Protecting the Right To Know What Is Being Sprayed Near Our Homes, Schools & Hospitals

Hawai`i is the world epicenter for the testing of pesticides and genetically engineered seeds.  Five of the largest chemical corporations in the world (Dow, Syngenta, Dupont-Pioneer, Monsanto, and BASF) are using lands across Hawai`i to test pesticides & genetically engineered seeds near residential communities, streams and ocean.  Yet, Hawai‘i has no mandatory pesticide disclosure or notification system. [1]  

While pesticide use is not recorded and monitored, sales data from the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture show that 123,000 pounds and 57,000 gallons of especially toxic ‘restricted use pesticides’ (RUPs) were sold statewide for agriculture in 2013 alone. On average, 18 tons of 22 different RUPs were purchased for use per year on Kaua`i alone from 2010-2012

What little we know about this pesticide use has come from records released by a class-action lawsuit by Waimea Kaua‘i residents against Dupont-Pioneer.

DuPont-Pioneer applied 90 different pesticide formulations containing 63 different active ingredients on Kaua`i from 2007 to 2012. The company sprayed on two-thirds (65%) of the days over this period and made from 8.3 to 16 applications per application day on average.
— Hawai`i Center for Food Safety: Pesticides in Paradise - Hawai`i's Health and Environment at Risk
HCFS Report.jpg

Since 1987 Hawai‘i has hosted more cumulative field trials for regulated GE field trials than any other state. In 2014 alone, 178 different GE field tests were conducted on over 1,381 different sites on the tiny landmass of Hawai’i. And the the most frequently tested trait over the past five years is "herbicide resistance".

The Hawaiian islands have become a global epicenter for field testing new genetically engineered (GE or GMO) crops - dramatically driving up pesticide use on the islands.
— Pesticide Action Network: Pesticides in Paradise Report

In the experimental research fields of Dow Chemical, Monsanto,  DuPont-Pioneer, BASF and Syngenta in Hawai‘i, research is happening under experimental use permits. These permits allow the corporations to test pesticides in ways outside of label requirements. These experiments may be conducted with unregistered pesticides, containing entirely new active ingredients.

 

 

Watch this 3-minute video by the Hawai‘ Center for Food Safetey about the impacts of the agrochemical industry in Hawai‘i, and the links between pesticides and health risks to Hawai‘i's most vulnerable populations.

 

 

What are they hiding?

Multiple attempts to establish meaningful disclosure, both by county and state government, have been blocked by corporate lobbyists and agrochemical trade representatives. Chemical company representatives have been completely unwilling to be provide information the community is requesting.

Information about the Health Impacts of Pesticides

In recent years, several landmark studies have highlighted the health concerns associated with pesticide exposure in children, pregnant women, and pesticide applicators: (click links for full articles)

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ “Pesticide Exposure in Children” (2012) lists numerous health concerns and recommendations for protecting children, such as buffer zones and disclosure warnings.

The University of California at Davis report, “Neurodevelopmental Disorders and Prenatal Residential Proximity to Agricultural Pesticides: The CHARGE Study” (2014), links the long term use of Glyphosate to the increased incidence of autism.

The American Cancer Society’s “Increased Cancer Burden Among Pesticide Applicators and Others Due to Pesticide Exposure” (2013) states definitively that people who live and work around agricultural areas that have high pesticide use suffer a greater incidence of certain cancers and
other medical problems. 

The New England Journal of Medicine "GMOs, Herbicides, and Public Health", August 20, 2015 questions the validity of previous scientific reviews on the safety of GMOs, pointing to a lack of consideration for the "overreliance on herbicides and, in particular, on glyphosate [which the] International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has . . . as a “probable human carcinogen.

Dr. Ryan Lee, Hawai'i's only Pediatric Neurologist testifying in 2015 in favor a state Bill which would require companies using high volumes of restricted use pesticides to disclose what they are spraying, notify nearby residents, and refrain from applying pesticides around schools and nursing homes.

Other states require disclosure programs and better monitoring. Why not Hawai’i?

Since 2005 New York City has required all pesticide use on City property, including both warning notices prior to applications, and recordkeeping provisions.

In 1990, California became the first state to require full reporting of agricultural pesticide use in response to demands for more realistic and comprehensive data. The California Pesticide Information Portal provides access to an extensive collection of pesticide use information. You can easily obtain pesticide use statistics categorized by the use date, application location, site or crop treated, pesticide product name, chemical name (active ingredient), and application pattern.
 
We need mandatory and complete disclosure for all pesticide applications. Communities deserve notice. Concerned families and teachers have right to know what are being sprayed only feet away. Medical professionals and environmental protection officials need to have reliable accurate sources to diagnose and treat potential harms to health and environment.

SIGN THE PETITION NOW to enforce our right to know!