Synthetic pesticides have gained notoriety for the problems they cause for many non-target organisms – ranging from monarch butterflies to milkweed, and honeybees to house wrens. Sometimes overlooked, though, can be pesticides’ inadvertent harm to another very important group of organisms: the people who work on farms.
A new report from the Organic Center takes a detailed look at pesticides and their effects on farmers and farmworkers.
Organic Agriculture: Reducing occupational pesticide exposure in farmers and farmworkers synthesizes more than 120 studies on the health impacts on farmers and farmworkers of work-related exposure to pesticides. It also explores how organic farming methods, including USDA organic regulations, directly benefit these individuals.
“The health and safety of those who produce our food should be a top concern for all of us, and consumers can take action to support healthy farming communities by choosing food grown organically,” the report says.
“By shifting to more sustainable food production systems that rely on balanced ecosystems as a first line of defense against pests, we can ensure sustainable food security and healthy agricultural communities into the future.”
The report is available free from the Organic Center’s website.