Crops and Pesticides on Kaua‘i

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The JFF Study Group has issued its final report: Pesticide Use by Large Agribusinesses on Kaua‘i

There are a total of five documents available for download: the report, 2 appendices, a compilation of the public comments received, and the transmittal letter by Peter Adler to Director of the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, Scott Enright, and Mayor of Kaua‘i, Bernard Carvalho.

Be aware that some of the files are large and may take some time to download. Please be patient.

Transmittal Letter
Appendix 1
Appendix 2
Public Comments

A project description is available for general information.

The issue of genetically modified (GM) agricultural production has generated many questions and considerable emotion. One of the debates focuses on the possible adverse health and environmental impacts from pesticides used in conjunction with growing GM crops. Sorting out facts – what we know and can say with reasonable confidence, what we don’t know and what we might reasonably need to know in the future – is challenging, but not impossible.

Peter S. Adler and members of The ACCORD3.0 Network have been asked by the Hawai‘i State Department of Agriculture (HDOA)  and Kaua‘i Mayor Bernard Carvalho to conduct a joint fact finding project on the island of Kaua‘i. The project will commence approximately January 1, 2015 and is expected to conclude within a year of its official start.

Why is this necessary?

Thus far, debates over pesticides and other related issues have been pursued primarily through litigation, legislative proposals, and political lobbying. Missing from the picture have been safe spaces where people with knowledge and goodwill who may disagree with each other can meet review, discuss, interpret evidence, and deliberate. The JFF will provide a forum for rigorous consideration, evidence-based debate, and collective fact-finding.

What is JFF?

Joint Fact Finding is an analytic deliberation process designed to gather and interpret facts pertinent to a specific problem. The overall goals of any JFF are to illuminate the factual assumptions behind a controbersy, map areas of factual agrrement that all parties can respect, put those areas in a proper context, and help inform policy. A JFF may also identify specific questions and issues to be further assessed in separate studies. For more in-depth explanations, read our materials.

What will this effort do?

Based on an examination of available literature and data sources, the JFF group will, to the best of its abilities, undertake a broad examination of where GM and other production scale crops are grown on Kaua‘i, the historic and current use of pesticides on Kaua‘i, the historic and current use of pesticides on Kaua‘i, the prevalence of acute and chronic health conditions occurring on Kaua‘i at levels that are above state- or nation-wide rates, and any evidence of environmental contamination that can reasonably and empirically be associated with the use of pesticides. The JFF group will not produce original research.

How will this project work?

Before the project commences, the Project Director and his team will assemble a preliminary inventory of existing pertinent studies and other baseline information. It will be further refined during the JFF process. Simultaneously, interviews with 15-25 people will be conducted on Kaua‘i to identify a) potential specific pesticide-related questions to be flagged for possible study, and b) the potential expertise that is available on Kaua‘i and needed for an effective JFF group.

The JFF group will convene for an anticipated set of 8 meetings over a 12-month period with teleconferences taking place between meetings. At least two of these meetings will welcome respectful comments and questions from the public. Members of the group and the project team will be required to openly declare conflicts of interest (see all Conflict of Interest forms here).

The public is cordially invited to submit:

1. Names of persons who

know the Island’s communities and landscapes and/or have detailed understandings of agriculture, environmental health, epidemiology, toxicology, biostastics, medicine, public health or other related disciplines

*With submission, include

indication that they may be willing to speak to the JFF team

their contact information

their biographical profile or curriculum vitae

2. Citations and references on

1. relevant studies, preferably peer-reviewed articles published in major scientific journals

2. data or possible data-sources on Kaua‘i-specific agricultural land use, pesticide use, health impacts, and environmental pollution and contamination that could be linked to GM pesticides.

E-mail with any submissions or questions.

More information can be found in the complete project description.