HONOLULU, HI (March 13, 2015) – Zero schools were evacuated because of a commercial seed crop agricultural pesticide use, reported Hawaii State Board of Agriculture Chair Scott Enright in testimony provided to lawmakers. The Hawaii State Department of Agriculture’s Pesticide Branch recently shared nine years worth of data on 16 school evacuations.
“It is critical that the public know the truth regarding agriculture use of pesticides in Hawaii,” said Bennette Misalucha, executive director of the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association (HCIA). “There are too many extreme voices slandering the responsible work by Hawaii’s farmers. We want to help residents and lawmakers know that children in schools are not being evacuated or exposed to pesticides from seed crop farming.”
Currently, lawmakers are considering SB 1037 SD2, a bill which imposes unnecessary restrictions on pesticides for all users; even within the agriculture industry, which is already under strict review and enforcement by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Hawaii State Department of Agriculture.
“There are at least two key problems with this bill,” said Misalucha. “First, it requires any person or entity using a registered pesticide to comply with the law. So that would mean, anyone with a can of Raid in their house, would have to file their use. Second, the bill targets plants being grown in the earth. Does that mean aquaponic growers are exempt? What about potted plants – is topsoil considered earth? This bill is not clearly defined.”
[The Dept. of Agriculture report as well as testimony from the HCIA and member companies is enclosed.]
About the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association
The Hawaii Crop Improvement Association, a Hawaii-based non-profit organization that promotes modern agriculture. Through education, collaboration and advocacy, the group works to ensure a safe and sustainable food supply, support responsible farming practices and build a healthy state economy.