Kauai: GMOs and pesticides are dangerous | Photo: Surfrider

In 2013, Kauai adopted Ordinance 960 to protect the health and welfare of its people and natural environment, including its renowned shorelines, from problems associated with pesticide exposure.

But five seed companies - Syngenta Seeds, Syngenta Hawaii, Pioneer, Agrigenetics and BASF - fought the bill, and the district court found state law preempted the ordinance.

Now, Surfrider Foundation, Earthjustice, Center for Food Safety, Pesticide Action Network and Ka Makani Ho'opono are appealing the decision.

Ordinance 960 mandates the posting of warning signs that conform to worker protection standards and requires the distribution of notices to inform nearby persons of the type of pesticides used and the time and location of use.

The buffer zone provisions of the ordinance create protective barriers where pesticides cannot be used around shorelines, schools, day care centers, hospitals, nursing homes, dwellings, public roadways, and other sensitive areas.

Atrazine, which has been linked to serious human health impacts even at low levels, is a known water contaminant and is also one of the restricted use pesticides most used on Kauai.

Atrazine is also known to negatively impact aquatic species. Ordinance 960 is important for keeping Kauai's oceans, waves, and beaches safe and clean for everyone to enjoy.