In an effort to promote open dialogue and greater understanding of its farming practices and products, Monsanto Hawaii said Monday that it is increasing its farm tours, holding community meetings and forums and having programs to promote a better understanding of the company.
According to a news release from the company, Monsanto is a "global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity and food quality."
Monsanto has operations on Maui, Molokai and Oahu.
"We understand that people are protective of their families and the islands and would like to know more about how the lands are being protected by Monsanto Hawaii," said Fred Perlak, vice president at Monsanto Hawaii. "While we have been good farmers and good stewards of the land, we recognize that we can do more to be better listeners as well. We are going to change that."
Today at 9 a.m., the Maui County Council Policy and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee will hear testimony on a bill regarding pesticides and genetically modified organisms. The meeting will be held in the Council Chambers at the Kalana O Maui building in Wailuku. No legislative action will be taken. Although the bill does not name Monsanto, the company will be affected if the bill is passed.
The measure, introduced by Council Member Elle Cochran, aims to establish mandatory disclosure requirements for commercial agricultural companies that purchase or use certain quantities of pesticides or possess genetically modified organisms. It also seeks to establish pesticide buffer zones and penalties and other provisions to enforce the ordinance.
Monsanto Hawaii has set up a specific Hawaii Web portal (monsantohawaii.com) to allow people to learn about Monsanto and to ask questions of the company. Tour requests and information may be obtained at www.monsantohawaii.com/contact.