The appointment of Representative Clift Tsuji, who was named Biotech Legislator of the Year by the world's largest biotech trade organization, is a clear conflict of interest. Rep. Tsuji has taken over $15,000 from chemical+GE biotech companies and their lobbyists and has clearly aligned with an industry with a well documented history of poisoning communities. The GE+chemical biotech industry is currently under heavy questioning and scrutiny for failure to comply with health and environmental safety studies, pesticide disclosure and buffer zones.
The chemical biotech industry uses Hawaii as an outdoor laboratory and we are subjected to up to ten times the national average of pesticides and GE field spraying 7 out of 10 days a year. Thousands of residents across the Hawaiian Islands have protested, testified, written, voted and engaged public process seeking justice and protection from this industry. We recently passed a GMO moratorium in Maui County despite more than $8 million raised by the chemical and GE industry to avoid health and environmental safety tests.
We know from past experience that Rep. Tsuji is loyal to the chemical and genetic engineering companies like Monsanto, Dow, Pioneer/DuPont, BASF and Syngenta as he has been awarded for blocking any regulation of their industry. These companies are linked to hundreds of superfund sites, abandoned lands due to hazardous waste and have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements to poisoned communities. The EPA does not test pesticides prior to approval, nor does the USDA or FDA test GMO crops for safety prior to approval or permitting. We have no faith in the ability of Rep. Clift Tsuji to Chair an Agriculture committee without undue bias toward the chemical+GE industry and a clear conflict of interest.
Hawaii was recently mocked by national comedian John Oliver for permitting massive conflicts of interest in the House of Representatives. We request that you please restore public trust in the Hawaii House, by appointing someone else who has not been awarded and heavily funded by the chemical and GE industry Hawaii constituents have serious concerns about.
Please avoid this serious conflict of interest and do not appoint Representative Clift Tsuji as the House Agriculture Chair.
Mahalo nui and aloha aina.