Group sues to prevent vote on Maui GMO moratorium

Kaua’i gets sued
Kaua’i passed an ordinance requiring the chemical companies to disclose the pesticides they were spraying and keep spraying a certain distance from schools, hospitals and homes.

Billion dollar chemical companies, Syngenta, DuPont Pioneer, Agrigenetics (doing business as Dow AgroSciences), and BASF retaliated by suing the small island county and initiating a $50,000 lobbying operation to over-ride the ordinance in the state legislature.

Big Island gets sued
In Hawai’i county (Big Island) citizens passed an initiative to ban all GMOs except papayas and disclose the location of GMOs.  Attorneys from Washington, D.C.-based Arent Fox LLP and an attorney representing the Biotechnology Industry Organization among others are suing Hawai’i county to overturn the ordinance.  (GMO Papayas have already contaminated most of the Big Island papayas and Hawai’i is trying to prevent other GMO crops from ruining their organic and conventional crops.)

PACs target local politicians
Councilmember Margaret Wille who introduced the Big Island bill is under attack by a large PAC who is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to unseat local county councilmembers who support restraints on pesticides and GMOs.

Maui gets sued
For the first time ever, Maui County citizens got enough signatures to qualify a ballot initiative which stops GMO operations until they do an environmental assessment showing safety.  That initiative should appear on the November ballot but a group headed by a Dow manager is trying to prevent the Maui County citizens’ initiative for a GMO Moratorium from appearing on the November ballot due to a technicality.

This group, “Citizens Against the Maui Farming Ban” is headed by Dow subsidiarity manager, Adolph Helm brother to Maui County Councilmember Stacy Crivello who gave an impassioned speech opposing the moratorium. Curiously their state disclosure report shows no money coming in nor going out despite spending at least $80,000 in TV ads

ALEC sponsoring pro-chemical company legislation
According to PR Watch:

Big Ag Political Funders Have Ties to ALECOf the “Big 6” chemical and seed companies and their trade associations lobbying and/or contributing to political candidates in Hawai’i, Bayer, Dow, CropLife America (a pesticide and agricultural chemical trade association), and the American Chemistry Council have ties to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

ALEC approved a “model” bill in 2013 for states to override the ability of counties and cities to democratically determine how they will regulate GMOs at the local and regional level, as CMD has reported.

Disinformation Campaign
The chemical corporations have gone all out in a media disinformation campaign. They’ve relabeled the GMO Moratorium (which affects 1% of Maui County farms) as a “Farming Ban” and are running TV commercials every night during the local news. In addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars invested in taking down local politicians supportive of disclosing or labeling pesticides and GMOs, they’ve sent out misleading flyers – again labeling the bill as a “farming ban.”

Corporations against communities
If there were ever a textbook case for big money corporations thwarting local democracies, this is it.  Maui County residents are asking for help combating the misleading PR of the billion dollar chemical corporations turning the islands into  pesticide/GMO experiments.

Donate to combat corporate PR and lawsuits at

Reprinted from DailyKos

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