Hot! Maui v. Monsanto: GMO Farming Ban Passed by 1,000 Votes

A Maui ballot initiative to temporarily ban genetically engineered crops bringing a standstill to GMO farming passed the polls Tuesday, beating opponents backed by Hawaii’s most expensive campaign in history by just 1,077 votes, reports the Civil Beat.

Global biotech giants Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences were the top contributors to the $8 million campaign opposition, who outspent the bill’s advocates more than 87 to 1, according to Civil Beat.

But Maui County residents voted 50 percent to 48 percent to pass the bill measure, which the Civil Beat states will “impose a temporary moratorium on genetically engineered crops until the county analyzes their impact on the county’s public health and environment.”

Ashley Lukens, who directs the Hawaii chapter of the Center for Food Safety, said, “I think that this is a really strong message to the entire agrochemical industry in the state of Hawaii that we are no longer going to sit idly by and watch them expand their operations without the kinds of regulations that ensure the health and safety of people across Hawaii.”

After Tuesday’s vote, the farming of about 3,500 acres of land in Maui County by 640 employees for Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences will effectively come to a standstill.

“We are deeply concerned for the 600-plus workers and their families, local businesses, farmers and taxpayers that will be negatively impacted by the passage of this scientifically unjustified, deeply flawed and irresponsible proposal,” said Tom Blackburn-Rodriguez, spokesman for the political action committee Citizens Against the Maui County Ballot Initiative, in an email statement.

Keep reading:
Civil Beat – 1,000 Votes: Maui GMO Farming Ban Squeaks By

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