Understanding pesticides can be complex

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.

  1. Palani June 14, 2019 8:03 am Reply

    And yet the EPA has recently declared that Glyphosate is not a cancer agent. The European Union has also withdrawn its declaration that Glyphosate is a “Probable” cancer agent. No European country has banned Glyphosates. Court cases do not determine scientific fact.
    Chlorpyrifos has not be linked to birth defects (see attached citation).
    All that said, children should not be exposed to any toxic chemicals when it can be avoided. An increased buffer zone for spraying, especially in a area with consistently strong breezes, is a good idea.

    1. Mary Rose Gallagher June 16, 2019 5:28 pm Reply

      Thank you Palani. A new paper (Environmental Sciences Europe, 2019), “How did the US EPA and IARC reach diametrically opposed conclusions on the genotoxicity of glyphosate-based herbicides?”details why the EPA and International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) differ regarding glyphosate and cancer. The EPA which used unpublished industry sources found 99% of evidence that glyphosate is not genotoxic. The IARC relied on published studies and found 74% of which indicate glyphosate is genotoxic.
      This paper shows that EPA’s cancer classification is scientifically baseless.

    2. Will Davis June 23, 2019 5:59 pm Reply

      Dear Palani, thanks for the link on chlorpyrifos (CPF) but I am concerned with other research that uses magnetic resonant imaging (MRI) to detect brain defects from prenatal exposures to CPF, that are associated with lower IQ scores. MRI finds parts of the outside of the brain indented similar to a slightly deflated Wilson NCAA basketball which compresses where you push it in. This example attempts to describe the outside of the child’s brain which was exposed to CPF when the mother was pregnant. For example, “We investigated associations between CPF exposure and brain morphology using magnetic resonance imaging in 40 children, 5.9–11.2 y… high-exposure children… displayed reversal of sex differences in the right mesial superior frontal gyrus, consistent with disruption by CPF of normal behavioral sexual dimorphisms reported in animal models. High-exposure children also showed frontal and parietal cortical thinning, and an inverse dose–response relationship between CPF and cortical thickness.”

    3. Will Davis June 24, 2019 6:25 pm Reply

      Palani, research is conflicting for chlorpyrifos, but you may be interested in this. Dow (renamed DowDuPont after its 2017 merger with DuPont) likely knew for decades that its widely used chlorpyrifos insecticide is harmful to humans—especially children and developing fetuses. But the company hid that information from regulators, both in the U.S. and EU, according to the study,”Safety of Safety Evaluation of Pesticides: developmental neurotoxicity of chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl,” published in Environmental Health, June 16, 2018.

  2. RG DeSoto June 14, 2019 8:57 am Reply

    “‘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.’ ”

    Hawaii received a C grade because it is not competent to provide a first class education. Basically, the Hawaii State Education system , which is not alone in the nation, is nothing more than an indoctrination camp pushing the state’s progressive drivel to bored students. For Mr. Davis to assert that pesticide use has anything to do with this is utter nonsense and more accurately reflects his ideological agenda.

    RG DeSoto

    1. Will Davis June 14, 2019 3:26 pm Reply

      Dear RG DeSoto, Thank you for your comment. I am a licensed Massachusetts elementary school teacher in good standing. I taught fourth grade traumatized special education. Currently I am employed full time at Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School as a substitute teacher and educational assistant. Numerous studies such as “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases,” published in Entropy, 2013, indicate pesticides can contribute to hyperactivity, depression, and autism. My experience is about 95 percent of students are focussed and productive and about 5 % are too hyperactive, from numerous causes (not just pesticides), to focus. https://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416

  3. Gordo June 14, 2019 9:51 am Reply


  4. Will Davis June 14, 2019 3:05 pm Reply

    Dear Palani, thank you. Scientific Reports published a study, April 23, 2019, finding “glyphosate causes disease across several generations… Second- and third- generation offspring of rats exposed to glyphosate” developed “prostate, kidney and ovarian diseases, obesity and birth abnormalities… More than one-third of the second-generation mothers had unsuccessful pregnancies (The Organic & Non-GMO Report, May/June 2019).”
    Environmental Sciences Europe published, 2014, “Republished study: long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize.” In this 2 year study rats drinking Roundup in their water grew massive tumors. https://enveurope.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s12302-014-0014-5

    1. Pete Antonson June 24, 2019 2:59 pm Reply

      Are you kidding? You are basing something on the withdrawn Séralini french rat study? Do you even know who Séralini is? This scandal was nearly as big as the vaccine causes autism hoax we still haven’t recovered from! DO NOT HONOR SERALINI.

