NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- A federal court ruling overturning the county of Kauai's ordinance on the use of pesticides and genetically modified crops is likely to be only the first shot in Hawaii's ongoing struggle to curb the practice.
Seeking to address the concerns of organic farmers and citizens, Kauai Ordinance 960 required more disclosure from farmers and biotech companies like Syngenta (SYT) and Dow Chemical (DOW) about pesticides and genetically modified crops.
On Monday, in a case brought against the county by bioscience firms including Syngenta, U.S. District Court Judge Barry M. Kurren ruled that the ordinance preempts existing state law. In doing so, Kurren seems to have acknowledged that the supporters of the legislation may have a case.
"This decision in no way diminishes the health and environmental concerns of the people of Kauai," Kurren wrote. "The Court's ruling simply recognizes that the State of Hawaii has established a comprehensive framework for addressing the application of restricted use pesticides and the planting of GMO crops, which presently precludes local regulation by the County."
Contacted for comment on the ruling, Syngenta offered an emailed statement.
Syngenta, BASF, Agrigenetics, Inc. (a company affiliated with Dow AgroSciences LLC), and DuPont Pioneer are pleased with the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii's ruling today (August 25) invalidating Ordinance 960 and enjoining the County from implementing or enforcing the law. As we have maintained from the outset, the state and federal government already have comprehensive regulation of pesticides and GMOs and the County of Kauai has no power to regulate in these areas.