Kauai County’s environmental impact study on pesticide usage in GMO cultivation
The Hawaii Department of Agriculture and Kauai County are splitting the cost of a joint fact-finding process to examine the health and environmental effects of pesticide use on genetically modified crops. The study is part of the ongoing controversy over Kauai County’s proposed restrictions on GMO cultivation processes including pesticide usage. The study is expected to start in January and be completed within a year.
A federal judge in August invalidated Kauai’s law requiring biotechnology companies to disclose more information about the pesticides they spray on their GMO crops and create a buffer zone around schools and certain other public areas.
The same judge, Barry Kurren, dealt a similar hand to the Big Island last month, invalidating Hawaii County’s partial ban on growing genetically modified crops.
Meanwhile, Kurren granted a temporary injunction on Nov. 14 that puts the brakes on Maui County’s new law that would have placed a moratorium on genetically modified farming until it’s deemed safe by the County Council.
That injunction was in effect until Friday, but the county has since agreed to put off enforcing the ban until March 31 to give the court time to decide whether the ordinance is legal. Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, along with many other groups, filed the lawsuit that led to the injunction.
Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., who vetoed Kauai’s GMO law only to see it overridden, applauded the state for taking the lead on the project.