Bill 113 Tuesday in a landmark 6-3 vote.
The bill restricts the expansion of transgenic crops grown on the Big Island by limiting most of their use to enclosed structures, such as a greenhouse.
Throughout the process, hundreds of people, with a large majority speaking against genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, gave testimony before the council.
In total, the council has spent 13 days meeting on the issue, most of which was dedicated to receiving testimony.
The vote was a significant victory for the Hawaii anti-GMO movement, which has questioned the safety of inserting genes into plants and use of herbicide-resistant crops, and sought to keep the controversial GMO seed industry out of the isle.
While there has been much debate over the safety of the food, the bill does not stop GMO ingredients, which are believed to exist in a large majority of food items, from being sold on store shelves or being used in animal feed.
But it would curb the further adoption of GMO crops on the isle at a time when apprehension about their use has been increasing. It would also likely restrict research on the isle of new modified varieties since open-air testing will be banned, University of Hawaii scientists have said.