Law to regulate use of pesticides, GMOs delayed on Kauai

A court order has delayed a new rule to regulate pesticides and genetically modified organisms on Kauai.

Ordinance 960, which was passed in November 2013, would require companies and farmers to disclose the presence and use of pesticides and genetically-modified crops.

The law was supposed to take effect August 16, however a lawsuit filed in February by four companies that would be directly impacted, challenged the legality of the new law (Syngenta Seeds, DuPont Pioneer, Agrigenetics and BASF Plant Sciences).

The U.S. District Court in Honolulu is scheduled to hold hearings on the matter on July 23.

Due to the volume of cross-motions that have been filed, all parties have entered into a Stipulation and Order which delays the effective date of the ordinance.

“The delay allows the court sufficient time to issue its various decisions after the July hearings, without the parties having to deal with underlying bases for Ordinance 960 and the expected discovery,” said attorney David Minkin, who has been retained to defend the county in the case.

In spite of the lawsuit, the county is taking the necessary measures to adopt administrative rules that will govern enforcement of the ordinance once it takes effect.

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