A federal judge has invalidated Maui County’s moratorium on genetically engineered crops that voters approved last fall.
Judge Susan Mollway said in a ruling filed Tuesday that the ordinance is “invalid and unenforceable” because it is preempted by state and federal law.
That’s similar to the reasoning that Judge Barry Kurren relied upon to strike down both Hawaii County’s partial ban on genetically modified farming and Kauai County’s pesticide disclosure law last year.
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.”
Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences and several local businesses filed a lawsuit challenging the ordinance within days of its passage, contending that they and Maui County’s economy would suffer “immediate and irreparable harm” if the bill went into effect.
Mark Sheehan, a member of the SHAKA Movement, told Civil Beat the group is planning to appeal.
Kauai County and Hawaii County are in the process of appealing Kurren’s decisions on their respective anti-GMO laws to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Federal Judge Strikes Down Maui County’s GMO Farming Moratorium