When the Trump administration approved the toxic pesticide chlorpyrifos from the Dow Chemical Company, with whom they have an extra cozy relationship since Inauguration Day in January 2017, a public outcry ensued that was ultimately unsuccessful.
The chemical has been linked to severe developmental delays in children and other health risks, and spurred a petition drive expressing the depth of the health problems caused by this brain damaging pesticide.
It’s especially dangerous to children who may be harmed by its presence both in food and the environment, but now one state is taking the lead by passing a historic ban on one of the most controversial substances sprayed on farmland today.
The hope now is that this will become the norm for more states across the country.
Hawaii is First U.S. State to Ban Child-Harming Chemical
It goes without saying that pesticide drift can damage our health, and especially the health of children, as anyone who lives near a major U.S. industrial farm knows.
Over 200,000 people die from direct pesticide exposure each year according to the United Nations, but the harm caused by these pesticides is rarely talked about.
But now people in America’s 50th state are talking about chlorpyrifos, after governor David Ige signed Senate Bill 3095 into law, which bans the use of pesticides across Hawaii starting on January 1, 2019. Businesses will still be allowed to apply for a three-year extension, according to an article from The Huffington Post, however.
“This was a law that was years in the making. Its time had come.” Sen. Russell Ruderman (D-Puna, Ka’u), one of the bill’s sponsors, to The Garden Island newspaper of Kaua’i this May.
“Hawaii is showing the Trump administration that the states will stand up for our kids, even when Washington will not,” added Miriam Rotkin-Ellman, a senior scientist at the National Resources Defense Council said in a statement about the historic ban.
Hawaii: The Island That Became a GMO Testing Ground
Unfortunately for Hawaiian citizens, the battle to kick out companies like Dow and Monsanto, or to at least stop the harm their products is causing, continues to this day.
The chemical companies have turned this island paradise into a nightmare for countless citizens on the island, who have been stricken with many ailments from pesticides and the rampant testing of new experimental GMO crops.
It’s enough to make anyone reconsider that Hawaiian vacation, or at least to make sure they’re not staying near one of the many massive GMO plantations that have taken root in what is otherwise a paradise.
“Hawaii is Monsanto’s agricultural center and a frequent testing ground for its new products. Maui has some of the most fertile lands in American,” reported ThePolitic.org.
“Crops from corn to papayas to coffee flourish in the wet climate and fertile soil, making it the perfect location for an agricultural giant like Monsanto. With 1381 fields in the state, Monsanto test chemicals, genetically-engineered crops, and sells seeds to other agricultural companies seeking better crops.”
In a remarkable display of grassroots activism, Hawaii citizens bonded together and managed to pass a GMO ban (moratorium to be technical about it) on the island, despite being outspent $7 million to $60,000 by Monsanto, the agrochemical and GMO giant which is now owned by Bayer.
Despite that, the ban was struck down in federal court the next day, showing once again that democracy simply does not care about the people’s will when it comes to GMOs and the toxic, cancer causing chemicals in our food supply.
Meanwhile, the citizens of Hawaii are still struggling, as huge numbers of birth defects and other devastating diseases and health problems have been recorded in areas where mass pesticide sprayings are common.
It goes without saying that this is one island that needs our help, but thankfully for now we can celebrate the victory against chlorpyrifos in court, while keeping an eye toward the future as the Bayer takeover of Monsanto begins.
To learn more about Hawaii, Monsanto, GMOs and birth defects, check out the eyebrow-raising 43-minute documentary ‘Stop Monsanto from Poisoning Hawai’i: Genetic Engineering Chemical Warfare’ below, and be sure to tell any of your friends who may be able to help remedy this situation:
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