Sunday, September 26, 2021

Play

New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.

Play

The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.

Play

A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Advocate: NY Farm Workers “Treated Like An Insect”

Play

Monday, July 15, 2013   

ONTARIO, N.Y. - Farm workers from New York and around the nation have flown to the nation's capital to urge Congress to pass stronger legislation to reduce what one government estimate says are 10,000 to 20,000 acute pesticide poisonings yearly in the agricultural industry.

Alina Diaz, a farmworkers' organizer from the town of Ontario, is in Washington with several workers who toil in New York's fields and orchards.

"One of them told me, 'I'm tired of being treated like a roach, like an insect. I'm tired of being sick," said Diaz, vice president, Alianza Nacional de Campesinas.

The workers say pesticides drift over them while being applied in adjacent fields - or even right where they're working.

Protecting farm workers from pesticides is the responsibility of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, whose pesticide safety standards - according to critics - haven't been revised or updated in more than 20 years. The EPA says its Worker Protection Standard manual for employers was updated in 2005.

Farm workers take their work home with them in that the chemicals stay on their clothing and can contaminate their families, said Andrea Delgado, a Washington-based legislative representative with Earthjustice, which is providing legal help to the pesticide-protection advocates.

"Farm workers can't really hug their children when they come home," Delgado said. "They don't have the decontamination areas in the workplace."

The number of poisoning cases is thought to be under-reported, Delgado said, because many workers don't seek a doctor's help. Volunteer medical organizations try to reach out to them.

"They come in covered in rashes and sores and with nausea and vomiting,"Delgado said. "A lot of them have to drive them to get medical care because the growers themselves won't do it."

Diaz said many of the workers she represents are happy to have jobs, no matter how many hours are spent in trying conditions and for meager compensation.

"One of them said, 'I don't mind, Ms. Diaz, to do hard work. And I don't even mind to be paid under-wage. But, you know what? I really mind about the health of my children and the health of myself.' "

An estimated 5.1 billion pounds of pesticides are applied to crops annually in the United States. Diaz said she wonders, "How can people eat knowing that so much pain and suffering went into this fruit or this bottle of wine?"


get more stories like this via email

The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)

Environment

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …


Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…


According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …

Environment

SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …

Environment

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021