GMO Chapter 2 – Big Island Farmer: Invalidate County’s Anti-GMO Ordinance

Robert Thomas
Robert Thomas

BY ROBERT THOMAS – Here’s the Complaint for Declaratory Injunctive Relief, filed earlier this week in iwhich an anonymous Big Island papaya farmer challenges the County of Hawaii’s recently-adopted ordinance about GMO farming.

Although the ordinance exempts farmers who currently grow GMO papaya from the ordinance’s ban on “open air cultivation, propagation, development, or testing” of GMO crops or plants, it does require them to register with the County. More here on the lawsuit from the Hilo paper.

The complaint asserts the ordinance is preempted by the Hawaii Uniform Information Practices Act (the state law which requires public disclosure of public records), requires the farmer to give up trade secrets, violates the state constitutional right of privacy, violates due process, the Administrative Procedures Act, and something called the “Small Business Regulatory Flexibility Act.”

This is Chapter 2 in the legal pushback against county-adopted anti-GMO ordinances, with Chapter 1 being the federal court lawsuit challenging Kauai’s ordinance, filed in January. Damon Tucker has posted the supporting statement of Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United, which states, “[w]e strongly support and Stand United with our fellow Farmers in this suit.”

Science. It’s the darndest thing.

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, Doe v. County of Hawaii, No. 14-2-0094 (Haw. 3d Cir. Mar….

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