Ag companies sue to block anti-GMO law in Hawaii
If the companies are forced to disclose the location of their biotech crop fields, they face increased risk of "commercial espionage, vandalism, and theft," they said in the lawsuit. And they say that adhering to buffer zones will hurt them economically because they will lose land for seed production.
The battle in the Hawaiian islands over biotech crop development and related pesticide use is part of a larger battle brewing in the United States and several other countries. Biotech crop critics argue that genetically modified crops, first introduced in 1996, lead to increased pesticide use, environmental damage and health problems for people and animals.
The most popular biotech crops are corn and soybeans that have been genetically altered to make the plants tolerant of chemical herbicides and resist pest damage. And many farmers say use of biotech crops improves production and field management.
The companies assert that biotech crops are essential to boost global food production and improve environmental sustainability. And they say the crops and the pesticides used on them are safe and are already well regulated by state and federal agencies.
Dow and rival biotech crop developer Monsanto Co. are seeking regulatory approval for new pesticides and biotech crops because there is widespread weed resistance to current popular pesticides.