      1. Will Davis June 25, 2019 11:34 am Reply

        Monsanto used 10 rats in their corn safety studies and Dr. Seralini used 10 rats in his safety study of Monsanto’s corn. This small a number of rats does not have as much statistical power as 20, 30, 40, 0r 50 rats would have. Thus the Editor-in-Chief, Wallace Hayes, of Food and Chemical Toxicology said, regarding such toxicology studies using 10 rats, “that no definitive conclusions can be reached with this small sample size.” If Hayes is ethical and consistent, he would agree that Monsanto’s studies using 10 rats should be retracted for being inconclusive in the same way as Seralini’s study was retracted by his journal. Regarding Seralini’s study which discovered massive tumors growing on rats eating NK 603 corn and Roundup, Hayes said, “Unequivocally, the Editor-in-Chief found no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data.” More over, Seralini’s study was more conclusive than Monsanto’s studies, because Seralini used 2 years to observe rats eating NK 603 corn and Roundup, while Monsanto used a statistically less powerful and inadequate 6 months. This is one reason why Environmental Sciences Europe republished Seralini’s study.
        For an excellent review of Monsanto’s deceptive research tactics please read Whitewash, by journalist Carey Gillman.

  5. Pete Antonson June 14, 2019 3:19 pm Reply

    Davis, did you just get off the bus from California? We went through all this, RECENTLY AND FOR 3 – 4 YEARS! We had guys just like you with the latest Berkeley Pesticide Activist hogwash using single study scare tactics. Single studies and recent studies (and nonscientific juries) do not instantly overturn the scientific consensus you don’t agree with! So stop preaching this and get in your stinking car, go to the Westside, take a free tour, see what is actually occurring, and then turn red with embarrassment!

    Oh, and Davis, nobody has operated within 2 miles of any schools for about ten years now!

    1. Will Davis June 25, 2019 11:02 am Reply

      Regarding the color red, please go to to following link to see colored MRI images showing brain defects from prenatal exposure to chlorpyrifos associated with lower IQ scores. Red represents outward deformations of the cortex and blue shows shrunken cortex from chlorpyrifos.
      In Waimea, chemical companies spray 17 times more restricted-use insecticides per acre than on ordinary cornfields in the US mainland, reports the Center for Food Safety.
      As you may know chlorpyrifos were developed during World War II as a nerve gas (Wikipedia).
      Center for Food Safety reports chlorpyrifos are measured to be consistently blowing through the Waimea School (Pesticides in Paradise, p. 46).
      In the last 4 years driving down the highway to Waimea I have seen GMO corn planted about 200 yards to the north and south of the highway, which is a school bus route. For school kids on the bus, 200 yards is too close to spraying pesticides, especially chlorpyrifos. Pesticides are also sprayed too close to the biotech employee buildings.

      I apologize for posting single studies. If readers can please go to https://www.gmoseralini.org/research-papers/, they can find only a partial listing of 36 relevant studies on the negative effects of biotech products, mostly of Monsanto.

  6. Kekaha June 14, 2019 6:10 pm Reply

    This false accusations of how unsafe our west Kauai is due to agriculture production is RIDICULOUS! It’s crazy that you probably live Lihue and not from Kauai, yet you think you know what’s best for the Westside. If you like live like CALIFORNIA then move there. Please do us that favor! As a Westside resident who grew up here not flown here, I am thankful to see FARMS and not hotels! Please get your facts straight and don’t overplay your words!

    1. Will Davis June 27, 2019 3:12 pm Reply

      Dear Kekaha, I am sorry, I apologize if I offended you. I am not from California, I am from Iowa. In Iowa and in the American Midwest, the sacred monarch butterfly population has almost been destroyed by herbicides, like glyphosate, sprayed on herbicide resistant corn and soy whose seeds are engineered in Waimea and other places. 90 % of the monarch butterflies in Iowa and the Midwest have been destroyed because these herbicides have killed its habitat plant, milkweed, reports Scientific American, 2014, and other scientific journals.
      Best wishes.

  7. WestKauai June 14, 2019 6:24 pm Reply

    Mr. Davis’ contention that the biotech firms are spraying pesticides within 100 feet of Waimea is ludicrous. He really needs to step away from his keyboard and take a drive to the west side, and maybe go up to the first overlook on the road up to Waimea Canyon. Then he can see that there is no agricultural activity anywhere near that close to Waimea town, the schools, etc., save for the Taro farmers up the valley.

