|© Natural Society|
Maui stands as a beacon of hope
An attorney for the SHAKA Movement in Hawaii that has been trying to uphold a democratically voted moratorium on GMOs on the island of Maui reports that residents and activists have won. An intervention in a federal lawsuit that was brought on by Monsanto and Dow trying to push their genetically modified agenda on islanders will not go through.
The federal lawsuit filed last month against Maui County by Monsanto Co. and a unit of Dow Chemical Co. thankfully flew over judge, Barry Kurren, who has 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 could have done the same in Maui.
Kurren previously ruled that laws instigated by Kauai and Hawaii banning GMOs were not applicable because the state, not the counties, had jurisdiction over the issue. Dow and Monsanto were hoping that Kurren would rule similarly on the recent ban on GMOs passed in Maui.
Likely due to pressure concerning his questionable allegiances, Kurren reassigned the Maui case to Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway. It is also due to the fact that both the plaintiffs and defendants had agreed earlier to allow a magistrate judge to try the case. Once the SHAKA Movement found out Kurren’s ties to biotech, they withdrew their approval for Kurren to preside over the case.
Maui voters clearly voted to ban GMOs on their November 4th ballots. Only a vote by the Maui County Council can lift the ban.
Last month, Judge Kurren ruled that Maui County couldn’t implement the law until he considered the lawsuit put forth by Dow and Monsanto.
Maui stands as a beacon of hope for other towns throughout the US who are interested in banning GMOs. We applaud you, SHAKA Movement!