Deadly Heat Threatens America’s Farmers

Deadly Heat Threatens America’s Farmers

by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer USA Today reported that for thousands of farmworkers in the West, extreme heat is a deadly threat. Repeated exposure to temperatures above 100 degrees can cause dangerous heat stress in the human body resulting in heatstroke, death, or even exacerbated disease. Many farmworkers are immigrants without access to health […]

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Court Ruling Could Result in EPA Finally Banning Chlorpyrifos click button

Court Ruling Could Result in EPA Finally Banning Chlorpyrifos

A long battle over the use of a bug-killing pesticide linked to brain damage in children may be coming to an end. In a ruling last week, a federal appeals court gave the Environmental Protection Agency 60 days to ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos, commonly used on oranges, almonds, and other crops — or prove there’s a safe use of the chemical. 

Why This Matters: The pesticide industry used the same playbook as with PFAS, tobacco, and oil: raise doubt about the clear science and prevent immediate action from being taken, to the harm of everyone else.

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Pesticides Are Prevalent and Poisonous

Pesticides Are Prevalent and Poisonous

Pesticides are harmful to insects and other wildlife — including humans. The first real accounting of pesticide poisoning since 1990 found that: 

Why This Matters: We’ve been relying on old data about farmworkers’ exposure to pesticides for the past 30 years, and thus the full picture of the harmful impact of these products on people has been underappreciated.

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Will Robots Soon Replace Farm Workers?

Will Robots Soon Replace Farm Workers?

The COVID-19 pandemic is “ratchet[ing] up the pressure” to automate harvesting processes, Civil Eats reported. Alongside the rising cost of labor and the increasingly dangerous conditions caused by wildfires, more and more farmers are considering this move to automate their harvests with robots replacing up to half the farmworkers currently needed.

Why This Matters: As Twilight Greenaway wrote for Civil Eats, “If the people doing the work on farms are getting sick, the logic goes, why not just replace them with machines?”

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Farmworkers Lack Adequate Legal and Public Health Protections During Pandemic

Farmworkers Lack Adequate Legal and Public Health Protections During Pandemic

by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer As Arun Gupta and Michelle Fawcett reported last week, coronavirus is “exploding” in populations of farmworkers across America. In their report, they noted that on a single farm in Tennessee, all 200 workers tested positive for the disease while in Immokalee, Florida, results indicated that over 1,000 migrant workers […]

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