A federal judge has ruled the Maui County ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered crops is invalid because the county lacks authority to enforce the restriction. US District Court Chief Judge Susan Oki Mollway said Tuesday that the country ordinance is pre-empted by state and federal law, according to the Associated Press.

 Residents passed the ordinance last November by a narrow margin, temporarily banning the cultivation of genetically engineered crops. According to the state office of elections, 50.2 percent of voters favored the moratorium, while 47.9 voted against it. The amendment suspended all GMO operations and practices until an Environmental Public Health Impact Statement analysis reporting on the impact of the operations and their associated pesticide us could be assembled and reviewed by county officials.