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Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals

Olga Santos returned for the first time to the strawberry field where she was sprayed with toxic pesticides while eating lunch with her family as a young girl.

This is the fifth blog post in a weekly series of personal stories from farm and agricultural workers, illustrating the need for stronger worker and safety protections against pesticide exposure. To get beyond the statistics of 10,000–20,000 pesticide poisonings on farms a year in this country, we go to the frontlines, beginning in California.

Think of food politics as an increasingly complex, layered and controversial arena where people make decisions about food or food production based not just on the food itself but its impact on the environment, health, the treatment of animals, working conditions and pay, just to name a few factors.

Celebrity chefs, food writers and even Hollywood actors are taking sides and sometime calling names.

Maria Aguilera, a farmworker for 24 years, has learned to protect herself from toxic chemicals applied to the fields.

This is the fourth blog post in a weekly series of personal stories from farm and agricultural workers, illustrating the need for stronger worker and safety protections against pesticide exposure. To get beyond the statistics of 10,000–20,000 pesticide poisonings on farms a year in this country, we go to the frontlines, beginning in California.

Graciela Silva worked for nine years in the fields harvesting lemons, lettuce, cucumbers, and strawberries. She sits in front of a monument, that includes her name, honoring local farmworkers in Santa Paula, CA.

This is the third blog post in a weekly series of personal stories from farm and agricultural workers, illustrating the need for stronger worker and safety protections against pesticide exposure. To get beyond the statistics of 10,000–20,000 pesticide poisonings on farms a year in this country, we go to the frontlines, beginning in California.

Farmworker Victorino

Victorino’s story is part two in a weekly series of personal narratives from farm and agricultural workers, illustrating the need for stronger worker and safety protections against pesticide exposure. To get beyond the statistics of 10,000 to 20,000 pesticide poisonings on farms a year in this country, we go to the frontlines, beginning in California.

Andrea Hubbard is a former farmworker who now helps women protect themselves from pesticide exposure and domestic abuse.

This is a first in a weekly series of personal stories from farm and agricultural workers, illustrating the need for stronger worker and safety protections against pesticide exposure. To get beyond the statistics of 10,000–20,000 pesticide poisonings on farms a year in this country, we go to the frontlines, beginning in California.

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