Kauai's Anti-GMO Bill Gets Targeted with Court Time

Association of Construction & Development
January 22, 2014 — 1,741 views  

The Kauai County Council had passed a GMO bill last November that restricts the usage of pesticide and the cultivation of bio-tech crops in Kauai. The bill, which is to go into effect this August, is already facing objections from three big players in the agrochemical industry.

What the GMO Bill Encompasses

As per the law, large agrochemical industries are expected to reveal details about their pesticide usage and genetically modified crops, along with setting up buffer zones, so as to mitigate the impact of the sprayed pesticide on public areas such as hospitals, schools and homes. Earlier, just two weeks from when the bill had been passed, the move from Mayor Bernard P. Carvahlo to veto the bill had left the locals enraged. But the council members overrode the veto to pass the bill.

As of now, the agrochemical companies don't have as many restrictions on planting genetically modified crops or spraying chemicals in fields. Many locals have reported cases of neurological damage, allergies, and other disorders due to their exposure to the harmful pesticides and crops. The Measure 2491 aims at addressing these issues.

Biotech Giants File a Lawsuit

Agrochemical giants, Syngenta, Dupont, and Agrigentics Inc have all filed lawsuit against the bill in the federal court, stating that it is unconstitutional as it is said to be interfering with the federal and state laws regarding GMO cultivation. The companies rent out nearly 11,500 acres of land in Kauai specifically for the purpose of testing and research. The climatic conditions in Kauai are crucial to their growth, they say, as they supposedly give them a chance to greatly enhance the pace of cultivation of bio-tech crops. If these big companies have their way in the lawsuit, they can have the bill declared as invalid, along with obtaining a reimbursement on their legal fees.

A Councilman warned that these companies are filing the lawsuit to keep the details about their pesticide usage under the wraps. They are using their legal and monetary edge to bully the county in court. Due to the secrecy surrounding their pesticide usage, evaluating the implications of these pesticides becomes tough. A number of law firms have come forward with environmental lawyers offering pro-bono support to help the county fight the lawsuit.

A lawsuit scheduling conference has been arranged for April 14th in Honolulu.

Association of Construction & Development