“The Environmental Protection Agency on Monday established the first minimum-age requirement—18—for farm workers applying pesticides to fields.
The change is part of a revision of pesticide rules by the agency, which acknowledged that previous regulation was not enough to prevent an estimated $10 million to $15 million in annual health costs due to chemical exposure among the nation’s 2 million agricultural workers.
“The existing rule was not working the way it should,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said.”
As the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalizes the new updated Agricultural Worker Protection Standard, Big Ag pushed back hard, citing the expense of protecting farm workers from pesticide exposure.
But here’s the deal: If we don’t protect farm workers, we can’t protect food. We can’t have one without the other.
As part of this work, I speak regularly with farmers and have spent time with farm workers in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and around the world. I’m named after a farmer who battled breast cancer. She also had a daughter with cancer. To say this issue is close to my heart is an understatement. It is critical to our food system, farm families and our future.
Former farm worker Amelia Moran Ceja demonstrates that stewarding the land and your workers can be good for business. Mindful Vineyards features leaders and advocates from the business, labor and environmental communities and is a call for justice in agriculture and protections from pesticides for some of most vulnerable workers in the nation.
As the EPA makes this incredible move to protect both farm workers and our food system, this short video is food for thought.