I've gotta hand it to Scott Enright and Dr. Virginia Pressler — directors of the state departments of Agriculture and Health, respectively — for schlepping all the way out to Waimea this past week to hear the same litany of complaints about the seed fields from the same small, but loud, cast of characters.
Those two busy administrators have far more patience than I with the garbled gibberish, faux science and Utopian agricultural dreams of the activists, as demonstrated by this Facebook thread:
Felicia Alongi Cowden MY SUGGESTION: Organize a hair sampling for pesticides of citizens of all age ranges where we are guided by an administrative medical doctor for a scientific snapshot with stabilizing criteria. Twenty or more people each from a number of communities possibly including Kekaha, Waimea, Kalaheo, Lihue, Kapaa, Anahola, Kilauea, Hanalei and so forth. This should reveal a trend. It will be telling if there is chemical contamination in concentrated amounts on one side or another. My sugar plantation house had regular use of Chlordane, Paraquat and other horrible chemicals. We could identify if these chemicals are still volatilizing years later. These outcomes could ease the worries of those living near the fields, exonerate the companies, or prove an outcome that supports the concerns of the people. I am willing to pay for my familyʻs tests. My guess is there will be enough people willing to do the same. We need to answer our own inquiry. Perhaps, there is an available discount in a group order. If we wait for the state or someone else to take the action, we may wait forever.
Yeah, nothing like stirring up a load of shit before you have any documentation whatsoever. Too bad you couldn't have looked for some data three years ago, before the drama of Bill 2491. But I guess the activists have learned the Joint Fact Finding Group on pesticides failed to find a “smoking gun” to validate the outrageous claims, so now they're desperately seeking relevance.
Mike Leibbrandt I have only come back to Hawaii since Oct 2015. Since my return from San Diego i have lived in Kekaha and have noticed at times of dry burning eyes. Since i have not lived here for that long, maybe my hair sample would be good proof of whats in the air because i came from a beach town in San Diego and not a farming community. If my hair sample are positive from only 5 months here........oh my goodness. What about the years of you all being here?
Because we all know there's no chemical pollution in San Diego beach towns.... Doncha know Cali is pristine? Only Hawaii is a toxic, poisoned paradise.
Felicia Alongi Cowden I do not understand why the state funded Joint Fact Finding Study did not do this. There were no fresh data samples included. Hair samples show us what is in our bodies. We need to look near and far from the fields.
Well, Felicia, if you'd do the tiniest bit of homework before spouting off, you'd know the JFFG was directed to survey existing data only, and had neither the mandate nor the funding to conduct new studies.
Jeri Di Pietro Perhaps the preference is to keep delaying while the keep on spraying. The JFF was the brainchild of the Mayor who did not support, derailed and vetoed the citizens desires. Next tactic is delay. It has a been a year since we passed a law and still they spray.
Come on, Jeri. Even a master propagandist like you can't pretend that Bill 2491, as written, would have stopped spraying — even if it hadn't been thrown out of court.
Dustin Barca We are all connected more than we will ever know . Money is the problem . Buying politicians , buying respect . Buying time. "TESTING FACILITY" in predominantly KANAKA communities . No Kanaka at the meeting . Sad. I drove from Kealia after
working on my Farm for 8 hours. We should find funders for blood and hair samples from any resident concerned with being surrounded by War chemical corporations . They have patents for Biological weapons in food. And the cure. Are they testing that? We are next to a testing Military base..... Plenty GOOD people work for these companies who do NOT understand the AGENDA of Mostly European based corporations who care about ONE thing, hitting the numbers. This is a proven conspiracy . Not conspiracy theory.
Just some humble thoughts of a " uneducated Haole" from the North shore.
At least Dustin has stopped pretending to be a kanaka....Though he'd be a great poster child for any “stay in school and don't let people punch you in the head” campaign.
Speaking of Dustin, it seems he's gained a speck of insight into the challenges farmers face:
It's Humbling to put everything into something and work your ass off for a year 1/2 and not make a dollar. To see 8 acres off Trees and buffalo grass turn into this is a pretty empowering pay off. Within the next year I'll have around 100 pigs and 50 sheep and a lot of Organic vegetables to make Money. No matter what it is in Life, it's gonna take sacrifice, Hard Word, Dedication, perseverance, pride, humility and Love to reach a successful Goal.
Granted, he does have more to show for his efforts than the Kilauea Food Forest's oft-photographed single bunch of banana. Still, I wonder what Dustin's conservation plan looks like. I'm sure, as a self-proclaimed aloha aina warrior, that he's in full compliance with all environmental rules and regs...
Speaking of which, Louisa Wooten took a tip from the Gary Hooser playbook and used her position on the JFFG to weight her comment to the EPA (emphasis added):
I have been involved for the past 10 months in a Joint Fact Finding Group on the Island of Kaua'i, Hawaii that is tasked with studying the effects of pesticides on our island. This process is funded by our State Dept. Of Agriculture and the County of Kauai, specifically to look at the potential environmental and health impacts of research and development of corn and other crops by Dow Agrosciences, Dupont-Pioneer, BASF, and Syngenta. I am a farmer and inspector for Certified Organic farms and processors throughout the state. Sifting through voluminous data and studies on drift, toxicology, potential health hazards, and environmental impacts, there is nothing that I see that the EPA should do but BAN CHLORPYRIFOS as many countries throughout the world did many years ago.
This should have been done long ago and allowing Dow Chemical to submit its own studies to refute EPA studies is highly questionable. The labels for chlorpyrifos products state it should not drift off-site from where it applies. So why have we found it in our schools, waterways, etc. ?
UPHOLD A COMPLETE BAN ON CHLORPYRIFOS.
Potential environmental and health impacts of crop R&D? I don't see anything in the JFFG scope of work that addresses that sort of speculation:
Based on an examination of available literature and data sources, the JFF group will, to the best of its abilities, undertake a broad examination of where GM and other production scale crops are grown on Kaua‘i, the historic and current use of pesticides on Kaua‘i, the historic and current use of pesticides on Kaua‘i, the prevalence of acute and chronic health conditions occurring on Kaua‘i at levels that are above state- or nation-wide rates, and any evidence of environmental contamination that can reasonably and empirically be associated with the use of pesticides.
Why do I have the nagging suspicion — validated by Roy Yamakawa's resignation from the panel and my own review of the first draft report — that the JFFG has drifted off-course?