For centuries Hawai’i was a tropical
paradise. Hawaiians used sophisticated agricultural systems from fish ponds, loko i’a, to taro patches, lo’i kalo, that operated in harmony from Mauka to Makai. But today, this paradise is being contaminated with high volumes of toxic pesticides. Just one chemical company on Kaua’i uses 90 different pesticide formulations and sprays year round up, to 16 times a day. Why so much? Well, these pesticides are
mostly being sprayed on genetically engineered crops and Hawai’i has hosted more open air
experimental field tests of GE crops than any other state in the nation. In 2014, Hawai’i had six times more GE crops test sites than California, That means a lot of pesticides, on a very small amount of land. The GE crops are sprayed
intensively with insecticides and fungicides. On top of that most are also
purposely engineered to withstand dousing with weed killers, which means
even more pesticides. Over the past five years 97% percent of these field tests were run by five multinational chemical companies. So the same companies engineering the seeds also make and sell the pesticides. And with this kind of sales you can see why this one-two punch is very appealing. With so many GE field
tests in such a small state many people in Hawai’i live, work, and go to school
near intensively sprayed test sites. Pesticides often drift so it’s no wonder that children at school and entire communities are getting sick. To make matters even worse, in most cases these companies are not required to disclose
what their spraying. The science is clear and frightening.
Pesticide exposure can cause devastating harm. Studies suggested pesticide exposure
is linked to serious health impacts in farmers, unborn babies, and our keiki. But that’s not all, agro-chemicals also poison our environment. Some of the fertilizer and pesticides applied to fields enter streams, bays, and ultimately the
ocean. In the absence of state and federal protection the Hawai’i counties of Kaua’i, Hawai’i Island, and Maui passed laws to protect their health and environment from pesticide intensive GE crops. The chemical companies are suing all these counties to try and overturn these
protections. People across Hawai’i, from individuals to organizations, are standing up and saying no. No, this is not how we are using Hawai’i’s land. No, this is not what we want for our keiki. Instead, we say yes to safe food, to products grown locally and safely, to an agricultural sector made up of small farms growing food and not multinational chemical companies developing GE seeds. We say yes to organic and regenerative
agriculture and school gardens. We say yes to a future we feel proud of
leaving to our children. Join us, learn more, take a stand.