Pesticidemakers in paradise

To many, Hawai’i is a veritable paradise on earth. But trouble has been brewing as the Big 6 pesticide and biotech companies have begun staking their claim on the islands.

“Pesticide corporations and their seed companies are consuming Kauai’s resources — especially land and water — at dramatic rates,” reports PAN staff member Paul Towers. Last week, Towers toured the island of Kauai with members of Hawai’i SEED to learn first-hand about the community group’s efforts to challenge Monsanto & Co. head on, and to advance their alternative vision of healthy farming systems. 

At least five of the Big 6 — BASF, Dow, Dupont, Monsanto and Syngenta — have some presence on the island. Their experimental corn rows cover the western side of Kauai, with fields abutting homes and schools. This proximity to residents has spurred Hawaiians to question and challenge the surge in genetically engineered (GE) corn grown on the island, and the pesticides that are required to grow it.