Governor should sign pesticide bill

Gov. David Ige should sign the pesticide bill passed this week by the House and the Senate. Simply put, it’s time Hawaii steps up and leads the way in protecting people against any chemicals that could harm their health. Our elected leaders passed this legislation and we can trust they did their homework and took the actions they see as necessary and many believe are long overdue.

First, let’s recap what SB 3095 will do and why the governor should sign it:

The bill would:

w Place a prohibition on use of pesticides within 100 feet of a school during instructional hours.

w Totally ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos effective Jan 1. The state Department of Agriculture is authorized to issue exemptions through Dec. 31, 2022, to allow agricultural businesses time to adjust to the ban.

w Provide a $300,000 appropriation from Pesticides Revolving Fund to effectuate the measure, including expenses for staffing, education and outreach.

w Provide a $300,000 appropriation from general revenues to develop a pesticide drift-monitoring study to evaluate pesticide drift at three schools within the state.

w Require commercial agricultural entities to regularly report their pesticide use.

These are important points. But the main one is the banning of chlorpyrifos. Hawaii would be the first in the nation to do so.

Proponents of the ban credit legislators Sen. Russell Ruderman, Rep. Richard Creagan, Rep. Dee Morikawa, Sen. Mike Gabbard, and Rep. Chris Lee for their support and leadership.

“In addition to banning chlorpyrifos, we fought hard for comprehensive reporting and no-spray zones, and I am so pleased we got them,” said Lauryn Rego, who serves on the advisory board of the Hawaii Center for Food Safety. “We have shown that toxic pesticides like chlorpyrifos can and should be phased out of our environment. And agrochemical companies that use Hawaii as their open laboratory now must report to the Department of Agriculture what is being sprayed, how much is being sprayed, and when and where those applications occur. This reporting will create a wealth of valuable data for decision-makers and researchers. What we have had so far has been woefully inadequate.”

OK. But what’s the big deal with chlorpyrifos? Don’t we have lots of pesticides we use to grow food in this country? Hasn’t it been around for six decades? Aren’t they all safe if used appropriately, per their directions? After all, didn’t the federal Environmental Protection Agency under administrator Scott Pruitt decide against a chlorpyrifos ban last year? If chlorpyrifos is so dangerous, why isn’t everyone banning it? Why aren’t more people ill? They spray the stuff right here on Kauai and everyone seems fine, right? The scientific proof that it is harmful is not rock solid. And getting the irrefutable evidence on Kauai, for instance, that chlorpyrifos is causing physical problems, would certainly be difficult and expensive.

We should add that genetic engineering is an important part in food production when trying to feed this world of billions of people. And those who sell and use chlorpyrifos would prefer not to see it banned and have resources to fight a ban that could affect them.

Again, though, why is chloryrifos bad?

Dr. Lee Evslin wrote this in a column published earlier this year in TGI:

“Chlorpyrifos is an insecticide. It kills insects by disrupting nerve cells. Physicians who serve in the House and in the Senate introduced the two main bills proposing to ban chlorpyrifos. They present in their bills the ever-increasing evidence that even at very low levels of exposure, chlorpyrifos may injure the brains of unborn babies and children.

“Studies have shown exposure to come through food and nearby agricultural spraying. Because of ongoing health concerns, chlorpyrifos has already been banned for household use (except for bait traps). Chlorpyrifos is also considered dangerous for farm workers. It is the chemical that sent the Syngenta employees recently to the hospital. Both the EPA and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have called for a nationwide ban on chlorpyrifos.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics previously urged Pruitt to take chlorpyrifos off the market.

“There is a wealth of science demonstrating the detrimental effects of chlorpyrifos exposure to developing fetuses, infants, children, and pregnant women,” the academy said in a letter. “The risk to infant and children’s health and development is unambiguous.”

Chlorpyrifos isn’t new. The AP reported that Dow has been selling chlorpyrifos for spraying on citrus fruits, apples, cherries and other crops since the 1960s. It is among the most widely used agricultural pesticides in the United States. Dow sells about 5 million pounds domestically each year.

As a result, traces of the chemical are commonly found in sources of drinking water. A 2012 study at the University of California at Berkeley found that 87 percent of umbilical-cord blood samples tested from newborn babies contained detectable levels of chlorpyrifos, the AP reported.

In October 2015, the Obama administration proposed banning the pesticide’s use on food. A risk assessment memo issued in November by nine EPA scientists concluded: “There is a breadth of information available on the potential adverse neurodevelopmental effects in infants and children as a result of prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos.”

Still, the EPA declined to ban it and says its next review of the chemical’s safety will occur by October 2022.

That’s more than four years if you’re counting.

