Agricultural companies on Kaua’i begin voluntary pesticide-use disclosure program

For the last two weeks, agricultural companies on Kauai have been rolling out the new Good Neighbor Program, a voluntary pesticide-use disclosure program organized as an alternative to Article 22 (formerly Bill 2491). Two of the companies involved, Syngenta and DuPont Pioneer, have already started reaching out to local schools that fall within the 1,000 foot notification zone. Article 22 would require the agricultural companies to disclose all pesticide use, offer weekly information updates and create 500-foot buffer zones or face criminal charges. In contrast, companies under the Good Neighbor Program would disclose only restricted-use pesticides, offer monthly updates and decrease the pesticide buffer zone to 100 feet.

Opponents believe that Article 22, which  is scheduled to go into effect in August 2014, is “legally flawed.” Singling out certain activities for disclosure “under the convenient notion of ‘right to know’ suggests the public should be worried about those activities,” writes Dow AgroSciences in a recent statement.

Environmental and anti-biotech activists do not think that the voluntary program is good enough, calling it “insulting” and a “last ditch effort to derail the county’s efforts.” Andrea Brower, a social justice advocate and PhD candidate, who has written on the controversy before, says that because the program is voluntary, it “is insufficient and comes without guarantees.”

Read the full, original story here: Disclosure begins

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