5 Aug 2014

Historic lawsuit by biotech industry in Hawaii

8:24 pm on 5 August 2014

The Senior Attorney for an agricultural NGO involved in a major Hawaii lawsuit says it's the first time the biotech industry has sued over an ordinance prohibiting the expansion of genetically engineered, or GE, crops.

A coalition of local farmers and environmental groups is backing a county ordinance which is being challenged in court by the world's biggest biotech trade association.

The ordinance aims to protect the land and environment from being harmed by the effects of GE crop production.

Paul Achitoff from Earthjustice says the GE companies have been turning the islands into experimental laboratories.

George Kimbrell, a senior lawyer from Centre For Food Safety says people have rallied support to back the ordinance.

"I think people were alarmed I mean, I've done this work nationally for ten years or so and we've helped counties across the country pass similar ordinances and there has never been any litigation. So this is really the first time that the industry has sued over one of these laws."

George Kimbrell from Centre For Food Safety.