The health risks of Monsanto’s pesticides – Mark Sheehan, Ph.D. Educator and health advocate – Maui News


Chemicals have negative effects

January 31, 2014


Ask your grandparents if respiratory ailments were common when they were growing up. Ask how often they heard about cancer, autism, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, asthma and allergies. Did they ever hear of ADD or ADHD?

Chemicals came into our lives 100 years ago and showed up on farms about 60 years ago.

Then, 50 years ago, Rachel Carson published “Silent Spring,” which revealed how DDT was an endocrine disrupter that interferes with hormonal function of estrogen and testosterone. Persistent in the environment, it magnifies in intensity as it bioaccumulates, ending up in humans.

It is just such effects that the manufacturers do their best to hide from farmworkers and the public, often covering up the risks and harm for decades.

This has been true for DDT, glyphosate (Roundup), atrazine, 2, 4-D and DBCP. Organochlorines like aldrin and dieldrin are extremely persistent and accumulate in fatty tissue. Workers chronically exposed to pesticides show deficits in cognitive function. Recent evidence suggests that some pesticides cause developmental neurotoxicity at very lower doses.

In 2009, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. reported using 16 different pesticides including atrazine, Roundup and several other glyphosate strains. Only a few homeowners know that people can request the Department of Health to wipe down a home after HC&S sprays. The few who did got back reports showing the same pesticides sprayed in the fields wound up on their kitchen counters.

Maui Pineapple Co. was permitted to use DBCP long after all other counties in the U.S. had been forced to discontinue its use. While Maui Pine is long gone, the DBCP remains in our aquifers. How many other pesticides are in our aquifers? Who will test those waters?

The newest corporate farm operator is Monsanto, which has more than 1,000 acres on Molokai and hundreds on Maui. Famous as the company that manufactured PCBs and Agent Orange and covered up their human and environmental harm, Monsanto now bills itself as a life science company deploying patented seeds to save the world. It could begin by saving field workers from contamination when using the wide range of restricted-use pesticides it employs and telling the rest of us what, where, when and how much of these pesticides are applied.

What about oversight and protection by the state? Kauai County Council Member Gary Hooser explained: “The DOH has shown no regular, consistent, systematic testing of soil, water or air in the vicinity of these industrial operations . . . and the Department of Agriculture has shown by its past action and inaction that it’s not equipped or interested in accepting the responsibility. The DOA does not even know what pesticides are used, how much is used, nor where they are being used. On Kauai, companies that apply pesticides 250 times per year might be inspected by the DOA seven.”

Meanwhile, people on Kauai’s west side are reporting serious illnesses. Physicians testify that their patients have 10 times the national rate of certain rare birth defects. See And now mothers on Molokai are reporting a wide variety of health problems amid fears for the health of the sustainable economy there as clouds of pesticides drift into their homes and down over the fishponds. South Maui residents complain of headaches, nausea and respiratory problems. Some report smelling bubble gum, the scent used to mask the pesticides’ smell.

The governor may think Hawaii’s future is in seeds and our mayor might support agriculture until it’s proved unsafe, but we need to stop risking our health for corporate profits. We must be aggressively proactive now to protect our families and the environment. This is a county responsibility.

Thanks to the foresight of Council Member Elle Cochran, there is a bill that is now being heard in Council Chambers. It is a reasonable first step based on the bill that Kauai passed in December. Maui deserves the same level of protection.

Take time to study the bill and learn more about the health risks of Monsanto’s pesticides. Then talk to your neighbors and lawmakers.

* Mark Sheehan, Ph.D., is an educator and health advocate. He manages an organic farm in Haiku.


Letter to Mayor Kenoi

December 4, 2013

Dear Mayor Kenoi,

Many mahalos for passing bill 113 and especially for you remarks about protecting your precious island and supporting community-based farming.

I hope our mayor will wise up to the danger of GMOs and the callous disregard Monsanto has for our people and the aina; and we all hope that he can see the future of Maui and Hawaii is not in “seeds” as the Governor believes (i.e. GMO seeds), but in soil–rebuilding a regenerative and sustainable future growing food for our people instead of worthless crops that export profits and contaminate the islands.

Aloha nui loa,
Mark Sheehan
Haiku, Maui

November 22, 2013

We agree that in order to protect the health and safety of the citizens and visitors of Maui County, it is imperative to know what chemicals and poisons are being used by Monsanto.

