Two biotechnology behemoths have followed through with vows to sue Hawaii’s Maui County for passing a law last week that bans the cultivation of genetically modified organisms.
Monsanto Co. and a Dow Chemical Co. unit filed the lawsuit in federal court in Honolulu on Thursday. The agricultural giants are calling on a judge to block the law and to invalidate the voter-approved measure.
Maui County voters approved a temporary ban on GMO crop cultivation in a 50 to 48 percent vote. The state has become a battleground between biotech firms and food activists – it was the country’s first ever ballot initiative against global agricultural companies like Monsanto and Dow, which spent $8 million trying to defeat the measure.