There has been much speculation circulating among the members of the local community that Senator Jill Tokuda of Kailua has disregarded the hearing for the bill on discontinuing the use of pesticide among buffer zones. These buffer zones include nearby schools and other delicate areas. If this continues, the potential victims will suffer the consequences. Peaceful advocates that supported the Protect Our Keiki Coalition expressed their disappointment. The dissatisfied demonstrators hung their heads as soon as they found the senator’s action and her lack of willpower to appoint a hearing on this bill.
Because of its chemical nature, pesticides have produced harmful effects on people particularly young children. Short term effects of exposure to pesticide can range from as minor as headaches and nausea to long term effects such as internal organ damage. These include the reproductive and endocrinal areas. Some pesticides are carcinogens meaning they are responsible for increasing the risk for cancer. Studies have concluded that there is a link between children exposed to deposits of pesticide on fruits and vegetables and a high risk of developing attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Her actions have been questionable considering she stated that she wants to make improving school conditions a priority according to her interview on her candidacy for Hawaii State Senate, District 24. Her action of simply putting the bill aside does not reflect these intentions. Using pesticide around sensitive areas like school can have a direct and devastating impact on children as many of them spend time playing outside.
It has been suspected that there has been exchange of money between Tokuda and three major corporations that specialize in agriculture and agrochemicals. Many believe it was because of this that had caused her to disregard the buffer zone bill. However, without the necessary evidence and witnesses stepping to the spotlight, this issue cannot be completely verified.
This issue cannot be easily forgotten and certainly taint her political career as heads bend down and shake in disapproval. Some have taken it and expressed it negatively to social media. One man calls Senator Tokuda’s action as “blatant and disgusting conflict of interest”.