An agroecosystem is constrained by environmental possibility and social choices, mainly in the form of government policies. To be sustainable, an agroecosystem requires production systems that are resilient to natural stressors such as disease, pests, drought, wind and salinity, and to human constructed stressors such as economic cycles and trade barriers.
On Monday, a federal judge issued a ruling overturning a popular pesticide reform law passed by the Kauai County Council last year. Four global pesticide and genetically engineered seed corporations DuPont, Syngenta, Dow, and DuPont Pioneer all challenged the passage of the new law.
Pesticide Action Network (PAN) and its members in Hawaii, including parents, farmers and teachers, is represented by attorneys at Earthjustice and intervened in the case to defend the Countys law. Other community, food and farming groups are also involved in the suit, including a group of residents who have been directly affected by pesticide drift called Ka Makani Hoopono (The Wind That Makes Right).
The law, Ordinance 960, created modest no-spray protection zones and a County-held database for reporting pesticide use and plantings of genetically engineered crops.
Paul Towers, spokesperson for PAN released the following statement:
Were still reviewing the contents of the court order. Unfortunately, the judges …
We chronicle the history of the United States staple crop agroecosystem of the Midwest region to determine whether sustainability is part of its design, or could be a likely outcome of existing policies particularly on innovation and intellectual property. Relative to other food secure and exporting countries (e.g. Western Europe), the US agroecosystem is not exceptional in yields or conservative on environmental impact.