We all knew Monsanto would sue after Maui passed a GMO-prohibiting bill. Their endless corruption and money-laden pockets makes it easy for them to bully the democractic process – at least what is left of it, but a coalition of Maui and Moloka‘i residents, farmers, and public interest groups, represented by Center for Food Safety (CFS) and Earthjustice have decided to fight back. Papers were filed in a Honolulu Federal District Court this past week to defend the County of Maui’s right to pesticide and GMO-free food.
Maui recently passed an initiative that made the monopolizing, multinational chemical/GMO seed companies’ hair stand up. Maui now prohibits the growth, testing, or cultivation of GE crops in until an environmental and public health study can show that the planting operations are safe for the community.
Just nine days after the Maui initiative passed, Monsanto and their bully buddies, Dow owned Agrigenetics, among them, sued the County of Maui, seeking to overturn the citizen’s right to know what is in their food, and to refuse GMO-created crops. Maui County has now fallen to the mercy of the Big Ag machine, and has agreed to an injunction until March of 2015.
In response to this political drivel, George Kimbrell, senior attorney for Center for Food Safety, commented:
“Like the residents of Kaua‘i county and Hawai‘i counties before them, the people of Maui County decided they would no longer sit idly by as the State of Hawai‘i becomes a poisoned paradise of intensive genetically engineered crop production and its intertwined pesticide spraying. These chemical companies are again trying to trump the democratic process, and again, we stand by the communities and will vigorously defend the law.”
Apparently, Big Ag companies don’t like spending unprecedented amounts of money to try to sway voters, and then have the outcome work out against them. Dow and Monsanto, almost exclusively, spent $7,970,686.12 on the initiative campaign—$362.22 per vote earned—or $174.43 per total vote cast, mostly on television spots and other media which lied about what the initiative would rally mean to farmers and consumers.
Earthjustice managing attorney Paul Achitoff remarked:
“Maui County’s betrayal of its own people by agreeing to delay the moratorium without a whimper of resistance proves it cannot be trusted to properly defend our clients’ interests. The people of Maui, Moloka‘i, and Lana‘i have spoken, in the face of enormous industry pressure: They want the spraying and growing to stop until the impacts are properly studied. Since Maui County won’t defend the law, we’ll have to do its job and make the arguments in court.”
Members of The Moms on a Mission (MOM) Hui commented:
“Our mission statement is, ‘What we love, we will protect!’ We are seeking to uphold the law, which was voted in by the people of Maui County, for the health and safety of us all.”
Big Ag has targeted Maui, and the Hawai’ian Islands in general, because it is their testing ground for many herbicide formulas and GMO crops. In 2013 alone, there were over 1124 field test sites in Hawai‘i.
This article originally appeared at Natural Society.