Big 6 undermine Hawaii’s ‘right to know’

This month, the pesticide industry has been showing its muscle in Hawaii. The “Big 6”  seed and pesticide corporations — and their front groups — have undermined two public efforts to provide better information about pesticides and genetically engineered (GE) seeds and foods.

Industry successfully undermined two GE-related bills in the state legislature. One requires labeling of genetically engineered foods. The other requires pesticide applicators to keep track of and report use of hazardous pesticides, providing valuable data on how much GE crops are driving up the use of pesticides. But both are now much weaker than they started out.

Through extensive lobbying and public relations, DuPont, Monsanto and the so-called Hawaii Crop Improvement Association (an arm of CropLife) convinced legislators to amend the bills so that it would be decades before people would get information on pesticide use. And labeling would be limited to GE crops from other places.

The weaker bills are being taken up in additional House committees later this week before they move on to the Senate for consideration.

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