In the debate regarding County Council Bill 2491, I’m afraid that too many people are ignoring the facts. Some people are making emotional and false statements to instill fear about seed farms on Kaua‘i.
I am one of 600 people who work for Kauai seed farms. Please allow me to set the record straight.
1. Seed farm workers live on the island, too. We would not put our families or any other families at risk by using pesticides irresponsibly.
2. Kauai seed farms follow the same pesticide regulations here as they do on other islands and on the Mainland.
3. Before any crop protection product reaches the market, it undergoes about nine years of research, testing, and governmental review to make sure it poses no unreasonable risk to the environment and human health.
4. We use crop protection products only if we find weeds, insects or diseases that present a significant threat to crop quality or yield.
5. When crop protection is warranted, we always follow label directions that specify the type of crop and amount of product to use. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency mandates those directions.
6. Our island’s drinking water is tested regularly for pesticides and other contamination. Kauai has among the cleanest water supplies in the region.
7. There is no data linking pesticides or genetically modified crops to deaths of coral or urchins on Kauai.
8. We always take great care to prevent pesticides from drifting into unwanted areas.
Our Kauai seed industry doesn’t need more restrictions. And islanders don’t need scare tactics.
• Leonard Sabala is a resident of Kekaha.