Stab Magazine | Kauai Mayor vetoes GMO Bill, Dustin Barca ain't giving up

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Kauai Mayor vetoes GMO Bill, Dustin Barca ain’t giving up

By Elliot Struck For corporations like Monsanto, the island of Kauai has kinda become ground zero for pesticide testing and the engineering and development of GMOs (genetically-modified organisms). Which is unacceptable on every level and something that the people of Kauai ain’t standing for. Dustin Barca is one of those people. Every moment that Dustin’s […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

By Elliot Struck

For corporations like Monsanto, the island of Kauai has kinda become ground zero for pesticide testing and the engineering and development of GMOs (genetically-modified organisms). Which is unacceptable on every level and something that the people of Kauai ain’t standing for.

Dustin Barca is one of those people. Every moment that Dustin’s not surfing, MMA fighting, newly running the Oakley house at Off The Wall or being an awesome family man, he’s trying to stop the corporations spraying death dust over the place he loves. In this fight, the best weapon is Bill 2491. The bill would remove the cloak behind which the corps test chemicals, unchecked, as well as enforce buffering between testing sites and residents. But this morning, news broke that the Mayor of Kauai vetoed the bill. “I have always said I agree with the intent of this bill,” the Mayor said. “However, I believe strongly that this bill is legally flawed. That being the case, I had no choice but to veto.”

While he’s understandably rattled, Dustin was articulate, passionate and resolved as ever when Stab spoke with him…

Stab: You got some bad news this morning.
Dustin: Oh yeah, we did. The Mayor of Kauai vetoed bill 2491. I’m still in Oahu, just checking in for a flight back to Kauai right now, but all my associates went to meet with the mayor in Kauai this morning, and they’d already seen the GMO people had come in before them with the singing sheet. So we already kinda knew what was up. The corruption… it’s super heavy. But I think our county council’s gonna override it. So, we’ll see. It’s pretty crazy though, we’re kinda just baffled cause we’ve been working real hard at this for like six months.

And it all hinges on the bill? The bill gives us full transparency on what chemicals they’re spraying and where they’re doing it. That’s why we’re fighting so hard, for our right to know that. And they must have something to hide if they’re fighting it that hard too. The bill also puts buffers around schools, communities and hospitals, which isn’t a bad thing to ask for. Some of the fields are right next to schools. We’d be able to put buffers up, be it growing big plants there or whatever, just to block some of the dust. ‘Cause the dust they spray with all the chemicals is going all over the community and everybody’s getting sick. They’re trying to figure out a way where they can work together with the companies, but this is the best way we could fight it. The fact of the matter is they’re the biggest chemical companies in the world, creating the food sources, y’know what I mean? All the companies are invested in each other’s companies. So, every time they use each other’s poison, they’re making money. They’re spraying six times more poison on Kauai than anywhere else in the country. It went from GMO, which is a heavy trip, but from everything we’ve learned, it’s turned into a poison bill, ’cause they’re spraying crazy amounts of chemicals, which are already seeping into our water sources and killing our reefs and natural resources.

Oh, so it’s actually a poison bill? Yeah, it’s an anti-pesticides bill. It also lets us know what experimental crops they’re doing. ‘Cause they admitted to us that they’re doing 2,4–D crops that genetically-enhances the plant, and they’re testing how much 2,4–D they can spray on the plant. And, 2,4–D is the main ingredient in Agent Orange. They admitted to using that, and that’s just one of many restricted-use pesticides they’re using. They’re using around 100 different pesticides.

Where to from here? We’re working on the next step already. We’re pushing for the county council to override it, and we’re gonna put on the biggest march in history. If county council don’t override it we can sue our county. The whole island… it’d just make the county look like the worst humans on earth. It’s all the people on the island fighting it, so this is almost political suicide by the mayor. Something’s gonna happen, we’re just not sure yet ’cause this is the first day. But something’s gonna happen that changes the tide.

If a new mayor who’s sympathetic to your cause is elected, thing will change? The next mayor election is in about a year. The campaign is about to start. I think some conscious-minded human is gonna step up to the plate.

It should be you… We’ll see. This has kinda motivated me to do it. Just to show that guy.

Stab will back your campaign! Mayor Barca! Right on.


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