Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    S.B. No. 778

       S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Twenty-Ninth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2017

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Ways and Means, to which was referred S.B. No. 778 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to appropriate funds to implement the findings and recommendations of the Pesticide Use by Large Agribusinesses on Kaua'i report.


     Your Committee received written comments in support of this measure from IMUAlliance, Hawaii Alliance for Progressive Action, Hawaii Center for Food Safety, GMO Free Kauai, Shaka Movement, Ka Lahui Hawaii Political Action Committee, and eighty-six individuals.


     Your Committee received written comments in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association, Ponoholo Ranch Limited, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Hawaii Cattlemen's Council, CropLife America, and two individuals.


     Your Committee received written comments on this measure from the Department of Agriculture and the Western Plant Health Association.


     Your Committee finds that in 2013, the County of Kauai passed Ordinance No. 960 relating to pesticides and genetically modified organisms.  The ordinance contained a provision to create a Joint Fact Finding Group to help address key environmental and public health questions related to large-scale commercial agriculture entities that use pesticides and genetically modified organisms on the island of Kauai.  In 2014, the ordinance was overturned in federal court, which prompted the Department of Agriculture and the Kauai County Office of the Mayor to contract an independent public policy group, The ACCORD 3.0 Network, to facilitate the Joint Fact Finding Group project.  The group was charged with gathering accurate information on the lands used by seed companies and Kauai Coffee, their pesticide usage, and evidence of any possible adverse health and environmental impacts.


     Your Committee further finds that on May 25, 2016, the study group issued its findings in a report titled Pesticide Use by Large Agribusinesses on Kaua'i.  The study group arrived at the following conclusions regarding health and environmental impacts on the west side of Kauai:


(1)  The Kauai health data examined is very limited and does not show a causal relationship between the pesticides used by the seed companies and health problems found on the west side or any other part of Kauai; and


(2)  There needs to be additional data gathering going forward to continue to demonstrate the impacts of agricultural pesticide use.


     Your Committee has amended this measure by:


(1)  Changing the amount appropriated in fiscal year 2017-2018 and fiscal year 2018-2019 from $3,000,000 to an unspecified amount; and


(2)  Changing the effective date to March 9, 2092, to facilitate further discussion on the measure.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Ways and Means that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 778, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Third Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 778, S.D. 1.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Ways and Means,