HONOLULU • A federal judge said Friday that Maui County may not implement a new law banning the cultivation of genetically modified organisms until he considers arguments in a lawsuit against the measure.
Both sides have agreed to delay the date the law goes into effect, U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Kurren said in his ruling.
Creve Coeur-based Monsanto Co. and a unit of Dow Chemical Co. sued the county last week to stop the law. Employees of the companies and Maui County businesses joined the lawsuit.
They argue that the law would harm the economy and their businesses. They said the court has already ruled in another case involving a Kauai law regulating genetically engineered crops that the state, and not the county, has jurisdiction over the issue.
Maui voters created the law with a ballot initiative they passed Nov. 4. The measure was to take effect after officials certified the election results, which was expected later this month.
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