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Molokai Mom On a Mission: Fugitive Dust Storm 2

Community Contributed

Opinion by Mercy Ritte

A shocking fugitive dust storm invaded Ho`olehua on Sunday, Dec. 2 at 10:12 a.m — the second such occurrence in less than a month.  Winds traveling from the south-east at about 10 to 15 miles per hour blew across Monsanto’s vast exposed land, lifting a disturbing amount of earth into the air and sending it several miles across the landscape.  This chemical saturated dust involuntarily entered and contaminated the homes, yards and vehicles of many residents.  What I found most alarming was the pungent scent of chemicals that filled the air during this occurrence.

Fugitive dust is also known as particle pollution.  Children, the elderly and people with existing heart and respiratory disease are at high risk from breathing particle pollution.  The health effects of inhaling fugitive dust or particle pollution include eye, nose and throat irritation; coughing or difficulty in breathing; increased severity of bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema; heart attacks; and premature death of individuals with serious heart and lung disease.

I urge anyone who has observed fugitive dust being emitted from Monsanto and/or Mycogen operations to take a photograph or video of the dust event and email it to the Department of Health’s Clean Air Branch at cab@doh.hawaii.gov. Please note in your email the date, time and the location where you are taking the video/photographs (street name, buildings, direction you are facing, wind speed, direction, etc.) Be sure the photograph or video shows the fugitive dust.

GMO Free Recipe: Peanut Butter N Honey Cookies

Source: 7 Secrets Cookbook


2 cups dry-roasted peanuts

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour or oats

½ cup honey (warmed)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt (omit if peanuts are salted)


1.Place peanuts and flour in a food processor and whiz for about 2 minute until nuts and flour are about the same texture.

2.Place flour-and-nut mixture in a mixing bowl and add salt.  Mix in the honey and vanilla.  Stir together and then mix with your hands.

3.Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into balls the size of walnuts.  Place on a cookie sheet and press flat with hands.  Then press flatter with a fork, dipping the fork in water as needed to keep it from sticking to the dough.

4.Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.  They are done when just beginning to brown on the edges.

Makes about 20 cookies.Variation: For gluten-free cookies replace whole wheat flour with 1 cup brown rice flour and 2 tablespoons organic cornstarch.


3 Responses to “Molokai Mom On a Mission: Fugitive Dust Storm 2”

  1. clayching says:

    Aloha, Thought surely that others had seen seen this phenomenal dust cloud too. It was absolutely gigantic and from my view from the ocean, it was approaching my location at an alarming rate, as the wind was quiute strong that afternoon. To give you a perspective, even though I was offshore over a mile from land, the cloud stretched out over several miles and continued for over a half hour even though the intensity subsided as time passed. This was the largest cloud seen to date, but I regularly see large plumes of red dust swirling upwards because of the numerous whirlwinds that occur daily in the area. I believe the combination of barren land, heat and the contour of the area all contribute to this aerial erosion. I often wonder what the chemicals in the dust and air is doing to our reef ecosystem, as it seems the fish population downwind of the area is not what it used to be over the past several years. I would seriously consider wearing a dust mask but don’t think one would have helped that day, as the thickness of the aerial dust could be potentially lethal to someone with a respiratory or asthmatic condition!

  2. janelee says:

    Is anybody listening? We have had more cases of respiratory illnesses, including ashmatic episodes since Monsanto started raising their crops on Molokai. We see the pillars of dust clouds two-stories high falling on the homes of families with children in Manila Camp. Does anybody care? They now have hundreds of acres iunder cultivation and for some reason, clear these dust bowls at night so that we don’t know whats flying in the air we breathe in our sleep. Have you forgotten what it was like when the pine fields were sprayed with all those chemicals and how the homesteaders especially, slept, ate, and played in the fine dust of chemical-laden dust. Has anybody wondered why so many of our people of that generation succumbed to the many cases of terminal illnesses?

  3. kalaniua ritte says:

    Mahalo for sharing your experiences!

    Document everything you witness and send it (photos/videos/written complaint) to Depart of Healthʻs Clean Air Branch, cab@doh.hawaii.gov or call the following people:

    BLAKE SHIIGI – 984-8234 (DOH)

    LESTER CHIN – 873-3557 (DOA)

    CRYSTAL PELTIER – 586-4200 (DOH)

    JILL STENSRUD – 586-4200 (DOH)

    Please note in your email, the date, time and the location where you are taking the video/photographs from (street name, buildings, direction you are facing, wind speed, direction, etc.,). Make sure the photograph or video shows the fugitive dust.

    Aloha, Mercy

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