Hawaii to make pesticide progress

SUBHEAD: State beginning water quality study, pesticide use disclosure program, buffer zone policy.

By Staff on 17 December 2016 for Hawaiian Alliance for Progressive Action

Image above: Photo of giant march on Kauai in support of County Bill 2491 (adopted as Ordinance 960) to regulate restricted use pesticides in GMO fields. The bill addressed From (http://www.stoppoisoningparadise.org/).

The state has announced that it is (finally) taking some first steps to address our community's concerns about pesticide drift from large agri-chemical company operations in Hawaii.

In a joint press statement, the Hawaii Departments of Health and Agriculture described several initiatives recommended by the state/county sponsored Joint Fact Finding Group Report, including:

A $500,000 surface water quality study for Oahu and Kauai to evaluate whether pesticides are moving offsite at unacceptable levels. 
  • A statewide pesticide use disclosure program (but only voluntary and partial)
  • A statewide buffer zone policy (details yet to be outlined)
While the State actions are slow and insufficient, they are a step in the right direction.  HAPA Board President Gary Hooser believes, "the State should be commended for listening to our community and beginning to implement several key recommendations contained in both the JFF report and Bill 2491.

The disclosure and buffer zone components must be mandatory and should include all general use pesticides (such as glyphosate and bee-killing neonics) to be meaningful.  However, the proposal as I understand it is a solid first step."

Fern Anuenue Rosenstiel, who helped with the development of Bill 2491 on Kauai, and has an environmental science degree, said, "After years of community action and concern it is a relief that the state is finally stepping up to their responsibility. It isn't enough, but it is a start. It is a step in the right direction."

A step closer to disclosure and a step towards better understanding the environmental impacts of this industry on our land, air and water."

These first steps are clearly a response to the movement for environmental justice that has been growing across Hawaii.

Make no mistake, none of this would have happened without people coming together -- in the streets, at the Capitol, and in county chambers -- to demand action and change. But our work is not done.

Contact the Governor's office today and thank him for these steps, but demand that:
  1. the pesticide disclosure be mandatory & include all pesticides; and
  2. buffer zones be mandatory and comply with the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics and other health experts.
Click here! or

Island Breath Publisher's message to Governor Ige:
Aloha Governor Ige,
I fully supported Kauai Bill 2492 (Ordinance 960). I live on the westside of Kauai where the impact of pesticides is greatest.
• Friends of mine became sick in Kekaha and Waimea. Some of them in Waimea won a settlement in a class action suit against Pioneer for illnesses arising from repeated upwind spraying of pesticides drifting onto their land and into their homes.

• Waimea Middle School has its grounds adjacent to GMO fields and have had students hospitalized with respiratory difficulties.

• Unknown combinations of restricted use pesticides are are air sprayed at night on the Mana Plain fields adjacent to overnight camping sites at Polehale State Park.
The World Health Organization has identified glyphosate as a human carcinogen.Here in Hawaii we (including tourists) are unconsenting are guinea pigs in a giant laboratory experiment. Now that our counties are denied the right to protect us through regulation from this horror it is time for the state to take aggressive action.

We need regulation and restrictions on the GMO industry to make our water, soil and air safe. We need to use these agriculture lands for local food production, not pesticide dependent seed production for mainland big-ag.

Please support the proposals of the Hawaiian Alliance for Progressive Action.

Mahalo, Juan Wilson: Architect-Planner


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