Elana Pisani, exclusive to Global Animal
Debate has sparked in Kauai, Hawaii surrounding the use of local lands for GMOs.
Companies in the area are using the land for seed research and development and residents are calling for an end to the experimentation.
A petition at MoveOn.org demands a halt to the lease of state lands to corporations involved in GMO production and seed R&D on Kauai, and support for Kauai County Bill 2491, which calls for a moratorium on GM crops in Kauai, prohibition of open-air experimental testing, and a formal, in-depth environmental impact statement. The petition suggests that open-air experimentation on GMOs, including the use of toxic pesticides is dangerous to residents, wildlife, and the entire ecosystem of Kauai.
Although small in land mass, Hawaii’s ecosystem is home to 25 percent of endangered species and much of Kauai is specifically under the protection of endangered species habitat laws. However, seed companies such as Syngeta, Kauai Coffee, Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc., BASF Corp., and Dow AgroSciences use pesticides on their Kauai farms.
There has been no substantial environmental impact assessment completed to inform the community about the possible affects the pesticides could have on the environment. There is also no law requiring the companies to disclose information on the toxic chemicals they use. Residents point to these chemicals as the possible cause for the unexplained large-scale deaths of sea urchins, birds, and bees on the island as well as reports of illness in children.
On Friday, a watered down version of Bill 2491 was approved by Kauai County’s Economic Development Committee and the bill will now be considered next week by the Kauai County Council.