Four nonprofit groups are appealing a federal court decision that overturned Kauai County’s highly debated anti-GMO law.

The Kauai County Council also approved up to $12,750 for the appeal last week.

Bill 2491, also known as Ordinance 960, required large agricultural companies to share details about their use of restricted pesticides, respect buffer zones when spraying pesticides, and disclose their cultivation of genetically modified crops.

A federal judge struck down the law last month, concluding that the county doesn’t have the right to regulate pesticides and genetically engineered crops.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell, Kauai Council member Mel Rapozo, Kauai Mayor Barnard Carvalho, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi and Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa hold news conference in front of Honolulu Hale to give their reaction to a federal court decision that struck down a Kauai County ordinance that requires biotechnology companies to disclose their cultivation of genetically modified crops and use of restricted pesticides. August 25, 2014

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho speaks at a news conference in front of Honolulu Hale about a federal court decision that struck down a Kauai County ordinance that requires biotechnology companies to disclose their cultivation of genetically modified crops and use of restricted pesticides on August 25, 2014.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

The decision was a victory for the seed companies that opposed the new rules, including Syngenta Seeds, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Agrigenetics, and BASF Plant Sciences.

Ka Makani Hoopono, Center for Food Safety, Pesticide Action Network North America and Surfrider Foundation, which had previously intervened to defend the county, announced Wednesday that they have appealed the decision. They are being represented by attorneys from Earthjustice and Center for Food Safety.

“We stand with the people of Kauai,” said George Kimbrell, senior attorney for Center for Food Safety, a national non-profit advocacy group, in a press release. “Contrary to the court’s unfortunate decision, they do have the authority to protect themselves from multinational corporations taking advantage of their resources and threatening their health and safety.”

Meanwhile, the Kauai County Council voted on Sept. 17 to set aside $12,750 for the appeal.

According to the county’s press release, the county’s attorney David Minkin and his law firm McCorriston Miller Mukai MacKinnon LLP said that if legal fees for the appeal exceed that amount, the firm will only bill for required costs — such as court filing fees and travel — and won’t charge attorneys’ fees.

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