Talk Story Meeting in Kihei with Roz baker Jan 28th 2016

Head of Hawaii Department of Agriculture tells Maui citizens he will request the pesticide spraying logs of Monsanto.

At the Kihei Charter School, Thursday January 28th at 6pm, Senator Roz Baker invited the public to attend her “Start of Session Talk Story” stating, “The meeting will also allow the community to share ideas and ask questions.”

Scott Enright, Head of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture also attended to “help” the senator answer questions.

The call was answered with over seventy Maui citizens turning up to ask questions and/or listen to answers.

Pesticide spraying, Monsanto and campaign contributions where high on the question list.

Maui resident and mother of three, Deb Mader once again, informed Senator Baker and Scott Enright about Monsanto violating the labeling of Penncap-M, a nerve agent that was banned as of 12/31/13. Something Ms. Mader had reported, in person, to Roz Baker back in March 2015. Several other pesticide violations were also mentioned and Mr. Enright promised the crowd that Monsanto spray logs would be requested by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, if the community requested it in writing. (Ms. Mader sent in a request as soon as she got home.) 

It should be noted that the quantity and combination of sprayed chemicals in the open-air fields surrounding Kihei by the agro-chemical company are a huge concern to many Maui citizens, who voted in 2014 for a moratorium on GMO activities, until environmental assessments could deem them safe for the keiki and the aina. After the vote passed, Monsanto sued the County of Maui. It is now, over a year later, still in the hands of the courts to decide if the moratorium should go into effect.

Many Maui citizens kept the conversation highlighted on pesticides, organic farm options, regenerative agricultures, and campaign contributions to people in public office. Last night Ms. Baker stated that she has taken money from Monsanto for campaign contributions.

Ms. Baker also stated that she believes most pesticide overspray is a result of homeowners, which is why she has not supported any of the pesticide spraying buffer/disclosure bills.

There are currently twelve open/unresolved pesticide misuse cases, resulting in contamination to others on Maui. Maui resident Karen Chun later stated,  “Well I am here to tell you that no back yard spraying contaminated my home with Dicamba, Diruron, 2,4-D, Pendimethanlin, Ametryn, and Hexazinone, because you have to be a licensed pesticide applicator to buy the stuff.”

The turn out for the “Start of Session Talk Story” demonstrates there are some grave community concerns. So what can you do, if you want to see positive action taken towards reducing the over-use of pesticide spraying on the island of Maui?

CALL TO ACTION:

Please send Scott Enright (Head of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture) an email at Scott.Enright@hawaii.gov to request that he request Monsanto’s spraying logs.

Submit written testimony today by 5pm to IEM.committee@mauicounty.us regarding your concern about pesticide spraying on Maui. Or attend the Department of Public Works departmental update to Maui’s Infrastructure and Environmental Management Committee on Monday, February 1st at 1:30pm.

The Update will focus on the following topics:
* Pesticide pilot program of Avenger and Weed Zap products, as organic alternatives to RoundUp.

* Information the committee would like to highlight before they go into the budget session.

* Lower Nahiku Bridge

If you have questions or comments for the Maui County Department of Public Works regarding these topics, or any other topics specific to their purview, please come and give testimony at the start of the meeting.

Monday, Feb 1st, 1:30 pm
200 S.High St., Wailuku, 8th floor

Photo taken on January 28th in Kihei at Senator Roz Baker’s “Start of Session Talk Story”.

Image Credit: Deb Mader

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