Earlier today, a federal court declared the Maui County initiative seeking to ban GMO crops is contrary to federal and state laws, and therefore is invalid.
The Maui County Farming Ban was placed on the November ballot by the SHAKA (Sustainable Hawaiian Agriculture for the Keiki and the ‘Aina) movement and was passed by an extremely close margin.
As longtime residents of Maui County, we are pleased with the court’s decision. For us, it’s important that farmers and gardeners on Maui and Molokai will continue to have the freedom to plant the seeds of their choice, whether those seeds are conventional, organic or have biotech traits. But we also greatly value the structure and importance of the law as it applies to our nation.
This is not to say that we haven’t heard the concerns some people have about GMOs and modern farming practices. We certainly have. And we are committed to continuing those conversations about food, technology and agriculture today. We’ve opened our farms to the community over the years, have welcomed thousands of people for free tours during which we share information and answer questions about what we do. We also give dozens of presentations each year and collaborate with various organizations and communities throughout the state. And we understand the responsibility we have to farm sustainably and to work collaboratively to promote a strong and successful Hawaii agricultural industry. But we and hundreds of regulatory agencies, independent researchers and universities around the globe are confident in the safety of our products and our practices that have been reviewed and approved by the stringent regulatory system of the Federal and State agencies.
We also greatly appreciate the tremendous passion and hard work of the thousands of local residents and the local agriculture community who recognized the problematic nature of this flawed referendum.
We recognize the importance of this issue in Hawaii, and welcome the opportunity to continue having conversations with community members interested in learning more about who we are and what we do, and the role our company plays in helping farmers successfully produce food and other agricultural products that are used by consumers every day.
For more information on Monsanto’s operations in Hawaii, please visit www.monsantohawaii.com