Hawaii’s Drowning in Pesticides
March 21, 2017
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“Hawaii is a wonderful place, but all the agricultural chemicals used here are destroying the islands. Try to stop the desecration of your land.” – Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido, during his 1961 visit to Hawaii.
Hopes were high for a proposed bill that would have helped inform and empower Hawaii’s residents about the impact of toxic restricted-use pesticides. But House Bill 790 sunk after pushback from the powerful biotech industry and resistance from the old guard.
The much needed bill would have required chemical companies to give advanced notice before spraying pesticides known to cause adverse effects on the environment. Hawaii lags behind other states in implementing mandatory reporting. California has required full reporting of agricultural pesticide use since 1990.
The restricted-use pesticide chlorpyrifos is one of the most widely sprayed in the islands by the GMO seed companies. is facing a ban by the EPA because of prenatal toxicity concerns. An EPA ruling will be made by March 31, 2017. If passed, all agricultural uses of chlorpyrifos would cease in the U.S., though there is concern the Trump administration might block any ban.