State House Agricultural Committee – Disappointment Is Too Mild A Description

Words cannot express how disappointed I am with the conduct of the State House Agricultural Committee.  They continue to ignore the science, the medical literature and the community calling out for meaningful regulation.

Instead members of this committee simply follow the lead of Monsanto, Syngenta, BASF, Dupont, and Dow Chemical who repeat their company mantras that pesticides are safe and that they are already “highly regulated” – neither of which are true.

While the tendency is to “blame the Chair”, the Hawaii State House of Representatives as a body is responsible.

The evidence is incontrovertible.  The intense application of Restricted Use Pesticides by industrial agricultural operations in areas near where residents live, work and go to school causes increased health problems, especially children and pregnant women.

The community is only requesting basic disclosure (tell us what chemicals you are using) and modest buffer zones around schools, hospitals and homes.

But the majority of our legislators are not listening to the community nor even to the increasing calls for caution from the medical and science community.  Most listen only to the industry who is extremely proficient at obfuscation.

After all that is what industry does – they lie, they mislead, they obfuscate and they manipulate the data for as long as they can before government, the medical community and the outrage of the people finally catch up with them.

This is what they did with tobacco, with asbestos, with lead, with ddt, with agent orange and with so many other things.

The story every where is the same, “It was safe until it wasn’t”.

It seems that nearly every day a new article and a new study is published pointing to increasing health and environmental concerns.

A very recent Wall Street Journal article about the World Health Organization declaring Monsanto’s Round Up as a likely carcinogen.

A recent New York Times article detailing the lies told by Syngenta denying that atrazine (which they spray by the ton in Hawaii) is banned in their home country of Switzerland.  This article points to 82 pesticides banned in the European Union but allowed to be sprayed in Hawaii.

An American Academy of Pediatrics report that points to the dangers of exposure to pesticides especially in children and pregnant women.  It further warns of high levels of health problems among populations that live and work around pesticides in agricultural areas.  It specifically calls out “buffers zones and disclosure” as two positive things that can be done to mitigate the danger. Read the source documents for this plus the 9 most egregious misstatements made by these chemical companies and parroted by their supporters in House Committee on Agriculture.

Do any of these reports matter to the House Agricultural Committee?

Apparently not.

And yes, I would be more than pleased to present the case for increased regulation in any public forum and challenge any member of the House of Representatives to debate the facts.

But of course none will take me up on this because their position is indefensible. They rely on industry and not their own research to make their case.  Industry also will not publicly debate this issue because their arguments are based on strawmen, falsehoods and vague statements about “feeding the world”.

Will someone in the House of Representatives who believes in their position be willing to step up to this challenge?  We can have PBS or another impartial party be an independent organizer.


Surely at least one of you on the House Agricultural Committee feels strongly enough and knows the facts of the matter well enough to articulate your position to the public?

I am over it.

Please don’t waste your time calling members of the House Agricultural Committee to ask if they care.

Because they don’t.

About garyhooser

This blog represents my thoughts as an individual person and does not represent the official position of any organization I may be affiliated with. I presently serve as volunteer President of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (H.A.P.A.) I am the former Vice-Chair of the Democratic Party of Hawaii. In another past life, I was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii State Senator, and Majority Leader, and the Director of Environmental Quality Control for the State of Hawaii - in an even earlier incarnation I was an entrepreneur and small business owner. Yes, I am one of the luckiest guys on the planet. Please visit my website AND sign up for my newsletter (unlike any email newsletter you have ever gotten, of that I am sure) - “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We’re afraid.” “Come to the edge.” “We can’t. We will fall!” “Come to the edge.” And they came. And he pushed them. And they flew. - Christopher Logue (b.1926)
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5 Responses to State House Agricultural Committee – Disappointment Is Too Mild A Description

  1. Not to mention the newest and extremely alarming research showing that sublethal exposure to Roundup and Decamba induces a multiple-antibiotic resistance phenotype in potential pathogens.

    Sublethal Exposure to Commercial Formulations of the Herbicides Dicamba, 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid, and Glyphosate Cause Changes in Antibiotic Susceptibility in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium

  2. Gary, I appreciate you so much, your passion and how much you care and that you are in there day after day doing all that you can. I think what will turn the tide is more and more people waking up… to who they really are, what we are doing here in life, and then to seeing what is actually happening on our planet, that we really don’t have much time left to act if we are to survive, to then finally realizing/researching how it is we are now in this situation and why (some of which you alluded to above). You are one person who sees these things… but we need many more who also run for office, and we need many more who write letters and call, etc. Maybe it won’t help to ask if they care… but if enough of us declare loudly that WE care and will no longer go along with what is happening, it will matter. I’m only just now waking up. I think others are too, and quickly. Thank YOU for caring and for inspiring me and many others.

  3. troy says:

    Thank you Gary for all your work!!!

  4. Nancy Sterns says:

    I also thank you for your commitment to a healthy Island and to the health for all individuals.
    This has to stop. I have lived my life as a farmer and can testify to the use of farm pesticides, etc. As long as money is involved and the chemical companies are wealthy beyond belief, nothing will be done. It is so sad and I find it still difficult to accept the fact that people who claim to be religious in whatever faith of their choosing, do this. They are blatantly hurting you and me and our earth. It has to be stopped.

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