That’s why we’re glad to see our elected leaders chose to act now rather than wait. They chose to lead rather than follow. This is not hysteria. This is not rash decision-making. This is not propaganda. This is not some crazy legislation created by a bunch of paranoid, conspiracy-theory people who whipped the public up into a frenzy for no good reason. This is about protecting the health of our young and old.

This pesticide bill was years in the making. It is time for it to become law. It is sound, reasonable legislation and Gov. David Ige should sign it.

Again, we quote Dr. Lee Evslin. If you don’t believe us, believe him:

“Let’s find a new way to speak with each other, respect the science, and make appropriate regulations to ensure both the health of our communities and the viability of agriculture in Hawaii.”

This bill is such an appropriate regulation.

  1. Just Saying May 3, 2018 12:53 am Reply

    Not a single word on what will take the place of the product banned and what It’s impact will be.
    If the replacement is better and safer then why isn’t it number one? There’s lots of questions like that but you don’t have a single word about it. What’s wrong with you?
    Have you forgotten that 52 million died of malaria since DDT was banned? The 13 countries that kept using DDT controlled malaria and are doing just fine.

  2. Charlie Chimknee May 3, 2018 8:33 am Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    While poisons like Chlorpyrifos and Glyphosate kill life forms such as insects and plants, those poisonous effects occur relatively quickly. We’ve all seen the cockroach on its back, lifeless; and the weeds on the side of the road over a few days turn from vibrant living green to faded cancerous looking yellow brown. These are considered FAST ACTING TOXINS.

    But other chemicals have other speeds of effectiveness, some chemicals are very slow in making lethal deadly effects. You could call the outcome or results of slow acting chemicals simply side effects. In some chemicals their toxicity and effects take much time, years and decades of slow accumulation of toxic poisonous effects for the volume or amount of the ingested or eaten chemicals, to uptake into our bodies before their poisonous effects show symptoms. The amount of decades can be 30, 40, even 70 years before the effects of the poisons, or symptoms, occur, urging us to go see, rightly so, the doctors of disease care who would be the ones best educated to detect or diagnose the effects of the chemicals. The treatment for a shortened lifetime of chemical toxicity can be dangerous and even deadly as the TV ADS tell us about some medicines.

    The mystery though is trying to solve the cause of the symptoms when the cause takes so many decades to create the problem. And thus the mystery diagnosis is often cancer, that both the disease and treatment has stifled the War against Cancer since at least the 1970’s, and it is only getting worse and more widespresd in the population; as is the use of the chemicals.

    From backyards, and kitchens and bathrooms, garages and car ports on a lesser poison use level, to plantation level of daily dosage by the ton, it takes time for the chemical causes to show the effects of disease in the population. With the need for an ONCOLOGY CANCER CENTER in the Hokulei shopping village and industrial center, we can be sure cancer is on the rise on Kauai. Is it too hard to see or equate that the increase use of carcinogenic petrochemical agricultural chemicals and food added chemicals and the increase in cancer patients and those not yet diagnosed and the new Oncology Cancer Center is a 3 in a row chain of events with a horrible personal outcome for its victims

    So outside of bug and weed spraying where the poisonous effects are relatively immediate, in hours to days, the poisonous effects of other chemicals take decades to occur, but by then, just like the poisoned bugs and plants, your life is perhaps deteriorating to become a fatality, otherwise known as dead.

    The amount of chemicals in the foods we eat and drink have increased in volume so much in individual foods that some food ingredient labels for a simple tuna sandwich have as many as 20 or more chemical ingredients.

    We now know that corporate food manufacturers use chemicals as fillers to fill the packages with extra weight and size, both of these for competition and profit purposes vs. the other food manufacturers.

    At the same time the chemical fillers allow the food manufacturer to reduce the amount of actual food in the package saving more than millions of dollars over a year keeping the stock holders of the food manufacturers happy.

    Chemicals added tomfoods cost less than corn, wheat, fruits, and vegetables; so you get chemical substitutes to save money and boost profits. And with the fake chemical flavorings you won’t even know the difference in taste. And since the disease care system relies on you being sick, why would they bother to tell you.

    Another upsetting issue is that the chemicals are for the most part made from petroleum, called petro-chemicals, and which are carcinogenic or cancer causing.

    However, I t is amazing that because of demand by our people more and more of our stores on Kauai are putting more and more natural (non-chemical added) foods on the shelves.

    When you read the labels be sure you can see that only real food is in the can, package, or bottle. Food labels should read like it is a list of the foods found at the Farmers Market stalls…and no chemicals.

