Here's the gist of the Joint Fact Finding Group's newly released report on pesticide use by Kauai agricultural — though you won't find it until page 52 of a 105-page report:
[T]here is no data from human samples (e.g. concentrations of specific pesticides in blood, urine, or tissue samples) to indicate actual exposure levels to pesticides on Kauaʻi.
Yes, despite all their claims of school children being sickened, and residents being routinely poisoned, the anti-GMO activists could not produce a single medical report or test to show that anyone has even had any actual pesticide exposure, much less been harmed.
Heck, there isn't even “clear causal relationships or strong correlations" to link pesticide use and human/environmental harm, according to the report.
The oft-repeated claim by Councilman Gary Hooser and his followers regarding alarming birth defect rates on the westside is also debunked:
Despite these inconsistencies between individual data sets, none of them indicated significant differences between birth defect rates for the Westside vs. other areas of Kauaʻi.
Similarly, the group did not find any elevated cancer rates on the westside, “nor did the JFF find higher rates for the cancers associated with pesticides in the literature.”
But it did learn Waimea has the highest percentage of adults who smoke, the highest obesity rate, the highest rate of kids receiving assistance and households on food stamps, and the highest percentage of adults without a high school education. Interestingly, Hanalei has the highest rate of heavy drinkers.
Even the environmental studies conducted to date, albeit limited, have detected only trace amounts of pesticides, well below EPA levels.
Yet the JFFG reports insists “there may still be important signals that suggest associations and warrant concern and investigation.”
Some of those “signals” are studies financed and conducted by Surfrider, which is suing to uphold the anti-GMO/pesticide regulatory Bill 2491, and the anti-GMO Hawaii SEED. Reports from these groups haven't even been written up, much less published, yet the Hawaii SEED drift studies are given the same weight as an air sampling study conducted by a University of Hawaii scientist.
And in the case of the very questionable Surfrider-funded glyphosate-in-honey study, the report notes;
The data has not been formally published but has been mentioned in The Garden Island.
Gee, you couldn't ask for much more validity than that.
The report also sites several constraints in determining the per-acre application rate of pesticides, before concluding:
These factors make it virtually impossible to calculate a reliable and verifiable estimate of the annual volume of pesticides used per acre of corn on Kauaʻi using existing data sources.
Yet the group then proceeds to offer not only its own estimate, but a comparison to mainland states. Given the group's own caveat, it appears its chart is neither reliable nor verifiable. So why did they include it?
Though the group is mandated to examine evidence, its report includes this:
Several local residents on the Westside have reported what they believe may be an unusual number of dead or sick owls but no samples of blood or tissues for pesticide residues appear to have been taken to date.
Again, what is that anecdote even doing in there?
Similarly, the report notes that:
The DuPont lawsuit [filed by Waimea residents] suggested that the amount of non-RUP pesticides such as Roundup may be up to four times the amount of RUPs applied but no evidence was presented.
So why are they putting it in the report?
Not surprising, given the clear majority of Bill 2491 supporters on the JGGF, the report recommends disclosure and buffer zones similar to those imposed by the bill, as well as more monitoring. And it suggests the Hawaii delegation seek $3 million to help carry these out.
I find it curious that even though folks have decried the state Departments of Health and Agriculture as being in the pocket of the seed industry, corrupt, inept, etc., they want to assign them yet more regulatory and monitoring responsibilities.
Here was something of interest from the report:
Structural fumigator RUP sales have increased steadily over the five-year period, most likely the result of additional housing stock and improved economic conditions.
Given that these structural fumigators account for the bulk of RUP sales on Kauai, you'd think there might be a recommendation related to that. But no, that doesn't fit the anti-GMO agenda.
In short, the state and county spent over $100,000 to confirm what the sane among us already knew.
But hey, it was worth it to prove once and for all that Gary Hooser, Center for Food Safety and the rest of the antis have been lying and fear-mongering all this time .