Provocative Film on Agribusiness and the Future of Hawaii

Provocative Film on Agribusiness and the Future of Hawaii

Filmmaker and founder of, Cyrus Sutton is working on what might be the most important film he’s ever produced. He’s calling the film Island Earth. It looks to be an in-depth, nuanced look at the effect that corporate agribusiness is having on the culture, ecology and future of Hawaiʻi – particularly Kauaʻi. In the late 1990’s, recognizing cheap, fertile land, and Hawaiʻi’s nearly yearlong growing season, big chemical and agricultural companies like DuPont Pioneer, Syngenta and Dow began buying or leasing farmland that had lain fallow since the demise of Hawaiʻi’s sugar and pineapple plantations. In the place of its former plantation crops, Kauaʻi now supports one of the world’s largest seed operations for “Roundup Ready” corn that’s been engineered to withstand Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer. These farms have also put Hawaiians in the wind paths of dusty blowups of soil laden with pesticides, some of which are banned in the U.S. for residential use, and are banned outright in Europe. Yet these big companies provide jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars into Hawaii’s economy. Money that trickles down to local farm workers, families and business owners. And that’s where things get tricky. Click here to learn more about Sutton’s Kickstarter Project Island Earth.

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