Federal judge rules against Big Island GMO law

HONOLULU (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that Hawaii County can’t enforce a law restricting genetically engineered crops because it’s pre-empted by state law.

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HONOLULU (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that Hawaii County can’t enforce a law restricting genetically engineered crops because it’s pre-empted by state law.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren’s order issued Wednesday is similar to his earlier decision invalidating Kauai County’s law on pesticides and genetically modified crops.

Hawaii County Corporation Counsel Molly Stebbins says the decision is disappointing but not surprising given the Kauai ruling. She says the county is evaluating whether to appeal.

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Attorneys representing the group that sued to invalidate the Hawaii County law couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. The group includes the Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association, Hawaii Papaya Industry Association and Biotechnology Industry Organization.

Kurren is also the magistrate judge for a similar challenge to Maui County’s new law banning cultivation of genetically modified organisms.

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