Farmers and biotech industry fight Hawaii County’s ‘crippling’ GMO ban

Several Big Island farmers and flower growers, along with a national trade organization representing the biotech industry, have filed a lawsuit challenging Hawaii County’s ban on genetically modified farming.

The lawsuit comes less than a week after it was announced that Maui County residents had collected enough signatures to place a temporary moratorium on genetically modified agriculture on the ballot this year, part of a broader backlash against genetically modified farming throughout the state. Hawaii County passed Bill 113 last year prohibiting genetically engineered farming, with the exception of existing crops such as papayas.

The lawsuit filed Monday contends that Bill 113 is backed by no scientific evidence and that genetically modified farming has become a “critical and generally accepted part of agriculture” over the last 20 years. The complaint says that the ordinance violates both state and federal law.

“Bill 113 imposes extreme burdens on Plaintiffs and cripples County farmers’ current and future ability to farm GE crops with no corresponding local benefit,” the lawsuit says.

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Read the full, original article: Hawaii Farmers, Biotech Industry Challenge Big Island’s GMO Ban

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