Target: Hawaii State Legislature
Goal: Regulate corrupt and dangerous agribusiness testing of GMOs to protect Hawaii’s residents and environment
For corporations like Monsanto and Dow, Hawaii has become a hub for agribusiness research and unregulated pesticide use. Recently, contention has grown against this practice and a lack of disclosure about what types of chemicals are being used and their impacts. This petition commends lawmakers in Hawaii for taking action to regulate agribusiness and protect their state from GMO testing and pesticides.
Hawaii’s lands have been abused as open-air testing grounds to experiment with genetically engineered crops and test powerful restricted use pesticides. For decades, local residents in proximity to testing fields have faced frequent exposure to an unknown array of dangerous chemicals. Through the risky practice of “pesticide stacking,” multiple toxic chemicals are combined and sprayed freely with no buffer zones to shield public areas or waterways. Atrazine, Lorsban, and Chlorpyrifos, agrochemicals proven to be harmful to health and the environment, have been detected in local water supplies.
Corporations such as Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences, Syngenta, DuPont Pioneer, and BASF have focused their GMO research in Kauai, Hawaii’s oldest island. Hawaii is considered an ideal location for such experimentation due to its ample sunshine, rainfall, and geographic isolation. However, according to a report by Al Jazeera, these corporations are now “facing increasing opposition from residents concerned about GMOs, the health and environmental impacts of pesticides and lack of oversight and transparency.”
What began as a grassroots movement to protect Hawaiian residents and land has grown into a large-scale opposition to GMO research and the considerable damage these corporations have inflicted on the islands, their residents, biodiversity, and natural resources. Numerous lawsuits have been filed against these corporations following the illnesses of children in schools close to testing grounds and the sudden decline of sea urchins, possibly as a result of pesticide runoff.
Lawmakers are fighting to create 500-foot buffer zones to prevent pesticide exposure in public areas and waterways. Corporations would be required to make records available detailing their pesticide use, thus increasing the transparency of their operations. The bill would also prohibit open-air testing of experimental pesticides and crops and ban the commercial production of GMOs until the completion of an environmental impact study. Another potential bill would “prohibit the propagation, cultivation, raising, growing, sale and distribution of transgenic organisms” throughout the state. Proponents of this legislation hope this action will also lead to stricter regulations on chemical use, including new permitting rules and procedures for growing crops.
Sign this petition to express your support for Hawaii’s lawmakers as they fight to protect their residents and environment from unchecked GMO experimentation and abundant pesticide use.
Dear Hawaii State Legislature,
We commend Hawaii’s concerned citizens and lawmakers for working to protect their communities and environment against uncontrolled and harmful GMO testing and pesticide use. Your efforts are empowering for all those opposed to the corrupt and destructive operations of these companies and have raised international attention in the debate over GMOs.
Agribusiness has endangered the health of people and the environment in Hawaii for too long. We hope the bills currently being debated by Kauai’s public safety committee will successfully pass to impose stricter regulations on powerful pesticide use and GMO research.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Astrid via Flickr