Yet, this memorandum of understanding in no way addresses the potential damaging health effects to humans or animals caused by the various exposures to these chemicals or chemical combination cocktails.

In addition, being given a list of chemicals doesn’t address the very real issue of the probability of irreversible damage being caused to our ground water, aquifers, soils, microbiology, wildlife, environment and all the public trust resources and cultural heritage.

When long term human and animal studies have been completed, and an Environmental Impact Statement has been provided, then and only then will the citizens know what it means to have these chemicals in their lives and be able to make an informed decision as to whether or not they want these chemicals in Maui County anymore.

shaka movement
Mark Sheehan tells it like it is.

November 21, 2013


“Democracy is not a spectator sport.” ~ Tom Hartman

I’ve been asked to explain what the SHAKA Movement is. “Sustainable Hawaiian Agriculture for the Keiki and the Aina”. The bottom line: It’s about preserving paradise for future generation by reclaiming, restoring and revitalizing depleted soil, and growing healthy foods without a dependence on chemicals.

The current pressing issue is the revolt of the masses against the continuous poisoning of our soil, waters and air and all the creatures that depend on them for life. Seems the field workers have been reading the warning labels of chemicals they spray on the HC&S fields and the Monsanto workers are doing the same.

There are growing health concerns in the Filipino community who comprise many of the field workers. While the corporations feel that what they spray is none of our business, consider these pesticides used on sugar: atrazine, triazine, 2,4-D (relative of agent orange), asulam, diuron, ametryn, triclopyr, oxyflurofen, metribuzin, dicamba, propiconazol, hexazinone and these glyphosate brands: Aqua Master aka Rodeo, Polado and Roundup Weather Max.

There are Hawaiian environmental and cultural activists incensed that the precious lands they love and feel called to preserve have been degraded and contaminated by decades of unconscionable AG. (“They get the profits, we get the pollution–for ever!”) They have demonstrated against Kamehameha School leasing lands to Monsanto. Learn more at:

Then there is “Molokai Moms on a Mission”. Mothers from Kauai to Molokai are both terrified and livid that their children are subject to the ill winds of Monsanto experiments. Prenatal exposure to pesticides account for reduced birth weight, allergies, asthma and lower IQ. The Biotech companies on Kauai plant crops right up to the schoolyard fence! Mom’s in Kihei claim they can smell the pesticides blowing from the Monsanto fields just mauka. There’s a short, useful guide entitled: “A Generation in Jeopardy: How pesticides are undermining our children’s health and intelligence”.

Maui county’s organic farmers are justifiably concerned that drift from Monsanto’s field will contaminate their crops. While the Maui Farmers Union United prefers to work on positive outcomes, the intense use of chemicals by Monsanto poses an increasing risk to these farmers’ health and livelihood.

While corporations don’t disclose their secret sauce, organic growers in Maui county suspect what is used by the biotechs on Kauai is used here. Check out Under “Facts” there is a list of restricted use pesticides.

Our County Council members have been hearing from the public who are asking that the county take more responsibility for our health. It is well known that one Council member is very concerned, Elle Cochran. Will Maui County follow the lead of Kauai and Hawaii counties in asking for a ban on GMOs? Hawaii Island Council passed (on first reading as pf this writing) a ban on new GMOs. Kauai County asked for buffer zones around schools and parks, signs of fields and disclosure of pesticides used. With Monsanto buying more land in central Maui, it is the

Maui Council’s responsibility to implement restrictions on where these dangerous pesticides can be used? (What about all the fugitive dust blowing down to Kihei and Wailea!)

Our tourist industry is taking notice as news of the ‘rumble in the jungle’ out here in the subtropics garners more attention in national publications: New York Times, Huffington Post, etc. Might continued publicity be bad for business? It’s great that we’re so popular with tourists, but will they still come when word gets out?

Maui’s health professionals have been meeting to share information regarding patients’ problems. They haven’t reported many antidotes; instead they maintain that prevention is the best policy. One doctor raised the ‘precautionary principle’ which basically says: “if in doubt, don’t use.” Comes now a report showing that Monsanto GM crops damage red blood cells responsible for delivering oxygen to the body. The red blood cells suffer due to a bacterium commonly used as a pesticide on Monsanto crops (Bt). This doctor wants to know if Monsanto is using Bt in their seed corn operations here.

