The 2016 Earthjustice court victory “forced” the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, working with the Environmental Protection Agency, to enact “annual reporting of restricted-use pesticides; permits for the application of the pesticide, chlorpyrifos; and 100-foot buffer zones (The Garden Island, June 5, 2019).” Thank you, Earthjustice.
But let’s be clear, we are still not safe, especially in Waimea, where biotech corporations spray pesticides within 100 feet of the town. There should be at least quarter-mile pesticide buffer zones for school students, as in California; and a total ban on chlorpyrifos permits, as in Switzerland.
In The Guardian published Aug. 23, 2015, pediatrician Carla Nelson reported there have been nine babies born in five years in Waimea with severe heart malformations requiring complex surgery. Nelson said this is more than 10 times the national rate.
The Lancet Neurology reported in 2014 that there is an epidemic of new corporate neuro-toxicants, including chlorpyrifos, damaging the fetus and early childhood brain, contributing to a measured loss of IQ scores and lowering the gross domestic product (GDP). Each one less point in IQ creates a $18,000 loss, longitudinally, for that student’s lifetime earnings.
“The state of Hawaii was given a C grade, 73.8 points out of 100, in terms of its overall education performance. The nation as a whole earned a C grade.” This was reported by Sterling Lloyd, assistant director of the Education Research Center, reported The Garden Island, Monday, Jan. 9, 2017.
There are many variables involved in a C grade, but eliminating exposure to restricted-use pesticides is very necessary to help create A+ students.
Why is a 100-foot pesticide buffer still not safe?
Pesticides, like glyphosate, for example, may volatilize, or change from a solid or liquid state into a vapor state, into the lower atmosphere for days, weeks or months after the application, and as the U.S. Geological Survey (2011) indicates, will continue to drift around at very great distances from atmospheric and wind dynamics. This is why we need minimum 1/4-mile pesticide buffer zones, to protect Waimea, to protect drivers on the main Waimea highway, and to protect the biotech employee buildings.
Let’s look at the health danger from glyphosate. The risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in glyphosate-based herbicides-exposed individuals was increased by 41%, reports a new study published in Mutation Reviews / Reviews in Mutation Research, online Feb. 10, 2019.
The most recent court settlement against Bayer, which bought out Monsanto, was for over $2 billion, for a couple that got non-Hodgkin lymphoma from exposure to glyphosate.
For those who don’t understand the complex dangers of genetic engineering and restricted-use pesticides used in agriculture, please watch the new movie, “Secret Ingredients,” produced by Jeffery Smith and Amy Hart. This movie illustrates with excellent graphics and animation, that genetically engineered foods and their associated pesticides cause diseases and learning disabilities in children.
The wisest goal should be to replace all the use of restricted-use pesticides on Kauai and Hawaii crops, with safe and profitable organic and non-GMO crops. Hawaiian schools can serve organic and non-GMO lunches like schools in the Sausalito Marin City School District, California. Let’s work together to create A+ Hawaii students, with increased earning potential, free from restricted-use pesticides.
Will M. Davis is a resident of Lihue.