Paradise is being poisoned

Hawaii is ground zero for GMOs. Having visited there recently, I felt for the residents as I drove down the streets. I saw a children’s center across the street from some chemically sprayed fields. I stopped and spoke to the moms whose children are sick and saw the struggle in their eyes. Paradise is being poisoned.

New reports show toxic chemicals are actually being found inside of homes in Maui. Hawaii is home to more than a thousand GMO test plots. In comparison, California, the largest agricultural state in America, has a little over one hundred. We would like to think the chemicals stay outside of our homes, but this is not the case.

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Three houses in Paia were found to be contaminated inside with herbicides, according to local sources. 

The Hawaii Department of Agriculture itself tested a home in Paia after a resident complained that nearby fields were over being sprayed. Their test results came back positive for 6 different kinds of herbicides in the bedrooms, the kitchen and on the trees in the yard. Dicamba, Diruron, 2,4-D, Pendimethanlin, Ametryn, and Hexazinone were all found inside of the home. Once again, the Department of Agriculture has failed to complete its investigation even though they have had more than 4 years to do so. They also decided not to warn nearby residents that their homes may have also been contaminated.

The Department of Agriculture is failing to evaluate the public health risks to Paia residents who were likely exposed to these harmful herbicides. The agricultural industry continues to say that these chemicals are safe for limited, one-time acute exposures at certain levels. However, there have been no scientific studies that have evaluated the health impacts on humans when combining these chemicals together. In addition, people who are living in homes that have been contaminated are being constantly exposed over time, as the residues are found on the walls, cabinets, furniture, and carpets. HC&S continues to spray near Paia Elementary School and this area still needs to be tested. A local group called Maui’s Dirty Little Secrets group revealed five different samples taken from one house, each from a different location in the home.

Leaders have joined with the locals in urging Paia residents to immediately call the Paia Elementary School principal as well as state Sens. Kalani and Baker to protect Hawaii residents from further health threats caused by overspraying.”

This statement is horrifying. The presence of these chemicals is a warning of almost imminent danger. Evangelos Valliantos, a former EPA employee of 29 years, recently wrote an article on the EPA’s failed tactics to manage toxic chemicals. 

Valliantos shows how 2,4-D, one of the chemicals found in these Paia homes is  a known toxin and the safety studies for many chemicals are completely fraudulent and falsified. 

In Valliantos’ book Poison Spring, he says "the EPA should know better. In many instances, EPA couldn't trust the data of the chemical industry. For example, pesticide companies funded fraudulent testing of their chemicals for decades. A scientist of the Federal Drug Administration, Adrian Gross, discovered that fraud in 1976.”

Over a long period of time, many of these chemicals have been proven harmful in a multitude of ways like destroying gut bacteria and weakening the immune system. They also cause sex hormone changes, birth defects, miscarriages, DNA mutation, liver and kidney damage, reproductive organ mutations and more.

This is why Monsanto spent more than 8 million dollars on one county of Maui, to prevent an initiative to require a moratorium on GMO open air test plots until tests proved these chemical safe. They knew they couldn't or their GMO farming industry in Hawaii would be over.

The residents exposed to the 90 chemicals in 63 combinations that are sprayed up to 19 times a day, impact citizens, especially children, which could be permanently altered by the presence of these chemicals.

We all could be.

The fact is that these chemicals are not just in these resident's living room window sills in Hawaii. Many of these chemicals are on our food and in our homes in other parts of the country because we’ve allowed GMO chemical farming.

The uncomfortable reality is that the reason why these pesticides are being reported in Maui neighborhoods is because the GMO chemical companies want to spray them on our food all over the world. 

They don’t wash off, dry off, or cook off. 

We eat them, and our children eat them. These GMO test plots are where the chemical companies test and plan the chemical combinations to be sprayed on new GMOs. Many of these same chemical combinations are already being sprayed on our current GMOs, which make up 85-100% of crops like corn, soy, sugar, cottonseed oil, canola oil and smaller percentages of apples, potatoes, squash and bananas. 

So this horrifying evidence of Hawaiians being poisoned in their own homes from pesticide residue is not only impactful because we feel for them and want justice for them. It’s also horrifying because what is happening to them is a glimpse of what is happening to all of us in North America and in many other parts around the world. 

We are ALL consuming toxic chemicals on our food. Even those of us who are eating organic foods, because of drift and pollution in the air, water, soil and fertilizers. We are being poisoned by GMO chemical farming. Now is the time to stand up, speak up, and say no, in Hawaii and around the world. 

It has to stop now.

Zen Honeycutt is founder of Moms Across America