The House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee, chaired by Rep. Chris Lee, unanimously passed a measure Thursday to require large-scale, outdoor commercial agricultural businesses to publicly disclose outdoor application of pesticides in various environmentally sensitive areas.
Groups like Hawaii Farm Bureau, CropLife America and Kauai Coffee Company came out against the legislation while nonprofits like the Center for Food Safety, Americans for Democratic Action and the Pesticide Action Network were in favor.
Ashley Lukens, Hawaii program director for the Center for Food Safety, said its critical for the state to “protect keiki and kupuna health by requiring notification and disclosure of toxic restricted-use pesticides around sensitive areas like schools.”
She said the Kauai Good Neighbor Program, which allows genetically modified seed companies like Syngenta and Monsanto to voluntarily disclose their pesticide use, is “an unreliable compromise to mandatory disclosure.”
The bill would make the reporting guidelines for the Kauai program mandatory across the state. It would also establish “disclosure and public notification requirements for outdoor applications of pesticides in and in the proximity of schools, healthcare facilities, child care facilities, elder care facilities, and other environmentally-sensitive areas.”
As of last March, there were 16 school closures due to pesticide drift since 2006, according to Enright.
Read the complete testimony below.
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