District Court Holds County Ordinance Preempted by Hawaii State Law


On November 26, 2014, the U.S. District Court for Hawaii issued a ruling holding that a Hawaii County Ordinance purporting to place restrictions on the “open air cultivation, propagation development or testing of genetically engineered crops or plants” was preempted by state laws empowering the Hawaii Department of Agriculture to control “noxious weeds”. In addition, it held that provisions of the Federal Plant Protection Act preempts the County’s attempt to ban open air field testing. The case is Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association v. County of Hawaii.