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?
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.