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They are how we protect our special coastal places

10 • 16 • 2013

Kauai Passes GMO & Pesticide Bill

Picking up where the sugar and pineapple plantations left off, Monsanto and some of the world's largest GMO & biotech companies have made Hawaii a central testing ground for their experimental seed crops and pesticides.  As thousands of local residents began raising concerns about the environmental and health effects of GMO's and toxic pesticides, the Kauai Chapter joined a coalition of groups demanding to know more about the undisclosed amounts of GMO crops and pesticides being used in fields across the Island.  After a long and contentious debate, the Kauai County Council passed a bill on Oct. 17, 2013 to regulate where the companies can plant and spray their pesticides.  When it takes effect next summer, Bill 2491 will require large agri-businesses to disclose the amount of pesticides and GMOs they are using and to implement buffer zones near schools, dwellings, medical facilities, public roadways and waterways. In their testimony, the Kauai Chapter wrote that runoff from industrial ag is one of the worst sources of ocean pollution and that the buffer zones would help reduce the amount of toxic pesticides flowing into waterways and into the ocean.