Hawaii Federal Judge, Barry Kurren (and his wife) have deep ties with Monsanto, Dow, and Big Ag. The judge has recently overturned a democratically voted initiative to limit GMOs on the Big Island of Hawaii. Without an upswelling of public pressure, he’ll do it again in Maui.
Judge Kurren is the very same man who struck down Ordinance 960 — Kauai’s pesticide/GMO regulatory bill — finding that is was pre-empted by state law, and therefore invalid. You can bet he’ll use the same tactic with GMO/Big Ag backing again.
While we were busy getting ready for the Thanksgiving holidays, Monsanto and Dow decided to make their move. Judge Kurren, who has ties to the Nature Conservancy which has received millions of dollars in donations from Monsanto, ruled that Hawaii County cannot enforce a law restricting genetically engineered crops because it is pre-empted by state law.
Hawaii County Corporation Counsel Molly Stebbins says the decision is disappointing, but not surprising given the Kauai ruling. She says the county is evaluating whether to appeal.
The group that sued to invalidate the Hawaii County law includes the Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association, Hawaii Papaya Industry Association, and Biotechnology Industry Organization.
And guess who will be deciding on the newly passed Maui law that bans GMOs? Kurren is also the magistrate judge ruling on Maui County’s new law banning cultivation of genetically modified organisms. It has already successfully been put on ‘hold’ until March of 2015.
Related: Are Monsanto and Biotech Using Hawaiian Island as Petri Dish?
Kurren seems to be as corrupt as they come. While there isn’t always fire where there is smoke, these facts are truly telling, as exposed by Jon Rappaport:
“Until at least the fall of 2011, Judge Kurren’s wife, Faye, was a trustee of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), a 6-billion-dollar environmental group.
- TNC specializes in working with mega-corporations, who donate major money, in return for receiving TNC’s “good housekeeping seal of approval” as friends of the environment.
- In 2011, TNC leveraged a blockbuster deal. with Dow Chemical. Dow pledged a $10 million donation. In exchange, Dow could forthwith use the TNC logo on its site and all its products.
- Faye, Barry’s Wife, was a trustee at TNC, who took $10 million from Dow.
- Among TNC’s council are business persons from Monsanto, Coca Cola, and of course, Dow.
- Among TNC’s corporate funders are again – Dow; Coke, DuPont, and Pepsi. All members of the GMA, and all big GMO supporters.
- The TNC website does not mention one thing about GMOs being toxic to the environment.
The most telling thing about TNC? The CEO is Mark Tercek, former managing partner at what Matt Taibbi calls the ‘great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money’: Goldman Sachs. Tercek has said, ‘We would also be smart to put more focus on making GMO technology available to lower-income farmers, given the potential benefits that climate-resilient GMO crops could bring to the developing world.’