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Poisoning paradise

Poisoning paradise

Journey to the seemingly idyllic world of Native Hawaiians, where communities are surrounded by experimental test-sites and where pesticides sprayed upwind of their neighborhoods. Poisoning Paradise details the ongoing struggle to advance bold new legislation governing the fate of their island home.

In an attempt to diversify an economy that was overly reliant on tourism, policymakers in both Hawaii and Washington DC encouraged the world’s largest biotech companies to utilize Kauai’s favorable climate and fertile soil to test genetically engineered seeds and crops. Corporations including Syngenta, DuPont Pioneer, BASF, and Dow Agrosciences have since applied hundreds of tons of Restricted-Use (RU) pesticides on thousands of acres across the Garden Island’s West Side, the traditional homeland of an indigenous and disenfranchised population.

Interviews with local residents, scientists, and healthcare professionals reveal the hardships and ecological dangers of intensive and continuous pesticide application and the environmental injustice thrust upon people living in one of the most sacred, biologically unique and diverse locations on earth. Award-winning investigative journalist Paul Kolberstein describes Kauai as “one of the most toxic agricultural environments in all of American agriculture”.

As champions of a grassroots movement to make Kauai County Bill 2491 law, local activists battle political corruption, corporate bullying, and systematic concealment by the agrochemical industry.

Although Kauai’s plight might seem like a local issue, this debate is, in fact, raging around the world as country after country is becoming concerned about pesticides, the future of food and of sustainable farming practices.

Due to copyright restrictions, this video can only be viewed on RT’s live feed. Time of broadcast is available on RT’s schedule page.

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