County governments on individual islands in Hawaii may have stirred the pot when it comes to genetically modified crop and pesticide use, but U.S. District Court Judge Barry M. Kurren has now ordered them out of the kitchen.
The federal judge has declared that the County of Kauai’s ordinance on GM crops and pesticide use is “preempted by state law and therefore invalid.” Furthermore Judge Kurren’s order forbids the County of Kauai from implementing or enforcing its ordinance.
The order is a decisive blow to the defendants, including Kauai County, Ka Makani Ho’opono (a citizens’ group), Center for Food Safety, Pesticide Action Network North America and the Surfrider Foundation.
Victory goes to the plaintiffs, including Syngenta Seeds Inc., Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Agrigenetics Inc. and BASF Plant Science LPs.
“We’re still reviewing the contents of the court order,” said Paul Towers, spokesman for Pesticide Action. “Unfortunately, the judge’s ruling appears to ignore the rights of counties in favor of global pesticide and genetically engineered seed corporations. By denying Kauai’s law, the judge is undermining efforts to create more transparency and stronger protections for farmers, workers and families from hazardous pesticides.”
The federal order strikes down Kauai’s Ordinance 960, which set up no-spray protection zones and created a county-held database for reporting pesticide use and plantings of genetically engineered crops.
It is the second major recent defeat for opponents of GM crops on the islands. Pro-GM candidates also recently won several state primary elections.© Food Safety News