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Monsanto fights Maui GMO Ban

Timely Insights on Laws, Issues and New Developements

The citizens of Maui – the ones who do the breathing and the eating and the drinking and the dying on that island – have told Monsanto loud and clear that they do NOT want GMO crops planted there. The citizens of Maui have voted on the issue, and the vote has been an unequivocal “NO” to Monsanto. The people of Maui do not want Monsanto’s terminator seeds planted in their soil, nor do they want Monsanto’s carcinogenic glyphosate sprayed in the company’s Roundup.

Monsanto defies Maui

Monsanto – always deaf to the cries of actual people, always alive to the possibilities of profit at the expense of actual people, butterflies, organic ecosystems that have thrived for thousands of years before Monsanto’s products threatened them all – has responded with legal action to defy the will of the people and force their GMO poisons on Maui.

Monsanto’s Response

Monsanto is arguing before the 9th Circuit court that federal law preempts any blocking of genetically modified organisms by anyone. Monsanto can claim, of course, as it endlessly does, that the federal government evaluated the safety of GMOs, but that never happened.

No Proper GMO Testing

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the FDA never tested GMOs before unleashing them on the public some 20 years ago. The U.S. government agencies in charge of safeguarding our food supply never formally tested GMOs for long-term safety. Instead, our government agencies, rife with corruption by a revolving employment door that runs endlessly between Monsanto and the agencies in charge of regulating it, just washed their hands of the whole issue and said GMOs were fine. All the FDA and the Agriculture Department did was look at some of Monsanto’s doctored and short-term studies performed by those with vested interests in GMOs, and said: let it rip, the devil take the hindmost.

Nevertheless, in a brief before the 9th Circuit court, Monsanto claims the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s field testing process for genetically engineered plants was conducted under the supervision of the agency’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. (That sounds good, if you say it fast enough.) Monsanto filed a nearly 100-page brief in the 9th Circuit on March 4, 2016.

Maui Shaka Movement

Monsanto’s reply came in response to Maui’s Shaka Movement appeal of a federal judge’s June 2015 decision that the Maui ordinance to ban GMOs was preempted by federal and state law. A Maui citizen’s group has argued that that ruling was in error.

Monsanto: Maui preempted by Feds

Monsanto contends the Maui ordinance to ban GMOs is preempted by the Plant Protection Act’s prohibition of any local law that exceeds federal regulation.

Plant Protection Act Bull**** Term

Let it here be said that the so-called “Plant Protection Act” is a bull**** made-up term meant to protect GMO food monopolizers like Monsanto. This federal law was put in place expressly to allow Monsanto’s lackeys in congress and the judiciary to lord it over dissenting citizens.

Maui’s ordinance was passed by Maui voters in 2014 to stop the growing and testing of GMO crops until there is enough research to show that such tests are safe. The federal government has never performed any long-term tests on GMO foods; so why is that entity allowed to pass edicts regarding food safety down to anyone else?

Usual Suspects

According to Law 360, Monsanto, Dow Chemical Co. subsidiary Agrigenetics Inc. and the Hawaii Farm Bureau Federation of Maui County sued to overturn Maui’s citizens’ choice after Maui voters approved it through a ballot initiative November 2014.

U.S. District Court

monsanto signThe Maui ordinance was struck down in June 2015 by U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway. She said it was preempted by other laws, including the (so-called) Plant Protection Act. She said Maui’s ban conflicts with a 1987 USDA regulation that allows genetically engineered organisms under certain circumstances and is therefore expressly preempted by the Plant Act.

Judge Mollway also ruled the ban was preempted by Hawaii state law and said it exceeded the authority delegated to Maui County as stated in the Maui County Charter.

Shaka Movement: Judge “grossly erred”

The Shaka Movement has argued Judge Mollway “grossly erred” in applying the Plant Protection Act’s express preemption to commercial genetically engineered crops. They said the act does not address genetically engineered plants.

In December 2015, the Center for Food Safety – long at the forefront to fight Monsanto’s endless ploys to stop food labeling — filed an amicus brief that echoed the Shaka Movement’s arguments that the ordinance isn’t preempted by federal law.

The case is Robert Ito Farm Inc. et al. v. County of Maui et al., case number 15-16552, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.


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by Matthews & Associates

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