Last week, a federal judge said Maui County cannot implement a new law that would ban the use of genetically modified crops. Voters approved the ballot initiative in early November, and it was expected to go into effect after election results were verified.

According to Truth About Trade & Technology, Judge Barry Kurren said he would consider lawsuits against the new initative, and both sides of the issue agreed to postpone the date the law goes into effect.

Monsanto and Dow Chemical Co. sued Maui County last week in efforts to stop the initiative and were joined by local businesses in the suit, according to the Associated Press (AP).

Maui County is home to extensive soybean, corn and other crop breeding and seed multiplication activities important to U.S. soybean growers. ASA stands with the Maui County Farm Bureau, the Molokai Farm Bureau, local farm employees and their families and other citizens of Maui, Molokai and Lanai who oppose this harmful initiative.

On the Citizens Against Maui County Farming Ban website, the group states farmers on Maui, Molokai and Lanai want to be able to take advantage of future advances in agricultural technologies that can protect their crops from pests and disease, or promote conservation.

In October, ASA joined Citizens Against Maui County Farming Ban, a committee opposing the proposed November ballot initiative that would ban certain types of farming, including use of genetically modified crops in Maui, Molokai and Lanai. According to the committee, the law would lead to the complete shutdown of many farms that have operated in Maui County for decades, without any scientific justification and eliminate nearly 600 jobs that families depend on, creating a ripple effect throughout the local economy.

According to the AP article, an attorney for the Monsanto and Dow said the judge ruled “the plaintiffs have shown they could potentially suffer irreparable harm if the law goes into effect” and gave them until Dec. 1 to explain why he should continue blocking the implementation until he hears both sides’ arguments.