Farmworkers and their advocates from across the nation descended on Washington, DC this week to demand better protection from the pesticides they’re exposed to while picking the nation’s produce.
Their specific target, the Center for Public Integrity reports, is
“Each year pesticide exposure poisons as many as 20,000 farmworkers,” stated Virginia Ruiz, Director of Occupational and Environmental Health for the advocacy group Farmworker Justice. “These injuries, illnesses, and deaths are preventable by taking the necessary steps to protect our farmworkers and their families,” she continued.
Farmworker Justice profiles some of these dangers in their new report, Exposed and Ignored: How Pesticides are Endangering Our Nation’s Farmworkers. In it, they list a frightening number health problems from pesticide exposure:
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In an op-ed in The Hill this week, Bruce Goldstein, president of Farmworker Justice, writes:
“People seem to care if their tennis shoes are produced by exploited child labor in Asia,” said Tom Thornburg, managing attorney for Farmworker Legal Services of Michigan. “They should also be concerned whether their blueberries are being produced in situations that are causing workers to become poisoned.”
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