URGENT: The Worker Protection Standard Comment Period Closes on August 18th. We need you to help protect farmworkers and submit comments. Instructions on how to do so are available here.
Farmworkers feed the world. They provide us with the food that we eat every day, yet, they are still often the ‘invisible ones’ – people whose hard work is often unknown, unacknowledged or ignored. To provide us our food, flowers and houseplants, farmworkers are often exposed to very harsh and difficult working conditions in the fields, ferneries and greenhouses where they work. They perform some of the hardest work in our country and yet are among the least protected people in the nation.
More than 1.1 billion pounds of pesticides are applied to crops annually in the United States, with farmworkers facing a greater threat from exposure to these chemicals than any other sector of society.
Every year tens of thousands of farmworkers and their children are injured by exposure to pesticides. According to a U.S. government study, the pesticide poisoning incidence rate among U.S. agricultural workers is 39 times higher than the incidence rate found in all other industries combined.
The Worker Protection Standard, the law that establishes basic protections, hasn’t been updated in more than 20 years, resulting in thousands of preventable exposures, illnesses and injuries every year for farmworkers and their families.
A healthy, safe, and fair food system would benefit us all, protecting the health and serving the economic needs of farmworkers, farmers, rural communities and consumers. Shifting away from reliance on hazardous pesticides is a key step toward this goal. But as long as harmful pesticides are in use, farmworkers need better protections in the field.
Recent blogs in the media:
Celebrating Earth Day: Commitment to Protecting Farmworkers and the Environment