Kauai's Toxic Cocktail

SUBHEAD: New reports detail excessive use of highly toxic pesticides by chemical companies on Kauai.

By Andrea Brower on 16 June 2014 for Coallition for Kauai 960 -

Image above: Stiff trade winds blow chemicals and dust from GMO test fields across the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Photo by Klayton Kubo From (http://times.org/2014/06/16/kauai-cocktail/).

Recent reports by Cascadia Times have further revealed the exceptional volume of highly toxic pesticides being used by DuPont Pioneer, Syngenta, Dow and BASF on Kaua`i, often adjacent to communities and sensitive environmental areas.

An analysis done by Cascadia Times of government pesticide databases and data from the Kaua`i “Good Neighbor Program” shows that the intensity of pesticide use on Kauai’s chemical+GMO test fields “far surpasses the norm at most other American farms,” and in such quantities to have transformed parts of the island into “one of the most toxic chemical environments in all of American agriculture.”

The chemical companies have not provided data for other Hawaiian Islands, but operations on Molokai, Maui and Oahu likely use similarly high levels of pesticides.

The recent data and analysis have strongly reinforced the immediate need for buffer zones, full pesticide disclosure, and investigation into health and environmental impacts of chemical company operations.

Kaua`i County Council member Gary Hooser commented, “Seeing these figures gives a renewed urgency to enforcement of Ordinance 960, and a strong hint as to why the chemical companies are suing us to avoid compliance. They have lied and hidden things all along, and the more we find out, the more concerning it becomes.”

The most heavily used restricted-use pesticides are atrazine, permethrin, chlorpyrifos, paraquat, methomyl, metolachlor and alachlor. According to the article, all have been “linked to a variety of serious health problems ranging from childhood cognitive disorders to cancer. And when applied together in a toxic cocktail, their joint action can make them even more dangerous to exposed people.”

Per-acre usage of chlorpyrifos and permethrin by the chemical+GMO industry on Kaua`i was top in the nation by a significant amount, and calculated to be more than 10 times the national average. The analysis also projected that Kaua`i ranks second nationally for methomyl, fifth for metolachlor, sixth for alachlor, ninth for paraquat and 23rd for atrazine.

Figures are not exact because the chemical companies have refused to release precise data about where they are spraying, and intensity of use may actually be much higher given that the companies do not use large portions of the land that they occupy.

The report also points to possible violations of federal law by the chemical companies, including illegal drift and the application of Lorsban (chlorpyrifos) on days with winds blowing over 10 mph, which is strictly prohibited. Chlorpyrifos is a neurotoxin known to “injure the developing brain” of children.

The Cascadia Times analysis comes on the heels of a report by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) shedding light on the influence of the chemical industry on Hawaii politics. CMD documents that over $50,000 was spent by the industry lobbying State lawmakers while they were considering the “Hawaii Monsanto Protection Act” and other bills to strip counties of their regulatory rights. The industry contributed at least over $700,000 to state and county candidates from November 2006 through December 2013.

The connection between the chemical industry’s deep and widespread influence in Hawaii, and a regulatory system that fails to protect people’s health and the environment, is of grave concern to residents.

“We refuse to be casualties in these corporation’s drive to sell more and more pesticides,” said Lorilani Keohokalole-Torio. “While they are establishing global monopolies in chemicals and seeds, locally they are occupying and poisoning our land, people, and democracy. But we are idle no more, and will protect what we love.”

• Andrea Brower can be contacted at (CoalitionForKauai960@gmail.com)


1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Dow has achieved preliminary US FDA approval of their 2,4D-Glyphosat combination, together with their new GMO 2,4D-Glyphosat-resistant seed corn, which will likely be tested in Kauai.

2,4D is an active ingredient in Agent Orange, and kills not only broad-leaf weeds, but trees along agriculture field drainage and aquatic birds and animals.

The Agent Orange Act, gave the Department of Veterans Affairs the authority to declare certain conditions 'presumptive' to exposure to Agent Orange/dioxin, making these **veterans who served in Vietnam (only) ** eligible to receive treatment and compensation for these conditions: prostate cancer, respiratory cancers, multiple myeloma, type II diabetes, Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, soft tissue sarcoma, chloracne, porphyria cutanea tarda, peripheral neuropathy, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and spina bifida in children of veterans exposed to Agent Orange as conditions associated with exposure to the herbicide. This list now also includes B cell leukemias, such as hairy cell leukemia, Parkinson's disease and ischemic heart disease, (and of course, genetically malformed and nonsurvivable fetuses.)

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