May 1, 2010

Malama I Ka Honua

"Cherish the Earth" - Journal of the Sierra Club, Hawaii Chapter

Malama I Ka Honua, a quarterly newsletter published by the Sierra Club in it's most recent issue recognized Maluhia Group for it's efforts. Maluhia Group members were named Pono award recipients for their work which resulted in an end to the spraying of chlorpyrifos and organophosphate pesticides on agricultural lands adjacent Waimea Canyon Middle School. Since pesticide application ceased there have been no "spikes" of illness indicative of pesticide exposure to students or staff. Previous illness "spikes" were attributed to the benign weed Cleome Gynandra by state, federal, and corporate investigators without scientific investigation despite illness symptoms being verbatim M.S.D.S. of known applied pesticides. Maluhia Group members continue their Community Based Participatory Research Project in an effort to:
  1. Determine the concentration of pesticides in the air at Waimea Canyon Middle School
  2. Review school health records, weather data, and known application dates to evaluate possible correlations of illness "spike" events with pesticide exposure.
  3. Use the data collected to renew a call for legislation eliminating the use of pesticides in close proximity of schools and communities.
  4. Inform the affected community and the media of the research project results.
  5. Provide free access to this data to be used as a benchmark for other communities addressing similar challenges through public forum and the Maluhia Group blog.
  6. Establish a statewide database of incidents involving pesticide drift and the adverse health effects of G.M.O. agriculture practices to individuals and the environment.
  7. Continue building the capacity to carry out advocacy work promoting viable alternatives to harmful, synthetic pesticides, by holding informative workshops, bringing in guest speakers, communicating information about pesticides to the public.

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