Counties in Hawaii Can’t Regulate GMOs, Federal Judge Says

The Associated Press reported on Friday that, “A federal judge has ruled that three Hawaii counties can’t enact their own bans or regulations on genetically modified crops and pesticides, handing a victory to the major agriculture companies that fought the regulations.

“Circuit Judge Consuelo M. Callahan on Friday upheld a lower court’s decision that said Hawaii law prohibits counties from regulating agricultural matters.

“The cases stemmed from a decision by Maui voters to ban the cultivation and testing of genetically modified crops in 2014 and related movements on other Hawaiian islands.”

The AP article noted that, “Kauai County had imposed pesticide notification requirements and mandated pesticide buffer zones, and Hawaii Island had enacted an ordinance banning open air testing of genetically engineered organisms, among other things.

But the court held that the county laws are pre-empted by state laws that regulate potentially harmful plants.”

Friday’s article added that, “Monsanto, which farms genetically engineered seeds to be used by farmers around the world, was part of a group that fought the Maui GMO ban.”

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