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GMO crops on Monsanto fields in Kihei

GMO Seed Giant releases 2015 Memorandum of Understanding Voluntary Maui County reporting includes Restricted Use Pesticides details

In a follow-up to our March 6th MAUIWatch interview with Kai Pelayo, the new Monsanto Maui community affairs director, Pelayo forwarded a 32-page update to the company’s Memorandum of Understanding with the County of Maui for the year 2015.

According to the document, the details of the agreement include information sharing, quarterly meetings, and an annual report that calls for “voluntary reporting” and a summary of activities.

The 2015 document says that Monsanto has conducted agricultural activities in Hawaii for 50 years and its seed crop industry generates an economic value of over $550 million in direct and indirect economic contributions and approx. $30 million in tax revenues each year.

“Collectively,” the memorandum said, “seed companies like Monsanto employ approx. 1,400 residents in Hawaii….These jobs represent about 33 percent of all jobs generated by Hawaii’s agricultural sector.” The company estimated it used about 2 percent of 193,727 agriculturally designated acres in Maui County in 2015.

The sections most likely to be closely read by Monsanto friends and foes alike include page 17 pesticide, pages 21-23 integrated pest management, and Restricted Use Pesticides (RUP) beginning on page 24. A list of 2015 RUP usage for liquid and granular products can be found on page 26.

The 2015 report ends with several pages citing bio technology references and resources.

Though the agreement between the County and Monsanto requires an annual report to be delivered to the county withing the first 60 days of each year covering activities in the prior year, the county only recently posted this information on its website, we could not find it on the company’s Hawaii site Monsanto.

MAUIWatch welcomes comments and reactions to the adequacy of this document and whether voluntary reporting is sufficient to protect the public interest.

To read our March 6, 2016 report on Pelayo and his new post click on
http://mauiwatch.com/2016/03/kai-pelayo-new-community-affairs-manager-for-maui-monsanto/

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About Susan Halas

Susan Halas is a Senior Political Contributor at MAUIWatch. She has followed Hawaii politics since 1976 when she moved to the Valley Isle. She was formerly a staff writer for the Maui News as well as other local print and digital publications.

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