Chemical Company Troubles

SUBHEAD: Kauai demonstration against Monsanto and other chemical food corporations.

By Blake Drolson on 12 May 2016 for GMO Free Kauai  

Image above: Demonstration in opposition to GMO and pesticide testing on Kauai during a rally 5/25/13 held outside the Kauai Village shopping center along Kuhio Highway in Kapaa. From (

Kauai rallies in solidarity with the March Against Monsanto where millions of people around the World will demand an end to Monsanto's (and the rest of the chemical cartel's) corrupt and polluting actions.

21st of May 2016 from 10:00am to noon

On sidewalk at stop light
Safeway Supermarket
4-831 Kuhio Highway
Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii

Lawsuit threat over Kauai pesticide use

SUBHEAD: Earthjustice threatens to sue Hawaii's Agribusiness Development Corporation over pesticides on Kauai.

By Courtney Teague on 3 May 2016 for Civil Beat -

Image above: Water flows near DuPont Pioneer’s now-shuttered parent seed facility in Kekaha, Kauai on June 16, 2015. From original article.

, a U.S. nonprofit environmental law firm, notified Hawaii’s Agribusiness Development Corporation on Tuesday that it will sue the agency for allegedly allowing pesticides and chemicals to contaminate a 40-mile-long drainage ditch system on the Mana Plain of Kauai’s west side.

The ADC, a division of the Department of Agriculture, leases thousands of acres there to seed companies. Earthjustice, in alliance with several community groups, said that the genetically-engineered crops grown on the lands on the west side of Kauai require intensive applications of chemicals and pesticides that run off into drainage ditches, flowing through communities and into the ocean near the Mana Plain.

For decades, the drainage system used for this land was monitored by the Department of Health under a Clean Water Act permit; but in August, ADC decided not to renew its permit, according to the statement. The Clean Water Act requires a permit from those who intend to discharge harmful chemicals into state waters and wetlands.

The Department of Agriculture declined comment Tuesday on the notice of intent to sue.

ADC meeting minutes show that in July 2015, officials decided that new Department of Health “water quality standards would be extremely difficult to meet, particularly at approval.”
So instead of applying to renew the existing permit, ADC opted to pursue an exemption and create a plan to take care of the soil and water in the Mana Plain. ADC also would have to identify what streams were associated with nearby hydroelectric power plants, according to the minutes.

The Kauai chapter of Surfrider Foundation, a conservation group, tested ditches on the west side of Kaui and confirmed they contain pesticides, according to a statement attributed to Angela Howe, the foundation’s legal director. Earthjustice also cited 2012 Census data that found the majority of nearby residents are people of color and Native Hawaiian.

The drain flows through towns and popular recreation sites, according to the release.

The Mana Plain was one of many locations surveyed in a $100,000 report ordered by the DOA and Kauai County Council in December 2014, following public outcry over potential health and environmental health hazards caused by seed companies’ pesticide use.

Although four pesticides (atrazine, chlorpyrifos, fipronil and glyphosate) were found in the Mana Plain, the report said that the amount found couldn’t have “significant negative impacts.” Water tested from a wetland on the plain detected pesticides, but those tests did not measure the types or concentrations.

Kylie Wager, Earthjustice associate attorney, said in a telephone interview that the issue was brought to the group’s attention after community members reached out to them. The notice of intent to sue is their first attempt at contact with the ADC. She said if ADC doesn’t address Earthjustice’s concerns about noncompliance with Clean Water Act requirements within 60 days, the group will take legal action.

Wager said it was “a shame” that the ADC decided not to renew its Clean Water Act permit, since these areas are used for swimming, fishing and boating. She referenced a 2013-2014 DOH pesticide testing survey that found Kekaha, an area near the Mana Plain, detected trace amounts of the restricted insecticide chlorpyrifos.

The report said Kauai and Oahu had higher levels of pesticides in water samples than the Big Island.

Tests at another location on west Kauai found two restricted pesticides at levels within the legal limit, but at levels that could still harm sea life. Many locations tested near lands leased to seed corporations found traces of pesticides.

“The Clean Water Act doesn’t require a showing of extreme health problems,” Wager said. “If pollutants are going into the water, the people have a right to know what those are.”

Chemical Company Takeover?

SUBHEAD: International cabal of chemical corporation continues control of world food supply.

By Andrea Germanos on 12 May 2016 for Common Dreams -

Image above: Syngenta - Monsanto - Bayer conglomeration talks go on. From (

Mergers like Bayer's rumored takeover of Monsanto 'would make it even harder for farmers, consumers and communities to build a vibrant, sustainable food system'

German chemical giants Bayer AG and BASF SE are both considering takeovers of U.S. seed behemoth Monsanto, according to news reports on Thursday.

Of the potential Bayer takeover of Monsanto, valued at roughly $40 billion, Bloomberg noted that it "would create the world’s largest supplier of seeds and farm chemicals."
As USA Today reported, "A bid for Monsanto would be just the most recent in a wave of chemical and agribusiness consolidation."

Indeed, in February China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina) announced it would acquire Swiss pesticide company Syngenta for $43 billion, while DuPont and Dow Chemical announced their merger last year.

According to advocacy group Food & Water Watch, such consolidation has far-reaching impacts, and is bad news for farmers and communities.

"A Bayer takeover of Monsanto would only be the latest in a string of high-profile seed and agrochemical mergers that are undermining the economic viability of family farms," said Wenonah Hauter, the organization's executive director. "Unchecked food and agribusiness monopolies pay farmers less, charge consumers more and reduce everyone's choices."

"The Department of Justice must block deals like the proposed ChemChina-Syngenta and Dow-DuPont mergers that already threaten to hyper-consolidate the biotech seed industry," she argued. "Doing so would also send a message that mega-mergers like the rumored Bayer-Monsanto deal will not be rubber stamped.

"The shocking consolidation in the biotech seed and agrochemical industry turns over the food system to a cabal of chemical companies that would make it even harder for farmers, consumers and communities to build a vibrant, sustainable food system," Hauter said.

The potential merger, Bloomberg reports, "would face a global antitrust review."  The paper also quotes Erik Gordon, a professor at University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, who said that it may be slowed down by regulators who "are faced not with a decision about a single deal, but rather with a decision about the structural concentration of the whole industry.”

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Chinese to take over Syngenta? 2/2/16
Ea O Ka Aina: Monsanto and Syngenta stranglehold


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