For Immediate Release: April 9, 2015
Contact: Paul Towers, 916-216-1082
New Brief: Genetically Engineered Test Fields and Pesticides
This week marks the beginning of a much anticipated trial of DuPont-Pioneer, one of the world’s largest pesticide and genetically engineered (GE) seed corporations. The class-action lawsuit is brought by a group of residents living in Waimea, a community located on Kaua’i’s west side, who have been exposed to repeated and ongoing use of hazardous pesticides associated with the corporation’s genetically engineered seed operations.
To support an understanding of the impacts of these open-air test fields, Pesticide Action Network released a new issue brief that highlights how corporations like DuPont are driving up pesticide use and impacting communities where they conduct experimentation on genetically engineered seeds.
Based on pesticide use records made public as part of the lawsuit, the GE test fields leased by DuPont-Pioneer in Waimea have more frequent applications of pesticides in comparison to mainland farming of conventional commodity crops, with applications occurring two out of every three days. Among those pesticides used are several characterized as having “severe and significant toxicity traits,” as ranked by an independent toxicologist.
Emily Marquez, staff scientist at Pesticide Action Network said the following,
“It’s no longer a secret that genetically engineered (GE) seeds are driving up pesticide use, especially on Hawai’i, where the pesticide use records for the Waimea GE test fields in Kaua’i have indicated extremely frequent use in comparison to mainland fields. The residents in Waimea have suffered impacts on their quality of life due to increased exposure to drifting dust and drifting pesticides. Waimea residents have described witnessing drifting pesticides during applications and pesticide residues are also known to be carried on dust, as documented by researchers testing pesticide residues in agricultural communities. This is also an environmental justice issue. Communities, like Waimea, bear an undue burden posed by increased potential for pesticide exposures.”
A copy of the brief is available HERE.