A Victory For Monsanto Vs The People of Maui
July 1, 2015
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Federal Judge Susan Oki Mollway today ruled that the Maui GMO Initiative passed by Maui voters in November 2014 is invalid because the county does not have the authority over the matter. The order states that the County of Maui GMO ordinance is preempted and exceeds the county’s authority to impose fines.
It’s not a surprise that the judge sided with Monsanto and Dow against the voters of Maui. The biotech giants had challenged in court to delay any enforcement of the measure and ultimately to have it declared unenforceable.
The ballot initiative sought to prohibit the growth, testing or cultivation of GMO crops in Maui County until an environmental and public health study can show that the planting operations are safe for the community.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports that, “the ordinance would only allow the moratorium to be lifted after a vote by the Maui County Council.”
The GMO Free Maui group issued a statement saying, “Monsanto and Dow spent record-breaking amounts of money in a deceptive “Vote No” campaign last election. Maui voted yes anyway, and instead of respecting the basic democratic process and complying with our vote, Monsanto and Dow sued us. Monsanto then launched a multi-million dollar ad campaign telling Hawaiʻi what great community members they are.”
Similar measures on Kauai and the Big Island have been struck down by judges. Basically the ruling implies the citizens of Maui have no rights to stop their land being poisoned by pesticides (some banned in Europe) sprayed by these companies.