In early October three dozen activists met to discuss tactics to use to defend and protect the aina. A few weeks later, about 150 Mauians attended a SHAKA Movement meeting to learn organizing strategies for fighting back against reckless corporate practices that endanger the public health. Many of them took part in the recent online GMO Mini-Summit that featured speakers like Vandana Shiva and Jeffrey Smith.

What chance do we have from the state legislature when we have representatives who are biotech boosters? Even the Governor is a big fan saying Hawaii’s future is in seeds (as in biotech seeds!). Auwe!

The sugar industry exported molasses and profits, and left us with contaminated soil and aquifers. The biotechs are following suit and they have the cash and the clout to dominate the debate. But the people are rising up, knowing their children’s future requires action.

Are you part of this uprising? Need to know more? Knowledge is critical.

First, get informed, then go to the SHAKA website on your smart phone

or tablet right now and find out where you can plug in. The revolution is

underway and gaining momentum daily. Learn more at:

Mark Sheehan is a real estate broker with a lifelong interest in personal and public health. He can be reached through the website.


transformational change agent, eviro activist, conscious real estate

Thank you for taking a look at my biography. I have a simple slogan that sums up who I am, “Maui’s preservation is my PASSION, real estate is my Profession.”

In addition to my 25-year practice of Real Estate on Maui, I am past president of the Maui Tomorrow foundation, a non-profit corporation dedicated to responsible planning and sound management of Maui’s Natural and cultural resources.

Through the years, I have helped many people buy and sell property on Maui, specifically homes for sale in Haiku and Maui vacant land, organic farms, retreat centers.




30 thoughts on “The health risks of Monsanto’s pesticides – Mark Sheehan, Ph.D. Educator and health advocate – Maui News

  1. How the innocent are bound to the damned. Amen.

    This is a day without
    A trace of reason
    No matter where you turn

    And the walls will fall
    Affirming nothing
    So what’s it all about?

    Call on a bright star
    Or play your hand as an intellect
    Wounds always speak too loud

    Get along for a while
    Citizen you will see
    How the innocent are bound to the damned
    What is, just is, I know
    So we’re trapped by answers
    Love haunts to the end

    Are we all to ride
    The edge of nothing?
    Shake hands if I deny

    And if they don’t know
    Their heart is stopping
    Cause everyone is right

    Get along for a while
    Citizen you will see
    How the innocent are bound to the damned
    What is, just is, I know
    So we’re trapped by answers
    Love haunts to the end

    From the moment that we’re born
    Till we’re old and tired out
    Do we ever know?

    From the moment that were born
    Till we’re old and tired out
    Do we ever know?


  2. Team Clan Mother Proof Dispute Win #chemTrails #geoEngineering #Morgellons #Music #Musica “global march against chemtrails and geoengineering” Blue Sky Clouds Sunset Nature “Chemtrails Around the World”

    Please enjoy the music. And some of these images are worthy of your attention.


  3. #Creation #evolution


    Again and again this pattern repeats itself. We see it in the early stories in Genesis about the Garden, Cain and Abel, and the journey from Seth to Enoch.

    Again we see it in the journey from Noah to Joseph.

    And again we see it in greater detail in the story of Moses and Joshua coming out of Egypt (bondage), crossing the desert (suffering and seeking), living at the foot of Mt. Sinai (rejuvenation and reconnection with things spiritual), and finally entering into the promise land.

    Then again in Saul, David and Solomon. Again in the journey from Daniel to Jeshua, and the rebuilding of the Temple.

    The pattern repeats and repeats and repeats until a major change occurs: the coming of the Messiah.

    Then, as seen in the Christian story, the Temple moves from its external place to an internal place within each of us.

    It moves from the outer physical world to the inner mental-spiritual world.

    After much testing and suffering, victory is fully realized and the temple is resurrected to life eternal.

    It is also seen in the Revelation where, after much struggle and rebirthing, Satan is bound, the Garden is regained, a new heaven and a new earth come, the Holy City and Temple are come like a new bride, and the Tree of Life is once again ours, forever — coming full circle from the loss of these things in the Garden of Genesis.

    This same pattern is found in ancient Egyptian teachings, thousands of years before the tribes of Israel.

    In The Egyptian Book of the Dead, we find references to the creation of gods and man: “One is the maker of the substance of the gods and of mankind.”

    There are references to the “sound of those that rejoice in the mighty temple.”

    There are references to a rebellion which will never be tolerated again: “the sons of the impotent revolt never again shall they rise up!”

