×

Will lawmakers put the people before corporations?

Are our lawmakers ready to put people first and regulate restricted-use pesticides?

As a mortgage lender, I have over the past 18 months had eight clients express interest in the Kihei Kamalani subdivision. This project sits next to a Monsanto field. After becoming aware of Kamalani’s proximity to Monsanto’s fields and the risk of exposure to the open spraying of restricted-use pesticides, these clients decided to look for homes elsewhere.

Is it fair to ask people to accept hazards to their health in searching for an affordable home?

I was raised in sugar cane camps. I am no stranger to pesticide exposure. But I had no idea just how toxic such exposure could be. I spent five months spraying my taro plots with Roundup and then cleaning up, always using masks and gloves. I experienced severe headaches, massive brain fog, muscle soreness and months of not being able to hold even limited conversations. I was diagnosed with autoimmune deficiency, chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis. I spent thousands on medical bills.

The pesticide regulation bill, SB3095sd1hd1, includes a ban on chlorpyrifos. That toxic chemical has its roots in WWII nerve agents. It shouldn’t be anywhere near our keiki. Advocates will rally at the state Capitol at noon on Monday to ask legislators to finally deliver the common-sense regulations that the community has been demanding for years. Will they?

Tera Lyn Ha’aheoohonua Paleka

Wailuku