September 11, 2008

Cocktail Anyone?

"Inerts" (Part 2)

A Case Study of a Week-Long Pesticide Cocktail

Recap: on January 25, 2008, more than 60 students at Waimea Canyon Middle School reported to the health room with complaints of nausea, dizziness, itcy eyes, sore throat, and labored breathing(1). Many reported smelling a noxious fuel-like odor. Responding emergency services personnel took 12 students and 1 teacher to the Kauai Veterans Memorial Hospital ER for treatment of acute symptoms ranging from difficulty breathing, violent vomiting, dizziness, tremors, and extreme headache. Classrooms were evacuated to the library which is a contained environment with a central air conditioning system. Representatives from state and county agencies as well as agribusiness converged upon the campus in an effort to determine the cause of the noxious odor and sickness. By 4pm that same day the Honolulu Advertiser reported that "officials" determined the culprit odor (and consequent sickness) to be caused by several piles of dead Cleome Gynandra located along the campus western boarder in field #809 (1). Many were surprised by this speedy conclusion given the magnitude of the incident; the benign nature of the weed, and the lack of anyone effected reporting that the odor they smelled was "Wild Spider Flower," an odor many on campus are familiar with.

CLICK HERE: The following is an ingredient list of the pesticide cocktail that was applied by Syngenta Seeds Inc. to field #809 during the week leading up to the January 25, 2008 incident (2).

Syngenta pesticide application data was provided by the Department of Agriculture (3).

1. YouTube Video: "The Day After, 01-26-08"
2. "A Case Study of a Week-Long Pesticide Cocktail"
3. Dept. of Agriculture Inspection Report: 01-28-09, 02-08-08,02-09-08

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