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US groups contest Hawaii GM crop ban

The US Biotechnology Industry Organization and agricultural groups on the US state of Hawaii have filed a lawsuit challenging a Hawaii county law banning the cultivation of genetically modified crops on the "Big Island" of Hawaii. Bill 113, which was passed in December 2013, bans the cultivation or open-air testing of new GM crops. It exempts existing crops, notably GM papayas, but requires growers to pay $100 to register their fields with the county. The suit, which was filed in the US District Court for the District of Hawaii, claims that Bill 113 violates state and federal law. The plaintiffs contend that while most farmers do not grow GM crops on the Big Island, the law wrongly blocks access to any future technologies that could help their operations. "Bill 113 is backed by no findings or evidence that [GM] crops are in any way harmful, or in any way endanger the local environment," the plaintiffs argue.

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