By Jon Rappaport
After the citizens of Maui just voted to stop Monsanto and Dow from further GMO development, Monsanto filed suit. Barry Kurren is the US federal magistrate overseeing the court battle between Maui and Monsanto.
Judge Kurren’s wife, Faye, is the past president of the University of Hawaii Foundation, which is the fund-raising arm of the University.
On September 6, 2011, Monsanto donated $500,000 to the University to establish a Monsanto Research Fellows Fund for “plant science.”
On July 8, 2010, Monsanto gave $100,000 to University for its scholarship fund.
Judge Kurren’s wife, Faye, has also served as a trustee of the Nature Conservancy, which has a long-established relationship with Monsanto. From the Conservancy’s website: “Monsanto has supported the Nature Conservancy for years.”
Presently, Kurren’s wife is a board member of the First Hawaiian Bank. On its website, there is this quote of “GMO praise” (page 4 of 6):
“Kauai is an ideal research laboratory for the seed corn industry…there are currently five parent seed corn operations on the island: [biotech GM giants] Pioneer Hi-Bred…Syngenta, Dow Monsanto, and BASF. Dow Agrosciences recently leased 3,400 acres of former sugar land…”
These academic, corporate, non-profit, bank connections are part of Hawaii’s overall social and political networks, which form a “community of interest.”
What would happen if Judge Kurren suddenly ruled against Monsanto? How many shocks would ripple out into protected interests? How many social friendships would suddenly collapse? How embarrassing would it be for Faye Kurren?
How much easier would it be to “honor” those connections and friendships and moneyed interests by siding with Monsanto?