Attorneys Margery Bronster and Paul Alston representing the largest chemical companies in the world, have decided to sue the people of my community to protect their right to spray poisons next to schools, hospitals and homes – and are trying to deny us the right to know what they are spraying in our community.

I was born and raised on Kauai, which is sadly now being called “ground zero” of global GMO experimentation; I know full well the impacts of this industry.

People on my island are getting sick. Many believe their sickness is connected to the growing of experimental genetically modified organisms and the large amounts of herbicides used in the process.

In 2006 and 2008, dozens of children and teachers at Waimea Canyon Middle School were sickened and sent to local hospitals. The agrochemical company that controls the fields next to the school denied that the fields of experimental GE corn and the related pesticide spraying was the culprit, but eventually, under intense community pressure, they stopped spraying those fields and since then there have been no further incidents.

Obstetricians and pediatricians at Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital are concerned about what they believe to be unusually high levels of birth defects and certain cancers. Parents report their children have higher than normal incidents of nosebleeds and respiratory problems. Over 200 residents of Waimea Valley have filed suit claiming that there is negative impacts from pesticide-laden dust blowing into their homes.

Yet when asked directly to disclose what chemicals they are spraying and what experimental crops they are growing, the companies have been less then honest or silent in their responses.

The Kauai County Council debated and ultimately passed into law Bill 2491, requiring disclosure and very modest pesticide-free buffer zones around schools, hospitals and houses. Thousands of people in my community testified on this issue and some of us even slept overnight on the ground in front of the County building to make sure we gained entrance to the actual hearings.

The chemical company executives hired the homeless and down-and-out to hold their places in line while myself and other supporters slept outside in the rain for the same privilege of getting our voices heard. These companies spent tens of thousands of dollars and threatened, cajoled and lied in their attempts to beat our community down but we won. Our County Council listened to us and they voted to pass the bill and then voted again to over-ride the Mayors veto.

The companies and their hired legal guns have now filed suit against our community. They sue us because they want to spray their poisons next to our schools, hospitals, and homes.

Shame on the lawyers and politicians who choose to take their money. Shame on you for trying to protect these companies while they continue to poison my community.

About the author: Dylan Hooser was born and raised on Kauai. He is the son of Gary Hooser and an active member of the Kauai Pass the Bill Collation. He currently owns and operate Sunrise Shells of Kauai, which is a small business that specializes in providing Sunrise Shells to jewelers around the state.


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