Ruling allows Big Island GMO registry to begin

Ruling allows Big Island GMO registry to begin

HILO, Hawaii (AP) - A judge is allowing Hawaii County to maintain a registry of genetically modified crops while preventing public disclosure of farmers' identities and specific farm locations.

Hilo Circuit Court Judge Greg Nakamura granted a preliminary injunction Tuesday in response to papaya farmers who argued the Big Island's registry requirement would expose them to vandalism or theft of trade secrets.

The registry is part of the county's ban on open-air planting and testing of GMO crops. Papaya farmers are exempt from the ban but were required to participate in the registry.

The judge previously granted a temporary restraining order in favor of the papaya farmers, which put a hold on the registry requirements.

Kohala Councilwoman Margaret Wille tells Hawaii Tribune-Herald the ruling is an acceptable compromise.

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