Judge hears suit in Hawaii over claims of GMO crop dust blown on residences

There are southwest Kauai residents who can’t enjoy simple things in their homes, such as just sitting on a couch to relax, without first wiping off dust that blows from nearby fields where genetically modified crops are tested, an attorney representing a group of them told a jury on Wednesday.

The group of Waimea residents are suing seed company DuPont Pioneer, saying the pesticide-laden dust not only affects their quality of life, it diminishes property values, harms the environment and is unhealthy.

A judge, however, granted a defense motion to exclude evidence or arguments regarding health and environmental issues. The motion argued that it’s a property-damage case and that plaintiffs haven’t said they suffered any injuries.

The lawsuit was first filed in state court in 2011, before Kauai and other Hawaii counties attempted to regulate genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs, in response to citizen concerns. The lawsuit was later transferred to federal court in Honolulu.

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