Last night we received an urgent email from a Food Democracy Now! member in Hawaii asking for our help. For the past several months an important battle has been heating up on the paradise islands regarding pesticides and experimental GMOs that could impact our collective future.
Today the Kaua'i County Council could vote on common sense “Right to Know” legislation - Bill 2491 - that puts public health ahead of biotech profits by limiting Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs). It prohibits open air testing of experimental pesticides and experimental GMO’s while publicly disclosing pesticide use on the islands.
Unfortunately biotech companies like Monsanto, Syngenta and DuPont are triyng to force a delay on the vote to try to stop Bill 2491 and another important bill (Bill 113) from becoming law in Hawaii.
At the same time, a vote on Bill 113, which would ban the planting of experimental open-air GMO crops on Hawaii and even prohibit biotech companies from operating on the Big Island is scheduled for a hearing tomorrow, October 16. These bills are unprecedented and need your help to pass!
Earlier this summer more than 32,000 Food Democracy Now! members stood with residents of Hawaii to protect this island paradaise and its residents from the indiscriminate poisoning of their communities. Help us get to 40,000 before the vote takes place later today.
Tell the leaders of Hawaii it’s time to stop poisoning paradise and start protecting the islands’ biodiversity, its people and tourists or you’ll take your next vacation elsewhere! As long as they poison paradise, you’re boycotting Hawaii for good! Every voice counts!
Hawaii's Dark Side
While widely known as a beloved tourist destination to millions of vacationers worldwide, in reality Hawaii has a dark side that Monsanto and the giant chemical and biotech companies don’t want you to know about.
For over 20 years, the Hawaiian Islands have become ground zero for open air field trials of the biotech industry’s toxic chemicals and experimental GMO crops. Tests have shown that the biotech industry’s harmful chemicals are contaminating local air and water sources that expose island residents and vacationers alike.
Toxic Pesticide Drift Impacts Local Schools and Children
Even worse, at least 10 schools on Hawaii are only 100 yards away from GMO chemical fields, potentially endangering Hawaii’s school children's health for the sake of profits for the chemical and biotech companies. But the Hawaiian people have had enough and want the right to know if they and their children are being exposed to toxic pesticides.
Tests have confirmed that at least 3 Restricted Use Pesticides contaminated a local school on the Garden Island of Kauai, such as the toxic herbicide Atrazine, which has been banned in Europe since 2004 due to serious health problems, including cancer, birth defects and reproductive issues. In 2005, Atrazine, manufactured by Syngenta, was found in Kauai’s drinking water and in 2006 and 2008 children and teachers at a school in Waimea were sickened on several occasions, including one incident where at least 10 children were rushed to the local hospital.
This doesn’t sound like the island paradise that is promoted by the Hawaiian tourism industry, does it?
Yes on Bill 2491 – A Reasonable Public Disclosure Bill About Pesticides and GMOs!
Bill 2491 specifically applies only to large industrial agricultural operations that use large amounts of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP’s). 99% of these very toxic substances are used by just 5 companies on Kauai – Syngenta, BASF, Pioneer DuPont and Dow, who occupy nearly all of the leased agricultural lands in west Kauai - over 15,000 acres in close proximity to schools, residences, churches, and hospitals.
According to University of Hawaii Professor Dr. Hector Valenzuela, every year, giant biotech chemical corporations spray at least 99 different pesticides on Hawaii. On Kauai, they dump over 36,000 pounds of 22 different types of Restricted Use Pesticides and an additional estimated 160,000 pounds of General Use Pesticides (glyphosate, Round Up and other).
What happens in Hawaii, doesn’t stay in Hawaii! Please use your voice today to tell Hawaii’s leaders that you’re paying attention and expect them to support the people, not Monsanto and Syngenta!
Thanks for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team
1. “No back pedaling on 2491,” Island Earth, October 12, 2013,
2. “Will Hawaii’s Big Island Ban GMO Farming?” EcoWatch, October 15, 2013
3. “Attorney: Pesticides at WCMS Violates Federal Law”, The Garden Island, July 14, 2013.
4. “The Truth About Bill 2491 Relating to Pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms”, Gary Hoosier’s Blog, July 20, 2013.
5. “GMO Debate: Kauai’s Struggle for Health and the Environment”, Honolulu Civil Beat, July 17, 2013
6. “GMO & Pesticide Experiments in Hawaii: The Poisoning of Paradise”, Huffington Post, July 2, 2013.
7. “GMO & Pesticide Experiments in Hawaii: Part 2, Kauai's Right to Know”, Huffington Post, July 25, 2013