Federal judge blocks Maui County from implementing GMO law passed by voters

A federal judge says Maui County may not implement a new law banning the cultivation of genetically modified organisms until he can consider arguments in a lawsuit against the measure.

Judge Barry Kurren said Friday that both sides have agreed to delay the date the law goes into effect.

Monsanto Co. and a unit of Dow Chemical Co. sued the county earlier this week to stop the law. Local businesses joined the lawsuit.

Maui voters passed a ballot initiative last week creating the law. The measure was to take effect after officials certified the election results. That was expected late this month.

Kenneth Robbins, an attorney for the plaintiffs, says Kurren is saying the plaintiffs have shown they could potentially suffer irreparable harm if the law goes into effect.