The focus of HAPA's "Fair and Sustainable Food Systems" Task Force is forwarding Hawaii's transition from GMO+Pesticide "Ground Zero" to a more sustainable, fair and secure food system.

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
An aerial shot of GMO research fields upwind from the west Kaua`i town of Waimea.  Photo credit: Makana Designs

An aerial shot of GMO research fields upwind from the west Kaua`i town of Waimea. Photo credit: Makana Designs

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.

In recent years, residents across the islands have voiced concerns about the impacts of high pesticide use and other dangers of GMO research, and have passed local regulations in Kaua`i, Maui, and Hawai`i counties.  Watch the video below for a summary of the movement in Hawai`i!

Resources about Pesticides and GMOs in Hawai`i

A lawsuit brought by Waimea, Kaua`i residents uncovered a list of some of the pesticides being sprayed on Hawai‘i research fields up to 240 days/year on average from 2007-2012:

  • Glufosinate
  • Mancozeb
  • Azoxystrobin
  • Chlorothalonil
  • Pyraclostrobin
  • Sethoxydim
  • Alachlor N
  • aphthalene
  • s-Metolachlor
  • Mesotrione
  • Spiromesifen
  • Methoxyfenozide
  • Spinosyn/Spinosad
  • Metribuzin Triazinone
  • Spinetoram
  • Methyl anthranilate
  • Carbaryl
  • Imazamox
  • Methomyl
  • Imazethapyr
  • Thiodicarb
  • Fluazifop-P-butyl
  • Propiconazole
  • Quizalofop p-ethyl
  • Acetamiprid
  • Cyfluthrin
  • Diquat dibromide
  • Cyhalothrin
  • Paraquat Dichloride
  • Cypermethrin
  • Atrazine
  • Esfenvalerate
  • Simazine
  • Permethrin
  • Bentazon
  • Tefluthrin
  • Azadirachtin
  • Chlorpyrifos
  • Chlorantraniliprole
  • Dimethoate
  • Halosulfuron-methyl
  • Malathion
  • Thifensulfuronmethyl
  • Bacillus thuringiensis
  • Tribenuron methyl
  • Streptomyces lydicus
  • Pendimethalin
  • Glyphosate
  • Bromoxynil
  • Dicamba
  • Imidacloprid
  • Propargite

These chemicals are being sprayed within feet of our homes, schools, streams and ocean - turning parts of Hawai`i into "one of the most toxic agricultural environments in all of American agriculture." Cascadia Times, June 2014.


Pesticide Action Network, 
Pesticides in Paradise Report: Kaua`i Test Fields

"Five of the world’s six largest GE seed and pesticide corporations
(BASF, Dow, Pioneer/Dupont, Monsanto and Syngenta) use Hawai’i
to field test new crops before  they go to market. This trend is on the
rise; in the past three years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has
granted over 100 new permits  to  these corporations for field trials in
Hawai’i—more than anywhere else in the country."


Hawai`i Center for Food Safety:
Pesticides in Paradise - Hawai`i's Health and Environment at Risk

"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."

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.

Click on image to be taken to full article.

Mobilization and the response in Hawai‘i: Democracy in action

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News Coverage:

This section is under construction :)  Visit again soon!

The Guardian, "Pesticides in paradise: Hawaii's spike in birth defects puts focus on GM crops", August 23, 2015.

Eco-Watch, "Why Are Climate Groups Only Focused on 50% of the Solution?" , August 27, 2015: "Monsanto and industrial agriculture are contributing more to climate change than Exxon, Chevron and the entire transportation industry combined. Why keep that a secret? Millions of members of Greenpeace, Sierra Club,, Environmental Defense Fund and Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) care deeply about the Earth, and yet have no clue about the elephant in the room."


Connecting the Dots - More National and International Resources:

International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development's (IAASTD) Global Report — a joint program of the World Bank, World Health Organization and United Nations — the most comprehensive global assessment of agriculture, convening over three years to ask the question, "How can we reduce hunger and poverty, improve rural livelihoods, and facilitate equitable, environmentally, socially and economically sustainable development through the generation, access to, and use of agricultural knowledge, science and technology?"

Food First 

Via Campesina, the global peasant movement.

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

Civil Eats

Triple Crisis

US Food Sovereignty Alliance

Tom Philpott at Mother Jones

Community Alliance for Global Justice

Union of Concerned Scientists

The Third World Network


ETC group

Environmental Working Group

National Family Farm Coalition

What can we do?

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