    Just as our theology uses the serpent as a symbol of the evil one, so are there ancient Egyptian references to a struggle with the evil enemy in the form of a serpent: “May I crush the evil one, may I destroy the great serpent at his moment.”

    There are shouts of victory over the evil one, even using the imagery of binding him as the Revelation does, “Thine great enemy is given to the fire, the evil one hath fallen, he is bound.”

    Even references to the coming of the Messiah, using the Christian symbolism of the fish, “may I see the abtu fish at his season of coming into existence.”

    And these amazing descriptions of this great one: “the boy mighty, the heir of eternity, he begot and he gave birth to himself, the king of earth this prince of the netherland, president of the mountains, coming forth from the water, drawing himself from the primal mother, nursing himself, increasing his limbs.

    O god of life, lord of love, all the peoples live when thou shinest, O crowned as king of the gods.”

    There are also many references to one’s own resurrection, such as, “may I see the coming forth of my soul.”

    This clearly indicates a belief that the physical self has within it the soul self.


  4. here are a list of all the ways Monsanto has hijacked our government. monsanto if yoiu are unaware, is a company that has destroyed the agriculture of our country, driven thousands of farmers into bankruptcy, and poisoned our food supply with genetically enhanced vegetables, and poisonous chemicals. most of these people should be thrown in jail for the things they’ve done.

    David Beier
    MONSANTO POSITION: Head of Government Affairs for Genetech, (Now Monsanto)
    FEDERAL POSITION: Chief Domestic Policy Advisor to Vice President Gore

    William Conlon:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Worked for Monsanto’s Legal Team
    FEDERAL POSITION: Department of Justice

    Sam Skinner:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Worked on Monsanto’s Legal Team
    FEDERAL POSITION: Department of Justice

    Robert Fraley:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
    FEDERAL POSITION: Serves as advisor in public agencies, including the USDA, among others

    Michael A. Friedman:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Senior Vice President for Clinical Affairs at G.D. Searle &Co. (Merged with Monsanto)
    FEDERAL POSITION: Acting Commissioner of the FDA

    Marcia Hale:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Director of International Government Affairs
    FEDERAL POSITION: Assistant to President Clinton and Director of Government Affairs

    Arthur Hull Hayes:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Consultant to Searle’s (merged with Monsanto) Public Relations Firm
    FEDERAL POSITION: Previously was FDA Commissioner

    John L. Henshaw:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Director of ESH Quality & Compliance
    FEDERAL POSITION: Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of Labor

    Rob Horsch:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Vice President of Product and Technology Cooperation
    FEDERAL POSITION: Advisor to the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy

    Michael Kantor:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Board of Directors, also represented Monsanto as a lawyer
    FEDERAL POSITION: U.S. Secretary of Commerce

    Gwendolyn S. King:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Monsanto Board Member
    FEDERAL POSITION: Commissioner of SSA 1989-1992

    Richard J. Mahoney:
    MONSANTO POSITION: CEO of Monsanto for 14 years
    FEDERAL POSITION: Serves as Director of U.S. Soviet, Japanese and Korean Trade Councils, a Member of the U.S. Government Policy Committee

    Margaret Miller:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Oversaw the Approval of rBGH, was a top Monsanto scientist
    FEDERAL POSITION: In, 1991, Margaret was appointed Deputy Director of the FDA

    George Poste:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Sits on Monsanto’s Board of Directors, previously a Monsanto Animal Specialist
    FEDERAL POSITION: In 2002, Poste was appointed head of Bioterrorism division of Homeland Security

    William D. Ruckelshaus:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Member of the Monsanto Board of Directors
    FEDERAL POSITION: In 1970, he was the first Chief Administrator for the EPA, later the acting director of the FBI, then Deputy U.S. Attorney General

    Donald Rumsfeld:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Previous CEO of Searle (merged with Monsanto), he successfully had ASPARTAME legalized while in that position.
    FEDERAL POSITION: Appointed to Secretary of Defense in 1975, then appointed to Secretary of Defense again in 2002

    Suzanne Sechen:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Worked on Monsanto-funded rGBH in connection with her graduate work at Cornell University
    FEDERAL POSITION: FDA Reviewer on Scientific Data

    Robert B. Shapiro:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Previously the President and CEO of Monsanto, Chairman and CEO of Nutrasweet, and Chairman and CEO of Monsanto
    FEDERAL POSITION: Previously Served as President’s Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and on the White House Domestic Policy Review of Industrial Innovation

