Hawaii GMO industry footprint shrinks by 50%, plus DOE bans herbicides in all Hawaii public schools –

What if I told you that the application of restricted use pesticides in Hawaii by the largest chemical companies in the world – has been cut by half over the past 7 years?

What if I told you that the Department of Education recently sent out a notice to all public schools in Hawaii telling them herbicides may NOT be used on school grounds?

Well it’s true.

  1. The Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) just announced a ban of herbicide use at all Hawaii public schools.
  2. The USDA just reported that GMO seed corn production has dropped statewide by over 50% – Accompanying this reduction will be a parallel reduction in both general use and restricted use pesticides (yes, I extrapolate…but justifiably so and a reasonable presumption)
  • Combine the above with the passage of SB3095 in 2018, banning chlorpyrifos, requiring mandatory disclosure, and putting in place modest buffer zones around schools for ALL users of restricted use pesticides.

EQUALS –  A huge success in our communities ongoing effort to regulate dangerous chemicals on ALL islands.

Our community is healthier today than it was yesterday because of our combined work and commitment.

None of this would have happened without the active, informed and sustained community engagement supported by a broad coalition of individuals and organizations.

The Heroes of SB3095 – This is what democracy looks like.

DOE announces herbicide ban for all Hawaii public schools.

“Superintendent Christina Kishimoto, after hearing that Roundup was being used on some campuses, sent a memo Tuesday to all principals stressing that herb­icides are banned at Hawaii public schools.

She also called for the immediate removal of any herbicides stored at schools.

The action came after a community meeting Monday evening at Leilehua High School called by Board of Education Chairwoman Catherine Payne to hear concerns about the use of herbicides and pesticides at schools. Nearly 60 people attended, including parents, teachers and activists.”  From Honolulu StarAdvertiser 

Hawaii GMO corn production drops by over 50% in past 7 years.

You can be sure there is a direct correlation with related pesticide use…which also has most likely dropped significantly as well. This equates to literally tons of restricted use pesticides that are no longer being used near communities on all islands.

The official numbers speak for themselves.

USDA latest reports on the size of the seed corn industry.

2011/2012 Value of Hawaii seed corn just under $250,000,000
2018/2019 Value of Hawaii seed corn just under $106,000,000

2011/2012 Total acreage of Hawaii seed corn 6,910 acres
2018/2019 Total acreage of Hawaii seed corn 2,530 acres

Summary of gmo seed corn grown in Hawaii

A friend posted on FB in response to the report: “I would like to think that all the noise we made a few years ago had some part in the decline (of gmo corn industry).”

My reply: “I have no doubt…but also no proof that is in fact a huge part of the reason this industry is shrinking and ultimately leaving Hawaii.  With the increased public spotlight on their operations…the increased legal actions in court…and the increased regulation at the State level…all combined…have to have an impact on their business decisions as to where to base and grow their operations.  And by now these companies know…that there is more public action to come…more negative media attention…more legislation and more actions via more lawsuits…#neverquit

FUNDRAISING – or if you prefer…skip to bottom notes below 😉

Yes: Both the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA) and the Pono Hawaii Initiative (PHI) can use your help via a financial contribution.

HAPA is a 501c3 nonprofit which means contributions ARE tax deductible. Online donations to HAPA may be made HERE:

PHI is a 501c4 nonprofit which means contributions ARE NOT tax deductible. Online donations to PHI may be made HERE.

The primary difference between the two organizations is that PHI is more political in nature and more heavily focused on lobbying in support and against various legislative issues.  HAPA is educational in nature and nonpartisan and is limited in the amount of lobbying it may conduct.  The main upcoming program for HAPA is the Kuleana Academy.

I am the volunteer Board President of HAPA and currently the volunteer Executive Director for PHI. Both have totally separate Boards and separate budgets etc. It is a bit complicated, but both organizations are needed and both play a valuable role in moving a positive agenda forward in support of environmental, economic and social justice.

For those that are able, financial support/help is needed TODAY for both organizations.  

Whether the contribution is $20, $200 or $2,000 – any contribution, especially those received prior to July 15 are much needed and greatly appreciated. At this midpoint in the year both organizations are engaged in re-evaluating, strategizing and planning the balance of 2019’s efforts AND getting ready for 2020!

Bottom Notes –
Please take a few more minutes to read through until the end!

Because it has been a while since I last emailed you, and or perhaps this is the first time that you have received my email:  Read more about Gary Hooser here – goals and dreams….a complete bio and some accomplishments.

Items from the Hooser Blog you might enjoy reading:

Marriage Equality – Pride Parades – Legacy Votes

My Graduation Message to Seniors Everywhere

The Sentimental Romantic Favorite – For those interested in hearing how Claudette and I first met “On the occasion of my 39th wedding anniversary”


Additional useful info from USDA and summary of all Hawaii Agriculture

A straightforward description of what Act 45, formerly SB3095 actually does in terms of pesticide regulation.

*NOTE: The word “pesticides” is inclusive of herbicides, insecticides, fungicides etc

Mahalo to all!  This is a time to celebrate our wins and to redouble our efforts.  Imua!  gary

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.) www.hapahi.org 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) - http://www.garyhooser.com/#four “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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3 Responses to Hawaii GMO industry footprint shrinks by 50%, plus DOE bans herbicides in all Hawaii public schools –


    It sure is fantastic to get good news once in a while..! I am so grateful to you and your crew🙏✌🏽


  2. garyhooser says:

    Yes! And thank you Pamela for all you do, and have done over the years. Many hands make lite work!…but in this case is heavy, heavy work…but still it took/takes many people. Am thankful so many have stepped up. gh

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