Maui Votes To Temporarily Ban Growing Of GMO Crops
HONOLULU (AP) — Maui County voters opted Tuesday to temporarily ban the cultivation of genetically engineered crops after a hard-fought campaign featuring $8 million in advertising from some of the world’s largest corn-seed producers.
The ban passed by a narrow margin, with 50 percent in favor and 48 percent opposed. Blank votes accounted for the balance.
The moratorium would be in place until the county council reviews safety studies on growing the crops. The studies would be paid for by the seed companies but administered by the county.
Maui County is home to just 160,000 residents, but the moratorium could have effects across the nation because multinational seed producers Monsanto Co. and Dow Chemical research and develop new varieties there.
“People care passionately about the fact that we are ground zero for the manufacture of these seeds that are going around the world. And that we are a testing ground,” said Mark Sheehan, a leader of the group that gathered signatures to put the measure on the ballot.
Opponents spent nearly $8 million on a massive advertising campaign to fight the measure. Monsanto spent $5.1 million and Dow AgroSciences, which is part of Dow Chemical, spent nearly $1.8 million, according to figures from the state —> Read More Here