Staff Writer, DL Mullan
Environment / Government
"It is not Aloha to spray your neighbors with toxic pesticides."
That pretty much says it all. Everyone on the planet should adhere to this golden rule, but chemical companies could care less about the effects of poisons. Corporations are all about the bottom line.
“As a west side resident who is surrounded by the test fields of these companies, it is my basic human right to know what they are exposing me and my family to on a regular basis. Their actions prove that they do not value the health and well-being of our community, and are only interested in their corporate profit,” Malia Chun, a local educator and community activist, said in a statement.
If you listen to the video of the Council Meeting, the corporate representative believes in trade secrets as well as other counties and states making a similar ruling than the rights of local officials to protect their citizens from harmful effects of chemicals.
Good luck getting anyone to study the effects of chemicals on animals, people and the land. Chemical companies will not allow it. If a study does make a connection to ill health and chemicals, then the study is either ridiculed or not published at all. Moreover trade secrets are invoked to keep the public from knowing anything about the chemicals they are breathing in or being sprayed with daily.
Anecdotal evidence is summarily dismissed as if to say local doctors and residents are unable to show how pesticides create health problems. For instance, some doctors say the area of concern appears to have unusually high rates of asthma, cancer and birth defects.
You don't say.
With this regions ability to have all year around growing seasons, chemical companies can grow and test three and four different types of genetically modified crops in one year. The land is poisoned and tilled several times as the air becomes full of noxious fumes and toxic dust particles.
That's what happened between 2006-08, Waimea Canyon Middle School, which is near a Syngenta field. The school had to be evacuated and children were taken to the hospital with several reports in addition complaining about the chemical farms during those two years.
Kauai and its residents wanted a level playing field, to be informed, and to create buffer zones. Waimea Canyon Middle School is one of those places the public wanted protected against further chemical onslaught. Reasonable, right?
So the law, Ordinance 960 (formerly known as Bill 2491), was passed with much political fervor.
The protection provisions of 2491 require:
1) Buffer zones between chemical fields and schools, parks, beaches and hospitals.
2) Disclosure of GMO crops (until now, they have largely remained a secret).
3) Public notification before chemical spraying so that concerned citizens can leave the area and limit their exposure.
4) A county-level environmental assessment of the potentially hazardous effects of the toxic chemicals being sprayed on agricultural crops.
5) Full disclosure of the exact pesticides and herbicides being sprayed, as well as location details of where spraying is taking place.
However the chemical industry does not see the need for compromise, they see only what benefits their profit margins. So the chemical companies did the only selfish thing they could do: file suit.
The 84-page suit claims that the Kauai law was explicitly drafted “to discriminate against GM seed farming operations on Kaua’i” and that it violates their federal and state constitutional rights to equal protection and due process.
“Bill 2491 irrationally prohibits Plaintiffs from growing any crops, whether genetically modified or not, within arbitrarily drawn buffer zones inapplicable to other growers, and restricts Plaintiffs’ pesticide use within those buffer zones,” the suit states. It says that if the companies are forced to reveal the location of their transgenic crop fields they will face the risk of “commercial espionage, vandalism and theft” and that all these “burdensome operational restrictions and civil and criminal penalties” have no legal justification and would hurt their businesses economically. It says the bill was “tailored to avoid impacting others who use pesticides on Kaua’i to grow non-GM crops and for other purposes.”
Paul Minehart, a Syngenta spokesman told Reuters that the ordinance attempts to regulate activities over which counties in Hawaii have no jurisdiction. “These activities are already regulated by governmental agencies under state and federal laws,” he said.
Listen to our reply:
Dear Syngenta, Monsanto, Dow Chemical, Pioneer-Dupont and BASF,
If you have not figured it out yet: no one wants your toxins, poisons, chemicals or biotechnology (like geneticially modified food replication).
Hawaii doesn't want you. Kauai doesn't want you. Other nations don't want you.
We are tired of being bullied and lied to about your creations and how we must be enslaved to terminator seeds and forced to eat scorpion venom cabbage.
We're done with you. Pack your bags and leave. Filing lawsuits is only going to make the people rise up against you stronger than ever.
What's the point? You've outgrown your usefulness because you won't tell the truth. You won't have independent studies done and all you do is cry: Trade Secrets and Patent Law!
If you cannot guarantee people's safety with truth and facts, then why shouldn't counties, states, and countries begin to protect themselves from you? Even remove you?
You're not really giving anyone any choices.
Our rights for knowledge and safety outweigh your need for being nefarious.
Maybe you should think about how the world sees you before you really end your companies' future from the bad public relations campaign you have begun with court proceedings in Kauai.
Get a clue.