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IPFS News Link • Hawaiian Islands

Maui 'Ground Zero' for Release of Billions of Biopesticide Lab-Altered Mosquitoes

• by Michael Nevradakis, Ph.D.,

Up to 775,992,000 bacteria-infected mosquitoes could be released in Maui every week for the next 20 years, according to Hawaii Unites, an environmental advocacy group that last month lost its bid to require the state to conduct an environmental impact statement before allowing the controversial project to proceed.

Hawaii Unites in May 2023 sued the state in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit in Hawaii. The group's president and founder, Tina Lia, told The Defender:

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"These biopesticide lab-altered mosquitoes are already being released in East Maui. Hawaii Unites has taken the state to court seeking a ruling to require an environmental impact statement for the project and comprehensive studies of the risks."

She said Hawaii Unites describes itself as "a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and protection of our environment and natural resources," with a focus on "protecting the health of Hawai'i's people, wildlife, and the '?ina from the State of Hawaii's biopesticide bacteria-infected mosquito experiment."

According to the group's lawsuit, the state did not perform a sufficient environmental impact study prior to the launch of the project. Last year, state residents submitted 291 pages of public comments, both for and against the project.

"The final environmental assessment for this project is insufficient under the Hawai'i Environmental Policy Act," Lia said. "[It] fails to describe mitigation measures or biosecurity protocols for the mosquitoes, and the discussion of alternatives is inadequate."


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