Readers may not be aware that Monsanto and other GMO/AgChem companies have picked Hawai’i for their experiments. The thinking is that if something goes horribly wrong, the effects will be confined on a small chain of islands 2,400 miles from any continent.
Of course the residents of Hawai’i are not so happy to be the guinea pigs.
Hawai’i has seen a 12% decline in rainfall in the last 20 years and Big Ag (Monsanto and sugar plantations) has siphoned the majority of water at a time when populations are increasing. This creates water shortages. Add that to the contamination of many of the Oahu and Maui aquifers from agricultural chemicals (used mostly on pineapple and a lesser extent on sugar) and the water situation is critical.
The state Water Commission, a board appointed by the Governor, controls water allotments. Just recently Monsanto was turned down in their requests for more water on Maui and Oahu in two separate decisions. But it was a squeaker. If the two new water commissioners, slated for appointment by a nominating committee containing a Monsanto lobbyist, favor Monsanto, that decision will go the other way in the future.
To put things in perspective, the County of Maui controls only about 9% of the water on the island of Maui – Big Ag controls the rest.
Enter Senator Malama Solomon, Big Island state senator and recipient of thousands of dollars of Monsanto campaign donations. As chair of the Water and Land committee, the Senate President asked her guidance in appointing a member of the nominating committee. She choose a Monsanto lobbyist – singing his praises for having “expertise.”
Yeah – expertise in creating agricultural chemicals like those which poisoned a large number of Hawai’i aquifers. Expertise in taking and using water. But in watershed management? Hydrology? Geology? Ecology? Not so much.
Hawai’i imports over 90% of its food despite its ideal growing conditions. One reason is that both major agricultural corporations grow for export: sugar and GMO seeds. Putting representatives of these rapacious corporations on the water board is an ethics violation that anyone outside of Hawai’i would instantly recognize.
But in Hawai’i ethics means playing ball with the big land owners. That’s a subject for a future post, though.