Hawaiian Judge Prevents the Public Disclosure of Information on Farms Growing GMO Papayas
HAWAII COUNTY, HI - GMO Papaya growers in Hawaii County can breathe easy in the aftermath of Judge Greg Nakamura's judicial injunction preventing the public disclosure of the location of their farms. The court battle started when two growers, Ross Sibucao and a second unnamed plaintiff, sued Hawaii County arguing that the disclosure requirement would unfairly expose them to vandalism and economic damages.
The registry requirement being challenged in court is just a part of a larger law which Hawaii County adopted last December banning the open-air use and testing of GMO crops. Margaret Wille, the Kohala Councilwoman who authored this legislation, told reporters at West Hawaii Today that she was satisfied with Judge Nakamura's decision.
“It addresses the concerns without undermining the right-to-know laws,” she said.
Since its passage, the ban of open-air GMO crops has been incredibly controversial in Hawaii. Judge Nakamura's injunction will be in effect for a 30 day period while a larger lawsuit works its way through the U.S. District Court in Honolulu. This lawsuit challenges the broader question of whether or not Hawaii County had the legal authority itself to ban the open-air growing of GMO crops and is certainly a battle Hawaii growers will be closely following.
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