    Islam Siddiqui:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Former Vice President of CropLife America, which represented Monsanto
    FEDERAL POSITION: Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the Office of the Trade Representative

    Michael Taylor:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Former Attorney for Monsanto for seven years, previous h Head of the Monsanto Washington D.C. Office
    FEDERAL POSITION: Former FDA Deputy Commission for Policy. In 2010, appointed by the FDA as a senior advisor of the FDA Commissioner

    Dr. Charles Thomas:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Previous Monsanto Researcher in charge of the Manhattan Project, creating the atomic bomb. Later, became Monsanto’s Chairman of the board.
    FEDERAL POSITION: Previously Served as a consultant to the National Security Council and as a U.S. Representative of the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Commission

    Clarence Thomas:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Former lawyer for Monsanto, a notorious chemical polluter. Thomas would later cast the decisive vote in 2000 on the Supreme Court, ratifying the stolen election that put George W. Bush Jr. into office
    FEDERAL POSITION: In 1991, was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court

    Anne Veneman:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Previously served on the Board of Directors of Calgene, a Monsanto Biotech subsidiary
    FEDERAL POSITION: In 2001, was appointed Head of the USDA

    Jack Watson:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Former Staff Lawyer with Monsanto in Washington D.C.
    FEDERAL POSITION: Chief of Staff to President Carter

    Seth Waxman:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Hired by Monsanto to prosecute two Farmers who fought against Monsanto’s Seed Policies in 2002
    FEDERAL POSITION: Former U.S. Solicitor General

    Dr. Virginia Weldon:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Retired Senior Vice President for Public Policy at Monsanto
    FEDERAL POSITION: Previously, was a member of the FDA’s Metabolism & Endocrine Advisory Committee

    Rufus Yerxa:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Former Chief Counsel at Monsanto
    FEDERAL POSITION: In 1993, was nominated as U.S. Deputy to the World Trade Organization

    Toby Moffett:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Monsanto Consultant
    FEDERAL POSITION: U.S. Congressman (D)

    Dennis DeConcini:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Monsanto Legal Counsel
    FEDERAL POSITION: U.S. Senator (D)

    Josh King:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Director, International Government Affairs
    FEDERAL POSITION: White House Communications (Clinton)

    Carol Tucker-Forman:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Monsanto Lobbyist
    FEDERAL POSITION: White House Appointed Consumer Advisor (Clinton)

    Linda Fisher:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Vice President, Government & Public Affairs
    FEDERAL POSITION: Deputy Administrator EPA (Clinton, Bush)

    Lidia Watrud:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Manger, New Technologies
    FEDERAL POSITION: USDA, EPA (Clinton, Bush, Obama)

    Hillary Clinton:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Rose Law Firm, Monsanto Counsel
    FEDERAL POSITION: U.S. Senator (D), Secretary of State (Obama)

    Roger Beachy:
    MONSANTO POSITION: Director, Monsanto Danforth Center


  5. “Highlights of the Obama Presidency, so far.”


    Signed the Monsanto Protection Act into law. This is a partial list of the senior staff of Monsanto, and the high positions they hold/have held in the US government, just in the last 8 years. This is why other governments like France and Hungary protect their citizens from all Monsanto products, and the US Government does not, despite the ever increasing deaths of our bee, bat and butterfly populations.


    Hilary Clinton:Rose Law Firm, Monsanto Counsel. US Government Job: US Senator,Secretary of State D-NY under Obama


    [We’ve been screwed by both parties, good people.]

    [And we’ve been screwed by CNN FOXNEWS and MSNBC.]

    [The fact that Democrats would even consider nominating Hillary Clinton is a good indication of just how fast asleep they are.]


  6. #hillaryclinton #barackobama #monsanto #GMO

    “Highlights of the Obama Presidency, so far.”


    Signed the Monsanto Protection Act into law. This is a partial list of the senior staff of Monsanto, and the high positions they hold/have held in the US government, just in the last 8 years. This is why other governments like France and Hungary protect their citizens from all Monsanto products, and the US Government does not, despite the ever increasing deaths of our bee, bat and butterfly populations.


    Hilary Clinton:Rose Law Firm, Monsanto Counsel. US Government Job: US Senator,Secretary of State D-NY under Obama


    [We’ve been screwed by both parties, good people.]

    [And we’ve been screwed by CNN FOXNEWS and MSNBC.]

    [The fact that Democrats would even consider nominating Hillary Clinton is a good indication of just how fast asleep they are.]


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