Hawaiʻi Center for Food Safety Pressures Manufacturers to "Say What They Spray"
HONOLULU— In a win for our keiki and our environment, today the Hawai‘i House Committees on Energy and Environmental Protection and Agriculture voted to protect children and other impacted community members from the poisonous effects of toxic pesticides. The committees passed HB 790, HB 1571, HB 252, HB 253, HB 254, and HB 1282 that cover a range of regulation including requiring disclosure of toxic pesticides, safeguarding especially sensitive areas like schools and hospitals by creating “no-spray” buffer zones aimed to protect children from pesticide exposure as well as regulating the known neurotoxin chlorpyrifos, expanding the DOA pesticide advisory committee and regulating neonicotinoids and glyphosate on state lands.
“The time for state regulatory action is now. Our future generations deserve to live, grow and thrive in communities that put their health above the profits of pesticide manufacturers,” said Ashley Lukens, director of Hawai‘i Center for Food Safety (HCFS). HCFS helped lobby these bills in an effort to implement necessary action to limit harmful exposure to toxic pesticides used across the islands.
"Without knowing when and where pesticides are being sprayed it is impossible to know whether they are having an impact on the health of our local communities” said Representative Chris Lee, Chair of the Energy and Environmental Protection Committee. “We have an obligation to put people's safety first, and requiring pesticide companies to report what they are spraying so any risk can be assessed is simply common sense."
“Now is the time our state legislators fulfill their obligation to protect our ohana, especially our youth, from poisonous pesticides,” said Magdalena Mililani Anne Wood, a mother from Kihei, Maui who testified at today’s hearing.
Many of these bills passed today in direct response to the 2016 Joint Fact Finding Study Group (JFFSG) report, which revealed major gaps in state regulations of pesticides and the agrichemical industry responsible for exposing residents and communities to known toxins, and recommended that state government set new standards for chronic, low-level exposure to pesticides over time, rather than solely focusing on one-time acute exposure. In particular the report called for the implementation of a consistent, no-spray buffer policy around sensitive areas like schools to protect children from pesticide drift, and mandatory public disclosure of pesticide use by large agribusinesses throughout the state.
HCFS will continue to put the pressure on state lawmakers to enforce mandatory, comprehensive pesticide disclosure regulations, and to implement more safety measures like the buffer zones.
“The courts have determined that it is the state that must take action to protect our keiki, and that action is clear – pesticide companies need to say what they spray,” said Joshua Noga, senior program manager of HCFS’s Building Power Program.
More information about the need for these bills can be found at: protectourkeiki.org
Center for Food Safety’s mission is to empower people, support farmers, and protect the earth from the harmful impacts of industrial agriculture. Through groundbreaking legal, scientific, and grassroots action, we protect and promote your right to safe food and the environment. Please join our more than 800,000 consumer and farmer advocates across the country at www.centerforfoodsafety.org. Twitter: @CFSTrueFood, @CFS_Press