Australian farmer to ‘clear the air’ on pesticides

In an effort to help residents understand how to protect Hawaii’s fragile ecosystem for future generations, internationally known expert, author and organic farmer Andre Leu is conducting a free community event in Waimea to spread the word about the science behind pesticides, GMOs and organics.

Leu will give an educational presentation of the peer-reviewed science on conventional and progressive farming techniques at 7 p.m. Thursday at Kanu o ka ‘Aina New Century Public Charter School, 64-1043 Hiiaka St. A slide show presentation lasts 45 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A session. The event is free.

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“Instead of chemical science we’re using ecological science,” Leu explains. “We’re working with nature, and we’re building better systems, healthier farming systems and healthier communities.

“We replace chemicals on our farms with people. We employ people in our communities. We bring people back into our communities. We are the real success story and good news story in agriculture in the world at the moment.”

Leu, who runs a regenerative organic agroecological orchard with his wife, Julia, in Queensland, Australia, has extensive knowledge of farming and environmental systems from more than 40 years of visiting and working in more than 100 countries.

He is president of IFOAM–Organics International, the world umbrella body for the organic sector, which has roughly 800 member organizations in 120 countries.

Leu also is the author of the award-winning book “The Myths of Safe Pesticides” and the newly released “Poisoning Our Children: A Parent’s Guide to The Myths of Safe Pesticides,” which will be available for sale and signing during the event.

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Leu also will offer a breakfast talk story from 8-9 a.m. Friday in the Kamuela Inn’s Tea Garden in Waimea, where continental breakfast will be served.

To preregister for both events, visit http://nutritionheretic.eventbrite.com.