The medical community has expressed overwhelming support for Bill 2491, with many doctors and nurses coming forward with concerns about illnesses that appear noticeably higher in communities living near agro-chemical/GMO operations. For example:
Dr. Lee Evslin, a pediatrician and retired CEO of Wilcox Memorial Hospital and Kauai Medical Clinic, says that "Research shows pesticide links to delays in neurological development, endocrine abnormalities, behavioral issues and an increase in childhood cancers such as leukemia. Why wouldn't you have buffers around schools? Why wouldn't you have knowledge about what's being sprayed?"
Sample Teacher's Testimony:
Felicia Villalobos, Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) Kauai Chapter Vice-President says that, "Teachers believe that it is critical that students learn in schools that are free from the effects of proven biological hazards that cause harm to children and adults. This is a collective policy that has been abetted by both the National Educational Association (NEA) and the Hawaii State Teachers Association members."
Sample Science Testimony:
Dr. Carl Berg of Surfrider Foundation expresses concern that, "Atrazine, other pesticides and surfactants have been found in streams and nearshore waters even though best management practices were supposedly used. No more should contaminate our waters. We need full disclosure to study the impacts these chemicals are having on our soil, water and wildlife."
The Hawaii Nurses Association, Local 5 Hawaii, the HSTA and the Hawaii Farmers Union have all endorsed Bill 2491.
Sample Union Testimony:
Local 5 said in a statement, "As a labor organization, we understand the importance of protecting good jobs for our local people. We also recognize that we need to take control of our health and the long-term economic sustainability of our communities. Hawaii is our home, and it can be a place for us to continue to work, play and raise our families."
Local farmers and beekeepers also strongly support Bill 2491. Sample Testimonies:
Westside taro farmer and retired fire captain John Aana says he and other concerned residents are marching because, "Our residents are suffering from health problems, our land and waters are being contaminated, leaving a wasted environment for our grandchildren."
Louisa Wooton of Kauai Kunana Dairy says that, "As farmers, we know how important healthy soil is to our island's long-term food security and economic well-being. We are also very concerned that bees, which are critical to the food supply, are being affected by these pesticides. As an organic farm inspector, I have seen first-hand beekeepers in the State lose their ability to sell certified organic honey because their forage areas have been compromised by neighboring GMO fields."
Stephanie Krieger, owner of Nani Moon Meadery, says, "As a small business that relies on both local fruit and honey products and a strong visitor economy, I will be marching with other business owners in strong support of Bill 2491. Visitors who come in to my store are in disbelief about pesticide use on the island, and many people have continued to email me about their concerns even after leaving the island."
Mothers, Surfers, and all of Kaua'i will march on September 8 to support Bill 2491.
Hoku Cabebe says, "I am marching because as a mother I'm concerned about the safety of my child, and as a Hawaiian I'm concerned about the safety of the `aina."
Dustin Barca, pro-surfer, pro-fighter and director of `Ohana o Kauai said, "We are marching because the time is now to make positive changes for the future health of our children and natural resources."
More Sample Testimonies (excerpts)
Why wouldn't you have buffers around schools? Why wouldn't you have knowledge about what's being sprayed?
- Dr. Lee Evslin
Pediatrician and retired CEO of Wilcox Memorial Hospital and Kauai Medical Clinic
Teachers believe that it is critical that students learn in schools that are free from the effects of proven biological hazards that cause harm to children and adults.
- Dr. Felicia Villalobos
Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA) Kauai Chapter Vice President