Over the past year, there has been a developing war pertaining to organic food and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). People in favor of organic growing have taken a more aggressive stance on supporting naturally-grown foods. In retaliation, pro-GMO organizations are striking back with campaigns and lawsuits. The Inquisitr has kept up with this war, and the latest salvo includes McDonald’s refusing to use GMO potatoes. Yet, if the “Golden Arches” are moving in an organic direction, they may have trouble finding organic mayo after Hellmann’s attacked a start-up company that produces such a product.
Now there is news of the latest volley thrown by the pro-GMO side in which Monsanto filed a lawsuit against Maui, Hawaii. The reason is because the tropical island has banned GMOs, specifically for corn.
According to Daily Mail, Monsanto Co., the conglomerate recognized for “owning” GMO seeds, united with Dow Chemical Co. in Honolulu’s federal court, asking a judge to immediately prevent a law that bans the cultivation of GMOs to take effect in Maui. They also seek to invalidate the new law, which voters narrowly adopted despite an intense campaign featuring $8 million in spending by seed companies against the initiative.
By what the lawsuit says, the new law would force Monsanto to substantially downsize its activity in Maui, where it employs over 365 people and owns leases on more than 3,000 acres of farmland. Mycogen Seeds, a unit of Dow AgroSciences, would also shut down critical parts of their development and production operations, thus downsizing their workforce. The latter also employs over 100 people and farms on 420 acres.
John Purcell, the lead for Monsanto’s business and technology, made a statement on how the new law violates current laws already in place.
“This local referendum interferes with and conflicts with long-established state and federal laws that support both the safety and lawful cultivation of GMO plants.”
It should be noted that the new law isn’t a permanent ban on GMOs in Maui. There is a stipulation in which genetically modified crops will remain in moratorium until scientific studies on them are conducted on their safety and benefits. If the studies declare GMO seeds are safe, then the Maui County Council will most likely vote to lift the moratorium.
However, the reason why Monsanto is hellbent on lifting the law may not be based on supporting the community, but on profit. About 90 percent of all corn grown in the United States is GMO and has been developed partially in Hawaii. If their operations were to be reduced or even shut down, it would affect the $146.3 million they reap in sales from their activities in Hawaii alone.
Apparently, Monsanto is no stranger in utilizing lawsuits to protect their business. According to PR Watch, Monsanto sued a number of dairies in the 1990s and 2000s for labeling milk free from recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which they developed and marketed as Posilac.
On the flip side, they support anyone who defends their product. Monsanto provided an amicus brief in support of International Dairy Foods Association, who sued the state of Vermont for passing a law requiring the labeling of rBGH.
The lawsuit is in its initial stages, and The Inquisitr will report any developing news once it becomes available. Until then, what are your opinions on the matter? Do you think Monsanto cares about the health of consumers? If yes, why don’t they just welcome independent testing to prove the safety and benefits of GMO seeds?
[Image via Bing]