    1. Will Davis June 30, 2019 1:51 pm Reply

      Going to a high viewpoint is a brilliant suggestion and thank you for correcting my error. I found an aerial view photograph that shows GMO fields about 200 yards to the north and south of the Waimea highway, which is a school bus route. For school kids on the bus, 200 yards is too close to spraying pesticides, especially chlorpyrifos. This photo also reveals, GMO fields too close to the biotech employee buildings, for spraying.
      Even at the far distance the GMO fields are from the closest Waimea school, the Center for Food Safety reports consistently measured chlorpyrifos drifting through the school (Pesticides in Paradise, p 46).
      However, DowDupont gets away with spraying chlorpyrifos because they are following the law established by Hawaii’s weak Pesticide Act 45, only a 100 foot buffer is required, which DowDupont clearly has.

  8. Charlie Chimknee June 14, 2019 10:36 pm Reply

    Aloha Kakou,

    Hmm, it’s certified true Glyphosate and Chlorpyrifos kill living things dead.True…? YEP…!

    So, if they kill, they’re killer chemicals…and thus are poisons…which part of poison do you not understand.

    Kills bugs, weeds, people, and the soil it saturates…can we get an encore…POISON IS COOL, IGNORE STUPID PEOPLE, WHEN THEY DIE, MORE WILL COME…


  9. shaken not stirred June 15, 2019 8:04 am Reply

    Davis just blends together RUPs, herbicides, and pesticides…shakes it up, and come out with more misinformation than I’ve read in a long time. Glyphosates are NOT RUPs, nor are they pesticides AT ALL. Oh, and then he adds biotech foods on the top of his cocktail of fantasy as well! With the familiar battle cry: “do it for the keiki…”(paraphrasing of course). One thing that can be done for our keiki is to give them the opportunity for a first class education, arrange for fewer students per classroom, and stop feeding them this “weird, pseudo science”, meaning have teachers are are well versed in the scientific method of research. But of course, for what the state offers as remuneration, its a challenge to attract the best and the brightest to “teach our children well.” And studies have already shown that our keiki risk the greatest exposure to toxic substances in and around their own homes! Btw, kudos to all our teachers statewide, for the tasks the accomplish and the jobs they do! How about some science minded teacher out there offering to tutor Davis….

  10. Amused June 16, 2019 12:04 pm Reply

    The Earthjustice lawsuit didn’t force HDOA to do anything that wasn’t already under way. It was a sham case and EPA found no wrong doing. This piece is nothing more than the same tired fear mongering. Anyone who cites yogic flyer JeffreySmith as a source immediately shows they have zero credibility and a serious inability to
    engage in critical thinking.

  11. Pete Antonson June 26, 2019 5:17 pm Reply

    Seralini is a rabid antiGMO activist. He left his scientific methods behind years ago. If you bring up Seralini in a room full of scientific researchers you will be LAUGHED OUT OF THE ROOM. You will deserve it!

    1. Will Davis June 28, 2019 5:33 pm Reply

      300,000 Indian bt-cotton farmers who were bankrupted by Monsanto committed suicide. Many of these farmers committed suicide by drinking Roundup. No one disagrees Roundup is poison. The question researchers are trying to determine is: how much Roundup is poison, a little or a lot? Seralini has published many research studies on the toxcity levels of Roundup and insecticides engineered in corn, in peer review science journals. These peer review journals only accept excellent science.

      Only top level scientists get published in peer review journals. It is better to focus on the science not the scientist. For example, here is a study showing low doses of glyphosate causes liver disease in rats.

      Cutting-edge molecular profiling analyses reveal that the popular weedkiller Roundup causes liver damage at doses permitted by regulators. The dose of glyphosate from the Roundup administered was thousands of times below what is permitted by regulators worldwide. These results demonstrate that long-term consumption of an ultra-low dose of Roundup at a glyphosate daily intake level of only 4 nanograms per kilogram of bodyweight per day, which is 75,000 times below EU and 437,500 below US permitted levels, results in NAFLD.
      Article | OPEN | Published: 09 January 2017

      Multiomics reveal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats following chronic exposure to an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide

      Robin Mesnage, George Renney, Gilles-Eric Séralini, Malcolm Ward & Michael N. Antoniou

      Scientific Reports volume 7, Article number: 39328 (2017)

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