***Commentary*** GMO Related Court Hearing Friday

(Editor’s note: the following is a notice from Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille, regarding litigation related to the Council’s recent passage of legislation banning generically modified organisms.)

IMPORTANT COURT HEARING: HILO CIRCUIT COURT 10:30 a.m. Friday March 7th before Judge Nakamura. COME WATCH!

So as expected the GMO industry in the name of some autonomous GMO papaya farmer has now sued the County of Hawaii to block Hawaii County’s GMO law (Bill 113). The way I figured: The multinational chemical corporations would not bring a lawsuit in their own name and the GMO O’okala dairy (GMO corn) would not want to be exposed to any questions and hence would not want to bring a lawsuit, and the University of Hawaii GMO operations would not want to be exposed to bad press on this issue, so that leaves the papaya farmers – who are completely grandfathered from the law, other than having to register annually in order to be exempt.

We can assume the biotechs were betting on state legislators being able to preempt/nullify county GMO legislation — but that effort has been unsuccessful. So given their usual routine of using litigation to scare off any government entity that demands some accountability, that left the only option as a lawsuit by some papaya farmer arguing the oppression of mere registration. Really how funny.

Enter top notch attorney Margery Bronster, who at last January 2013 Legal Seminar in Honolulu on Hawaii Agriculture informed the attendees about having been hired by a couple of the biotech corporations to review the Hawaii County Law. She also bragged about how she used the patent/intellectual property laws to win against some GMO registration requirement (in a mainland lawsuit she otherwise was on the losing end). Yet consistent with section 92F-13 of the Hawai‘i Revised Statutes, Bill 113 provided for protection of registration information when the County determines disclosure might be harmful – (“information such as the name of the registrant and the exact location of the genetically engineered crops or plants may be withheld from the public to the extent that disclosure of that detailed information would otherwise frustrate the ability of the County to obtain accurate information”).

Anyway stay tuned to more info asap.



14 replies
  1. tia
    tia says:

    “To hear the pesticide and junk food marketers of the world tell it, anyone who questions the value, legitimacy or safety of GMO crops is naïve, anti-science and irrational to the point of hysteria.

    But how long can Monsanto ignore the mounting actual scientific evidence that their technology is not only failing to live up to its promises, it’s putting public health at risk?”

  2. Tiffany Edwards Hunt
    Tiffany Edwards Hunt says:

    Kit, “Like” the article and it will show up on your Facebook news feed. I will ask my tech friend how to improve the existing setup though. I agree “share” option is lacking.

  3. Ronald
    Ronald says:

    One of the things I find so endearing about Ms. Willie is her humility and lack of condensention.

  4. Obie
    Obie says:

    ” Bill 113 provided for protection of registration information when the County determines disclosure might be harmful”

    Is it the same protection afforded medical marijuana card holders ??

    Medical marijuana list released | HonoluluAdvertiser.com | The Honolulu Advertiser
    Angry telephone calls started coming in to the state Department of Public Safety almost as soon as the June 27 issue of the Hawai’i Tribune-Herald hit the streets.

    A front-page article on medical marijuana mentioned that the department had provided a database with patient names and addresses, the locations of their plants, their certificate numbers, and their prescribing doctors.

  5. Ronald
    Ronald says:

    Obie, probably similar. The County would have to prove that releasing the information under Freedom of Information Act would cause the county to not be able to get the information in the future – despite having the threat of a $1000/day fine for non compliance. Good luck selling that -the only reason the legislation leaves open – to a judge! Note that 113 itself provides no reason for collecting the information. So in a sense the County has the information with no reason given to have it and thin reasoning to not release it.

    I am not a lawyer, like Ms. Willie, but does not look well thought out to me.

  6. Hugh Clark
    Hugh Clark says:


    If the “big bad boys” are so afraid of suing on Big Island why then did they join first strike aimed at Kauai.

    Something is missing in the reality of this assertion.

  7. Peter
    Peter says:

    Is that still coming up? If it helps any, the Tribune-Herald doesn’t have any saved copies of the emailed document containing that medical marijuana information. All versions were voluntarily purged from the system.

  8. Hugh Clark
    Hugh Clark says:

    Come on, folks, Bronster is a major-league attorney. She will stomp Hawaii County nine out of ten times. Besides, “anonymous” did not win this round. It was the named plaintiff

  9. greg owen
    greg owen says:

    Bronster is really big time,most influential; connected. However whether she stomps Hawaii County remains to be seen. I wonder if Hawaii County could hire someone like Bill Mcmoriston. County of Kaui hired big guns to deal with the corporate poisoners.

  10. Hawaiino
    Hawaiino says:

    Bill McCorriston to represent the County to defend Ms. Wille’s anti-GMO bill? Really? How funny. I know most people believe that attorneys are sophists, but McCorriston is a Nixon era D.o.J. Asst. U.S. attorney! A top contributor to the Republican party! A fee is a fee, so perhaps he’d take the job and do his best. But….it’s interesting to see who one reaches for in a time of need. I’m reminded of the Orwell quote;
    ” Men sleep peacefully in their beds at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.”

    As far as Ms. Wille’s bill, it’s now coming off even more as an ego trip. I say this based on inferences to be made from her “News Release”. Her use of colloquialisms, of informal address, is indicative of her entire approach to the subject which is that there is no need for Formality (er, Proof). She pushed a slapdash bill through an overwhelmed Council who had no desire to be labeled as unresponsive to a ginned up public health (non) issue. Never mind that it hadn’t been an issue to the general public, and really no business of the Council, until she made it one. The support that galvanized around Bill 113 would have likely been the same if she had been advocating against immunizations of children, irradiation of food….no, no, wait….those causes have come and gone. And this one will too.

    The thin skinned narrative above casts Ms. Wille as a novice public servant who has mistaken a narrow victory over a conflicted opponent for a mandate to lead based on her personal opinions and preferences.
    Really! How funny….

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *