Despite the demands made by residents of Hawaii to end the use of Roundup in the islands, the state continues to spray in parks and public areas with this cousin of Agent Orange.

When the Honolulu Parks Department was queried as to why it continues using a known carcinogen that’s been banned in many cities in the United States and several countries around the world and is involved in more than a dozen lawsuits, including a class-action suit, the reply was that its use was state-approved.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s 3,000-acre Superfund cleanup site in Kunia on Oahu exists because a “state-approved pesticide” was used for pineapple.

Roundup Herbicide Pesticide. 14 feb 2017
The herbicide Roundup was brought to market by Monsanto. Users defend its safe use, but critics warn that it is dangerous for humans and the environment. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

Surely no one, at any level in government, would knowingly condemn a person or pet to suffer and possibly die from a pesticide-related cancer. However, accepting corporate propaganda may well have the same result.

Let’s not forget that DDT was considered safe until it wasn’t, and heptachlor was considered safe until it wasn’t. The list of banned products goes on and on. It wasn’t really all that long ago that tobacco companies got actual doctors to do ads endorsing the health benefits of smoking.

Cancer Deaths And Birth Defects

To think that corporations care what happens to the individual is at best naive, and at worst extremely dangerous. Not until the number of deaths or cancers or birth defects mount to an undeniable number do they react and often that reaction may only be to reformulate the product and then rebrand it with a new, safe-sounding name.

So, when government officials do not respond to the wishes and safety of the population that elected them and that they swore to represent, what’s the answer?

One possible solution might be to require everyone who approves the continued use of these chemicals on our parks and roadways to sign off on that decision, and have that list of names sent to every resident in the state and  permanently listed on the government website. Sort of a “buck stops everywhere” action.

In whatever position they  serve, whether it be governor, mayor, City Council, state Health Department, the city Parks Department and even to the person tasked with spraying the chemical, if they are so certain this will cause no harm, they should be willing to put their name on a permanent record of that decision.

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