On September 23rd the Governor’s office published a release announcing the state would be putting forth standards and guidelines for seed companies to voluntarily comply with an order to address the concerns of Kaua’i’s community. However, the Governor's guidelines don't correlate with those outlined in Bill 2491:
1) “Disclosure of aggregated use of Restricted Use Pesticides” covering a fraction of community concernes as outlined in Bill 2491. The community is concerned about more than Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs). In recent Bill 2491 testimony, the gmo seed companies stated, that roughly eighteen-thousand tons of Restricted Use Pesticides represented roughly 20% of their pesticide use. The community is also concerned about General Use and Experimental pesticides, the other 80%. The community is not concerned with out of context aggregate amounts but exactly what, when, and where the pesticides are being sprayed. Bill 2491 would require this information to be posted online for public knowledge.
2) A voluntary “set back from schools and hospitals.” Mr. Abercrombie did not inlcude shorelines, parks, public roadways, major rivers and places where the public congregates as Kauai County Council members have outlined in Bill 2491.
3) “Residents being informed about activities in their immediate area.” According to Bill 2491, if an adjacent landowner request information about GMO operations (which might affect their health and safety) it would be unlawful to not receive a response within 24 hours.
4) “Farmers will comply on a voluntary basis with temporary standards until such time as department heads and stakeholders can develop necessary rules or legislation for next session.” Last year, 2,872 bills were introduced into the State Legislature while only 293 passed. There is a 10% chance the bill will pass, and much less of a chance it will include the intent of Bill 2491. Furthermore, “voluntary”
“While we applaud Governor Abercrombie for attempting to address our concerns,” said Jennifer Ruggles from the Pass the Bill Coalition, “it is obvious the State cannot address even our most basic needs as outlined in Bill 2491, and therefore underscores the need for the passage of Bill 2491.”
Pass the Bill is a broad coalition of moms, health care professionals, farmers, and civic leaders committed to passing Bill 2491, a law that addresses excessive pesticide use by GMO companies on Kauai island. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.