Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Water Poisoned by Pesticides Coming to a Town Near You

You may not be a Latino farm worker making $14,000 per year, but don't think that the repercussions of pesticides on these laborers' lives won't eventually effect us all. Believing otherwise would be severely naïve, even with the avalanche of "our products are absolutely safe" marketing courtesy of the same people whose deception was instrumental in the defeat of Prop 37 in California last week.

Here, according to an article in today's New York Times ("The Problem Is Clear: The Water Is Filthy"), is what some Californians are dealing with, thanks to years of pesticide use and the ever-increasing proliferation of the genetically-engineered crops that require further application of these chemicals:

"Seville, with a population of about 300, is one of dozens of predominantly Latino unincorporated communities in the Central Valley plagued for decades by contaminated drinking water. It is the grim result of more than half a century in which chemical fertilizers, animal wastes, pesticides and other substances have infiltrated aquifers, seeping into the groundwater and eventually into the tap."
"Many such communities started as farm labor camps without infrastructure, said John A. Capitman, a professor at California State University, Fresno, and the executive director of the Central Valley Health Policy Institute. Today, one in five residents in the Central Valley live below the federal poverty line. Many spend up to 10 percent of their income on water. 'The laborers and residents of this region have borne a lot of the social costs of food production,' Professor Capitman said."
These problems are not endemic to segments of the population that fly below the radar. 

  • Our food and farmland? Sprayed with pesticides.
  • Our front lawns and backyards? Sprayed with pesticides.
  • Our youth and high school sports fields? Sprayed with pesticides.
  • Our golf courses? Sprayed with pesticides.
  • The cracks in our sidewalks? Sprayed with pesticides.
Remember, these chemicals don't only travel downhill. Click here to read the entirety of "The Problem Is Clear: The Water Is Filthy"

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