    And another unnecessary food additive is sugar, of which there are now 60 different kinds of, but given different names that you would not think as sugar, it is also a filler, or food substitute so less real food is in the package and also,saves money for the food manufacturer. Sugar is a mild stimulant, is a powder from plants like some other plant stimulants are that are more powerful and illegal such as cocaine. But eating the stimulant sugar every day at every meal is not a healthy lifestyle. Most people unknowingly are hooked on the stimulant sugar and gladly take it every day at every meal.

    Reading the labels of foods before you buy them, and choosing ALL FOOD food ingredients is actually practicing PERSONAL HEALTH CARE, which is actually PREVENTION OF DISEASE…and Prevention is the Cure, meaning you can reverse disease by eating the God Given Foods intended for us,mi nstead of corporate foods which are of lesser nutritional value.

    Read the Label, shop and buy FOOD, not chemicals.



  3. LMat May 3, 2018 9:08 am Reply

    If you’re going to quote a doctor, quote one that isn’t so blatantly biased against big ag companies and GMOs.

    Also, let’s be clear, the bill will only ban FARMERS from spraying RESTRICTED USE pesticides within 100 feet of schools while in session. If it’s not an RUP, it can still be sprayed! If it IS an RUP, and it’s a fumigation company applying it, it can still be sprayed!
    And just to remind everyone, as proven in the JFFG report, the fact is, the majority of pesticide exposure incidents are caused by inappropriate household use. So, this portion of the bill will NOT have a tangible effect on keiki safety (which is the whole point of the bill tho, right…?) because the biggest group of offenders will still be able to spray what they want, when they want, where they want.
    As a side note, the ag companies (on Kauai anyway) already have a self-imposed buffer zone around schools and hospitals.

  4. Lenny For Mayor May 3, 2018 11:37 am Reply

    Lenny got this boys!!! Go Lenny!! Yeah!

  5. Amused May 3, 2018 1:59 pm Reply

    “This is not hysteria. This is not rash decision-making. This is not propaganda. This is not some crazy legislation created by a bunch of paranoid, conspiracy-theory people who whipped the public up into a frenzy for no good reason.”

    Wrong. That’s EXACTLY what it is. TGI just drank the Kool-Aid.

  6. manongindashadow May 3, 2018 4:17 pm Reply

    We all have to eat right! Without chemicals to control the insects. Our vegetables and fruits would be infested with bugs.
    Can you imagine if the locus population increase our local farmers crops would be wiped out . To add salt to the wound, “organic crops would be wiped out, too!”

  7. manongindashadow May 3, 2018 4:23 pm Reply

    Our live stocks would be infested with flies, etc. !

    1. Charlie Chimknee May 3, 2018 9:36 pm Reply

      Aloha Manong,

      That’s just it, flies tend to feast on fresh feces, no matter the kind. So since dairy cows are often commercially penned tightly together to produce greater quantities of milk by synthetic chemical hormones, the dairy cattle require exposure to insecticides that are used to keep the flies killed, but there are no end to new flies, and because of infection or the prevention of infection dairy cattle are also subjected to large amounts of antibiotics.

      The combination of hormones, insecticides, and antibiotics contamination of the dairy cows along with regular discharge of their blood and their own infectious pus into their milk, dairy products are not a real good or very safe source of protein or calcium.

      Green leafy vegetables for humans, and pasture grass for cows provide safe and healthy calcium for our bodies and big cow bones.

      And 80% of dairy protein is called CASEIN, like the spelling of proTEIN, casein is known by nutritional scientists to trigger our cells into cancer cells.

      Casein is used in adhesives, paint, industrial products, and protein drinks and muscle building powders and drinks.

      Plant Based Nutrition dietary lifestyle provides all the protein one needs. 400 pound Silver backed Gorillas, Giraffes, Water Buffalo, and so many other large animals are vegetarians and then vegens after they stop nursing on their mothers.

      Nature and things natural are so wonderful when you pay attention.



  8. truth be known May 4, 2018 6:37 am Reply

    Dear “Amused”, glad you brought up the point of TGI “drank the Kool-Aid”. Researching Kool-Aid products one finds ingredients such as Aspartame, high fructose corn syrup, yellow dye #5 and 6, red dye #40, artificial flavors, modified cornstarch (read MSG), EDTA, BHA, and sodium benzoate. Add 1 cup of sugar (48 teaspoons) or Splenda to complete the brew. Yellow dye #5 and 6 and red dye #40 are petrochemical or coal tar derived and have been linked to cancer. Perhaps you should use a different analogy to describe TGI.

  9. No_They_Didn't May 4, 2018 12:44 pm Reply

    Did Ige get paid already? Signing the bill. Mana strip. Corn farms there.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.