Federal Judge Strikes Down Maui Anti-GMO Law

John DavisAgribusiness, biotechnology, Dow AgroSciences, GMO, Monsanto

A federal judge has struck down a Hawaii county’s ordinance against genetically engineered crops. This article from Civil Beat said the decision by Judge Susan Mollway found the ordinance “invalid and unenforceable” because it is preempted by state and federal law.

Mollway emphasized that the ruling is not a statement on whether genetically modified organisms are beneficial or detrimental.

“The court recognizes the importance of questions about whether GE activities and GMOs pose risks to human health, the environment, and the economy, and about how citizens may participate in democratic processes,” she said. “But any court is a reactive body that addresses matters before it rather than reaching out to grab hold of whatever matters may catch a judge’s fancy because the matters are interesting, important, or of great concern to many people.”

monsanto1John Purcell, vice president at Monsanto Hawaii, said in a statement that the company is proud to be part of Hawaii’s agricultural community and looks forward to continuing its operations.

“We’re listening and we’ve heard the concerns some people have about GMOs and today’s farming practices,” he said. “Our commitment to ongoing dialogue with our neighbors doesn’t stop today. We understand the responsibility we have to farm sustainably and to work collaboratively, and we welcome the opportunity to continue having conversations with members of the community.”

Dow AgroSciences, a partner in the suit to stop the measure, was also pleased with the court’s ruling.

We believe the court’s ruling is well reasoned and legally sound. Dow AgroSciences continues to focus on being a strong contributor to the community and the agricultural industry in Hawaii.