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Maui Group Allowed to Intervene in Federal GMO Lawsuit

Posted December 16, 2014, 01:15 PM HST Updated December 18, 2014, 09:29 AM HST
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Kahului, Maui - Rally against GMOs.  Photo by Rodney Yap.

Kahului, Maui – Rally against GMOs. Photo by Rodney Yap.

By Wendy Osher

Proponents of the recently passed GMO Initiative on Maui have been given the green light to intervene in a federal lawsuit challenging the measure, attorneys confirmed.

Honolulu attorney Michael C. Carroll, who is representing the authors of the Maui GMO initiative tells Maui Now that the group won standing on Monday to intervene in the lawsuit filed by Monsanto which seeks to delay any enforcement of the measure and ultimately to have it declared unenforceable.

Carroll is representing Maui residents Dr. Lorrin Pang, Mark Sheehan, Leiʻohu Ryder, Bonnie Marsh, Alika Atay, and the SHAKA Movement who led the effort to suspend the growth, testing and cultivation of GMO crops in Maui County until an environmental and public health study can show that they are safe.

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On November 4th, Maui voters approved the voter initiative, but the item has been making its way through the judical system as those on both sides of the issue seek legal backing.

Carroll said the Magistrate Judge has also reassigned the federal case to Chief Judge Susan Mollway.

“We look forward to advancing our position with the Federal Court in order to validate the Ordinance that the majority of Maui voters passed into law in November,” said Carroll in an email communication today.

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