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Protect the Hawaiian Islands. Take Action and Support Bill 2491 TODAY!

Posted Jul 30 2013 12:00am

Below is an urgent call to action by the good folks at Food Democracy Now! regarding the unprecedented “Right to Know” Bill 2491 that will prohibit open air testing of experimental pesticides and experimental GMO’s while publicly disclosing pesticide use on the Hawaiian islands.   Please watch the quick video from international surfing champion Kelly Slater who says it simply and clearly.

What is happening in Hawaii needs to be addressed immediately.  I have lived on Kauai, my daughter was born there, and I am considering a  second medical office on the island. Clearly there is a great need there for purification …too much of a need!  Kauai is a beautiful place that, like all of the Hawaiian islands, serves as a glaring reminder of the importance of respecting and living in harmony with nature.  Nature freely shares its  vibrant colors, nourishing foods and healing capabilities. It has sustained us since the beginning of time, and has the ability to nourish all, yet is being abused in many, many inhumane ways.  The island and its children should not be used as a testbed for toxic chemicals that taint the air and water supply.

Please read below and take action today .

In health,

___

You may have spent your honeymoon or a childhood vacation in Hawaii, or just dreamed of someday walking on the islands’ beautiful beaches, but chances are, whatever your experience of Hawaii, it likely doesn’t include the harsh reality of it being the agri-chemical testing ground that it’s become in recent years.

Right now a major battle is heating up on the islands regarding pesticides and experimental GMOs that could impact our collective future and we need your help.

In the past four months, GMO activists in Hawaii have held the largest protests and marches to stop Monsanto in the history of the islands. While widely known as a beloved tourist destination to millions of vacationers worldwide, in reality Hawaii has a dark side that Monsanto and the giant chemical and biotech companies don’t want you to know about.

For over 20 years, the Hawaiian Islands have become ground zero for open air field trials of the biotech industry’s toxic chemicals and experimental GMO crops. Tests have shown that the biotech industry’s harmful chemicals are contaminating local air and water sources that expose island residents and vacationers alike.

Even worse, at least 10 schools on Hawaii are only 100 yards away from GMO chemical fields, potentially endangering Hawaii’s school children’s health for the sake of profits for the chemical and biotech companies.

But the Hawaiian people have had enough and want the right to know if they and their children are being exposed to toxic pesticides.

This Wednesday, July 31, a public hearing is being held by the Kauai City Council regarding a common sense “Right to Know” bill – Bill 2491 – that puts public health ahead of biotech profits by limiting Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs). It prohibits open air testing of experimental pesticides and experimental GMO’s while publicly disclosing pesticide use on the islands. This bill is unprecedented and necessary but needs your help to pass.

Tell the leaders of Hawaii it’s time to stop poisoning paradise and start protecting the islands’ biodiversity, its people and tourists or you’ll take your next vacation elsewhere! As long as they poison paradise, you’re boycotting Hawaii for good! Every voice counts!

Each year, tourists spend more than $14 billion on Hawaii’s islands to experience the paradise of sandy beaches and soak in the sun, not the chemical and biotech industry’s toxic pesticides and experimental GMO pollen. Last year, more than 8 million tourists visited the tropical paradise that employs more than 167,000 island residents who make a living supporting tourism.

Currently citizens of Kauai have no legal right to know what toxic chemicals are being sprayed in their communities, but passing Bill 2491 could change that.

Toxic Pesticide Drift Impacts Local Schools and Children

Tests have confirmed that at least 3 Restricted Use Pesticides contaminated a local school on the Garden Island of Kauai, such as the toxic herbicide Atrazine, which has been banned in Europe since 2004 due to serious health problems, including cancer, birth defects and reproductive issues.

In 2005, Atrazine, manufactured by Syngenta, was found in Kauai’s drinking water and in 2006 and 2008 children and teachers at a school in Waimea were sickened on several occasions, including one incident where at least 10 children were rushed to the local hospital.

This doesn’t sound like the island paradise that is promoted by the Hawaiian tourism industry, does it?

Bill 2491 specifically applies only to large industrial agricultural operations that use large amounts of Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP’s). 99% of these very toxic substances are used by just 5 companies on Kauai – Syngenta, BASF, Pioneer DuPont and Dow, who occupy nearly all of the leased agricultural lands in west Kauai – over 15,000 acres in close proximity to schools, residences, churches, and hospitals.

According to University of Hawaii Professor Dr. Hector Valenzuela, every year, giant biotech chemical corporations spray at least 99 different pesticides on Hawaii.  On Kauai, they dump over 36,000 pounds of 22 different types of Restricted Use Pesticides and an additional estimated 160,000 pounds of General Use Pesticides (glyphosate, Round Up and other).

Tell the leaders of Hawaii as long as they poison paradise, you’re boycotting Hawaii for good! Every voice counts!

What happens in Hawaii, doesn’t stay in Hawaii! Please use your voice today to tell Hawaii’s leaders that you’re paying attention and expect them to support the people, not Monsanto and Syngenta!

For more about what’s going on in the Hawaiian Islands and why they need to be protected, take a look at this short film with surfing legend and 11 time ASP surfing champion Kelly Slater,

Thanks for participating in food democracy,

Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team

To follow the ongoing efforts to stop experimental pesticides and GMOs and the battle to save Hawaii, visit Hawaii GMO Justice Coalition and Food Democracy Now! on Facebook.

PS * If you live on Kauai, the public hearing is on Bill 2491. Please show your support by attending this important hearing.

Because of the intense public debate that has taken place in the past year in Hawaii, public officials are expecting record attendance. As a result, the location of the public hearing has been moved from its original venue.

When: 1:30pm -Wednesday, July 31, 2013 (arrive early)

Where: Kauai Veterans Center, 3215 Kapule Highway in Lihue facility

Sources:

1. “Attorney: Pesticides at WCMS Violates Federal Law”, The Garden Island, July 14, 2013.

2. “The Truth About Bill 2491 Relating to Pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms”, Gary Hoosier’s Blog, July 20, 2013.

3. “GMO Debate: Kauai’s Struggle for Health and the Environment”, Honolulu Civil Beat, July 17, 2013

4. “GMO & Pesticide Experiments in Hawaii: The Poisoning of Paradise”, Huffington Post, July 2, 2013.

5. “GMO & Pesticide Experiments in Hawaii: Part 2, Kauai’s Right to Know”, Huffington Post, July 25, 2013

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