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The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals may hold hearings in June on three cases related to genetically modified farming in Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties.
The appeals court hasn’t officially scheduled the hearings yet, but it notified parties recently that they may be held June 13-17 in Honolulu.
The oral arguments before a panel of three judges would be a critical step in a multi-year effort by neighbor island residents to regulate genetically modified farming.
Global seed companies, including Monsanto and Syngenta, farm thousands of acres in Hawaii, and seed corn is the state’s biggest export crop.
Residents and environmental organizations concerned about the potential health impacts of genetically engineered farming successfully pushed for separate ordinances in Kauai, Maui and Hawaii counties to regulate or ban the practice.
Federal judges in Honolulu struck down the ordinances, concluding that state and federal laws preempt the counties from regulating farming.
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The appeals court will be addressing specific legal questions regarding how much power Hawaii counties have to regulate agriculture, and whether state and federal laws interfere with that ability.
Read full, original post: Hawaii’s Trifecta of GMO Cases May Be Heard By Appeals Court In June