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HELP PROTECT THE HEALTH OF FARMWORKERS

 

TELL EPA TO BAN THE PESTICIDE CHLORPYRIFOS

 

Farmworker children often accompany their parents into the fields after school and on weekends.  Toddlers, whose parents have no daycare money or opportunities, are often in the fields beside their parents all day while Mom and Dad harvest our fruits and vegetables.  For ten years, EPA has known that the pesticide chlorpyrifos is harmful to children.  Because of this, it was banned for residential use years ago, yet EPA continues to allow its use in agricultural production, putting farmworker children, their parents and the developing fetus at great risk.

 

Now, we have a chance to tell EPA ‘no more chlorpyrifos – not in our homes or in our fields!’ To protect farmworkers, the EPA must ban chlorpyrifos now.  Join us in signing the petition to EPA.  (Sign on here

Students from California visited us

On August 13, 2011 a group of students from California visited the Homestead office to interview farmworkers for an independent film. The film is said to debut next year. They asked hard hitting questions like:  Why did you leave your homeland? What was the trip like? And what is your pay and living situation like? The answers to the questions didn’t just shock the students but the on lookers as well. The hardship that these people overcome is mind boggling and the harsh reality that they experience when they got here doesn’t compensate for their pain. One of the interviewees explained in vivid detail how one of his coworkers died of heat exhaustion due to the lack of water on the job, when this happened he got the supervisors attention to inform him of the death and all the supervisor had to say was “that’s what lazy people get, so work harder so that won’t happen to you”.

Workers report abuse

 

This is a picture from a meeting that was held in the Homestead office on August 5, 2011 in regards to the misconduct in nurseries on behalf of the management.  A lawyer from Florida Legal Service Inc. came in to listen to the claims of five women who have been neglected and verbally abused in the work place. Some claims involved injuries which took place in the work place but have not been addressed by the management. In any normal cause the management would report the injuries and lead these women in the right direction so that they can receive the benefit of workers compensation. 

The blue quilt is designed by the Farmworkers Association

Taken from Freeline Media.

 

APOPKA — The former farmworkers of Apopka lost something they never had recently – the possibility of adequate, community-wide health care.
But they still have their quilts, and are using them to promote their cause.
At one point, the new state budget had a $500,000 item devoted to the special health needs of this predominantly African-American community, courtesy of state Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando. Butr that money got cut out of the budget on May 26, the day Gov. Rick Scott signed it into law during a ceremony in The Villages. But the community still has its quilts.

Why Should We All Care About Immigration?

 

Anyone who eats has a connection to immigration issues, whether they realize it or not.

Anyone who consumes food in the U.S. has an invisible link to farmworkers.
 
The state of Georgia recently passed harsh anti-immigrant measures similar to Arizona’s SB 1070.  Alabama has a gone a step further and passed an even harsher law, that includes checking the immigration status of school children.   Even though there are legal challenges to these new laws in Georgia and Alabama, the fact that they passed state legislatures was enough to frighten many undocumented immigrants into leaving the states.  Farmers in Georgia are facing a serious labor shortage that could cost them millions and millions of dollars in crop losses – because they have no workers to harvest their summer fruits and vegetables.   Read the article in The American Independent.  http://washingtonindependent.com.  The Governor of Georgia’s idea to employ probationers in the state to do the work of farmworkers failed miserably.  http://washingtonindependent.com.
 

Thank You!

FWAF wants to thank everyone who took the time to send public comments to EPA and/or sign the Pesticide Action Network petition in support of requiring pesticide labels to be translated into Spanish.  There were many comments submitted urging EPA to implement such a policy.  We are hoping that the weight of positive comments will convince the agency of the importance of taking this significant step.
 
As always, we appreciate the support of all who care to help make a difference in the lives of farmworkers. 

 

THANK YOU!

How Industrial Farming 'Destroyed' The Tasty Tomato

Article taken from NPR online.

 

Florida workers harvest what they can from the DiMare Farms tomato fields, a month after the January 2010 freeze that caused a statewide crop shortage.Enlarge Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida workers harvest what they can from the DiMare Farms tomato fields, a month after the January 2010 freeze that caused a statewide crop shortage.

 

June 28, 2011

If you bite into a tomato between the months of October and June, chances are that tomato came from Florida. The Sunshine State accounts for one-third of all fresh tomatoes produced in the United States — and virtually all of the tomatoes raised during the fall and winter seasons.

The health of Lake Apopka's wildlife

* Apopka farmworkers say pesticide exposure caused illnesses

* Article taken from the Orlando weekly.

 

Former workers and activists trying to draw attention to health problems in the community.

 

By Christopher Balogh

Published: June 2, 2011

 

 

At the end of the fishing dock that rests on the south end of Lake Apopka, a man leans against a wooden railing and stares at the broad expanse of water before him.

"I have been here for over 60 years," says the man, an auto mechanic whose name, Lend, is sewn onto his work shirt. "I went to all the fishing camps when I was a little boy. This lake was filled with fisherman, in and around it."

Not anymore. "Look at it now - not a soul. It looks like pea soup," he says.

Tell EPA spanish language pesticide labels

Tell EPA to Require Spanish Language Pesticide Labels

 

Help Protect The Health and Safety of Farmworkers

 

Most pesticide labels in the United States are written in English only. Most farmworkers, including those who handle and apply pesticides, are Hispanics, whose first language is Spanish. While employers are required to provide workers with appropriate Personal Protective Equipment and to properly train handlers and applicators on the correct use of pesticide products, not being able to read English-language pesticide labels puts Hispanic workers at a definite disadvantage. They must depend upon what they are told and trust that they have been provided the required gear.

May 1

"THE PEOPLE, UNITED, WILL NEVER BE DEFEATED"

 

This was one of the chants that inspired some two hundred marchers in Central Florida on May Day – May 1st – in support of Immigrant and Worker Rights.  Gathering in Apopka on Sunday morning, carrying signs and wearing T-shirts, the farmworker and immigrant community members and supporters joined together in solidarity with the message that “no human being is illegal” and demanding basic civil and human rights for all.  In harmony with events and actions around the country on this International Workers’ Day, the message was clear – “We are NOT Arizona!  Just say No to SB 2040” – the anti-immigrant bill that is being debated in the Florida legislature this week. 
 

W2W conference

2nd Annual Woman to Woman Conference unites Apopka community

 

More than 100 people from across Central Florida gathered to conduct the 2nd Annual Woman to Woman Conference in Apopka, FL. The Farmworker Association of Florida collaborated with professors from the University of Central Florida to organize a day of education, advocacy, and celebration for 35 African American, Haitian, and Hispanic women in Apopka. Bringing experts from fields like immigration, financial responsibility, and women’s mental and physical health allowed this group of incredible women to learn about issues in a way that is not often afforded to them.

Fellsmere Farm Flourished in its First Spring

The new Fellsmere Community Garden is the pride of the community! This, its first Spring in existence, has already seen the harvest of lush crops of cilantro, Romaine lettuce, and radishes, while the corn and tomato plants grow taller and more beautiful every day! The hoop house shelters tender seedlings as they are nurtured in preparation for planting in the outdoor beds.

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