A federal complaint was filed by Maui County residents requesting declaratory relief acting as a pre-emptive strike against biotech companies. The complaint is included in its entirety below and was spearheaded by the SHAKA movement who is also a plaintiff in the action.
A GMO moratorium was passed in Maui County and consists of a temporary ban on genetically engineered farming. The plaintiffs are asking the court to order Maui County to adequately fund the implementation of the moratorium, provide regular updates to the community on its implementation, and consult with the plaintiffs on the ban’s enforcement.Penalties for growing GMO crops in the meantime range from $10,000 to $50,000 per day.
“Plaintiffs bring this action seeking declaratory relief against Defendants in order to (1) assure that the GMO Bill is timely and properly implemented and to be able to assist and participate in the County’s implementation of the GMO Bill, including being consulted by the County with respect to the GMO Bill’s implementation; and (2) resolve the claims that the GMO bill is not legal and enforceable, as there is an actual controversy and threat of imminent and inevitable litigation regarding this issue.”
A Monsanto spokeswoman, Carol Reimann, has indicated in a statement that the company will probably seek to dismiss the case.
“While we are continuing to review the action filed yesterday, it appears this suit is inappropriate for the courts to decide as it seeks remedies that courts cannot provide. It is very likely we will promptly move to dismiss it. The legal validity of the ordinance under existing state and federal laws is the real issue; and that issue will be decided by a federal court in a different suit that actually reviews the merits of the ordinance,” she said.