Plus – Dept of Education bans herbicides in all Hawaii public schools
The inspiring blog post below is by Gary Hooser, volunteer president of the Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA). Previously he was an elected member of the Kauai County Council, a Hawaii state senator and majority leader and the director of environmental quality control for the State of Hawaii.
Hawaii GMO industry footprint shrinks by 50%, plus DOE bans herbicides in all Hawaii public schools
Gary Hooser's Blog, July 1, 2019
[links to sources and illustrations at the URL above]
What if I told you that the application of restricted use pesticides in Hawaii by the largest chemical companies in the world – has been cut by half over the past 7 years?
What if I told you that the Department of Education recently sent out a notice to all public schools in Hawaii telling them herbicides may NOT be used on school grounds?
Well it’s true.
* The Hawaii Department of Education (DOE) just announced a ban of herbicide use at all Hawaii public schools.
* The USDA just reported that GMO seed corn production has dropped statewide by over 50% – Accompanying this reduction will be a parallel reduction in both general use and restricted use pesticides (yes, I extrapolate…but justifiably so and a reasonable presumption)
* Combine the above with the passage of SB3095 in 2018, banning chlorpyrifos, requiring mandatory disclosure, and putting in place modest buffer zones around schools for ALL users of restricted use pesticides.
EQUALS – A huge success in our communities ongoing effort to regulate dangerous chemicals on ALL islands.
Our community is healthier today than it was yesterday because of our combined work and commitment.
None of this would have happened without the active, informed and sustained community engagement supported by a broad coalition of individuals and organizations.
The Heroes of SB3095 – This is what democracy looks like (https://garyhooser.blog/2018/06/22/heroes-of-sb3095-this-is-what-democracy-looks-like/).
DOE announces herbicide ban for all Hawaii public schools.
“Superintendent Christina Kishimoto, after hearing that Roundup was being used on some campuses, sent a memo Tuesday to all principals stressing that herbicides are banned at Hawaii public schools.
She also called for the immediate removal of any herbicides stored at schools.
"The action came after a community meeting Monday evening at Leilehua High School called by Board of Education Chairwoman Catherine Payne to hear concerns about the use of herbicides and pesticides at schools. Nearly 60 people attended, including parents, teachers and activists.” From Honolulu StarAdvertiser
Hawaii GMO corn production drops by over 50% in past 7 years.
You can be sure there is a direct correlation with related pesticide use…which also has most likely dropped significantly as well. This equates to literally tons of restricted use pesticides that are no longer being used near communities on all islands.
The official numbers speak for themselves.
USDA latest reports on the size of the seed corn industry.
2011/2012 Value of Hawaii seed corn just under $250,000,000
2018/2019 Value of Hawaii seed corn just under $106,000,000
2011/2012 Total acreage of Hawaii seed corn 6,910 acres
2018/2019 Total acreage of Hawaii seed corn 2,530 acres
A friend posted on FB in response to the report: “I would like to think that all the noise we made a few years ago had some part in the decline (of gmo corn industry).”
My reply: “I have no doubt… but also no proof that is in fact a huge part of the reason this industry is shrinking and ultimately leaving Hawaii. With the increased public spotlight on their operations… the increased legal actions in court… and the increased regulation at the State level… all combined… have to have an impact on their business decisions as to where to base and grow their operations. And by now these companies know…that there is more public action to come…more negative media attention… more legislation and more actions via more lawsuits… #neverquit