Shaka Movement Press Release
9th Circuit Court of Appeals GMO Ruling
This is a groundbreaking win for all GMO movements across the country. The court has acknowledged that states and home rule counties within states do indeed have the right to regulate and/or ban “commercial” GMO crops within home rule counties or states.
Our little Community of Maui has now created legal precedent for banning commercial GMO crops and we will now see a rise in both local and statewide GMO crop ban initiatives in the near future.
Today we stand one step closer to protecting Maui from genetic pollution and untested pesticide use. Now that states and counties across the country can legally ban farmers from growing GMO crops in their communities, eventually there will no longer be a need for GMO seed crop production and experimentation on our islands.
This ruling creates a specific distinction between experimental crops and commercial crops. States and home rule counties may regulate and/or ban “commercial” GMO crops. However, “experimental” GMO crops cannot be regulated or banned as the federal government regulates them.
Unfortunately for Maui County, Hawaii is not one of the 38 home rule states. Therefore counties in Hawaii do not have the privilege or right to protect themselves when the state is not doing so. Maui County will be forced to work on the state level to regulate commercial GMO crop activities.
This ruling also acknowledges the actual harm of GMO activities to the environment and to non-GMO farmers as valid, and acknowledged the extensive research and facts of those harms as real and valid as well.
This new groundbreaking precedent will reshape and reform the entire political and environmental landscape against the scourge of genetic pollution and pesticide pollution throughout our nation.
SHAKA Movement states that by no means is this ruling a setback or loss in any way. We and the over 20,000 citizens of Maui who voted for the GMO Crop Moratorium believe in the Hawaii state constitution and will continue our efforts to ensure the Public Trust Doctrine is honored as the rule of our lands.
We would also like to point out that the first paragraph of the article published in civil beat has wrongfully and incorrectly characterized the Court’s findings.
Civil beat article states, “Monsanto, Syngenta and other seed companies that farm in Hawaii won a significant victory after a federal appeals court ruled that counties can’t regulate pesticides or genetically modified crops.”
What the ruling actually stated was that “experimental crops” cannot be regulated or banned as they are regulated by the federal government, but that Commercial seed crops that are created and resold to Farmers and/or used to create GMO products are in fact subject to regulation or bans in counties that are allowed home rule and or by the states governing agencies.
The ruling also was very specific about acknowledging the actual harms that are caused to the environment and non-GMO farmers. It went on to validate the extensive research and facts he’s known harms.
The courts today made it very clear the agrochemical companies may do as they wish concerning open-air experimentation with GMO crops and new pesticides in our communities and on our Island.
They also we’re very specific concerning commercial crops being designated as separate from experimental crops and are in fact under public scrutiny either on County or state levels to be either banned or regulated.
Since the courts did not distinguish which crops in Maui County are in fact either experimental or commercial within the bounds of our county, the question Still Remains as to whether or not there’s any jurisdiction over what is happening in our County in regards to the crops that are grown as seed for Farmers throughout the world to grow GMO product.
Regardless of the facts that:
1 ) During public testimony in Maui County, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed that new unintended chemical compounds can be created when combining chemicals in the GMO fields as practiced in Maui County
2 ) Admitted that the EPA, does not regulate such combinations nor do they have any mechanisms, systems or reporting requirements for such chemical combining activities
3 ) The state of Hawaii Department of Agriculture admitted that they have no regulations in writing on GMO crops or GMO testing
4 ) Neither the state or federal government can produce any proof (or facts of any testing) indicating that there is no collateral damage occurring outside of legal bounds of the operations of these companies in their GMO fields in our County
5 ) The University of Hawaii produced definitive research results proving that agricultural pesticide and herbicide runoff is the direct cause of the destruction of our reefs through the death of the natural grasses and plant life which have been overtaken by chemically tolerant and chemically saturated Superweeds which when consumed by the local Turtle population is the direct cause of the cancerous tumors within that population
That regardless of these and many other facts that we have at our disposal, the federal and state governments pretend that everything is ok and that these agrochemical companies may do as they wish, when they wish, where they wish.