A federal court recently ruled that Kauai County’s right-to-know law dealing with genetically modified organisms and pesticides is unenforceable. The court determined that state law preempts the county’s local law. Agribusiness and chemical corporations are also challenging Hawaii County’s GMO law — which bans certain kinds of GMO testing and open-air use — arguing, once again that state law trumps what the local community wants. The court is expected to override Hawaii County’s ordinance on similar grounds.
The Kauai decision, which was expected, validates the worst of our legal system — that corporations are able to use the law and government to trump environmental and public health protections, by overriding our local, democratic, self-governing authority.
Our current structure of law ignores the right to local self-government — yet, time and time again, activists run to this structure in the hopes that it will eventually recognize that the rights of people and nature must be placed above corporate control. If the people of Hawaii are serious about banning GMOs, they must begin to directly challenge the existing structure of law which, so long as it is in place, guarantees that they can never enforce such a local GMO ban.
Read the full, original article: Why the people of Hawaii can’t say ‘No’ to GMOs