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Florida Farm Workers - Reports

Florida Farm Workers 

May 29th, National Day of Action


Phoenix, Arizona



Here are pictures of the protest against SB 1070, taken by Adam Tompkins. SB 1070 is a a law that requires police to detain and determine the immigration status of individuals if "reasonable suspicion exists that the person is an alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S.". Essentially, it is a bill legalizing racial profiling in Arizona. 









Agency Moves Closer Toward Elimination of a Toxic Pesticide


Florida tomato pickers have one less thing to worry about, now that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it is taking steps to “end all uses of the insecticide endosulfan in the United States.”  The announcement, posted today on the EPA website, has farmworker and pesticide alternatives advocates, and Arctic indigenous communities around the country celebrating the decision.   Long a target of nationwide campaigns calling for a ban on it, endosulfan had been falling in disfavor with the agency as increasing evidence of the health risks to farmworkers and the impacts to birds and mammals could no longer be ignored.  For Florida’s farmworkers and fragile ecosystems, the end of this highly toxic insecticide is very good new, indeed.














What Poisoned the Farmworkers of Apopka, FL, and Why is Nobody Doing a Thing to Help Them?




Leaning on her cane, Linda Lee matter-of-factly listed her medical conditions: diabetes, lupus, high blood pressure, emphysema and arthritis. She had her hip replaced and her gall bladder removed. Her kidneys failed, so she had a transplant. She also had two corneal implants. Asked what caused her woes, the 57-year-old resident of Apopka, Fla., doesn’t hesitate: For nearly a decade as a farm laborer on the shores of Lake Apopka in the 1970s and 1980s, she was routinely exposed to agricultural chemicals as she worked in the fields.

Read the rest of the Article by Barry Estabrook





Members of FWAF meet with the Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, in Immokalee

On Monday, May 16th, Hilda Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor, the daughter of a former farmworker family, and first in her family to achieve a higher education degree, toured the farmworker community of Immokalee to discuss the working conditions of farmworkers in Florida. The visit marks the first appearance of an Obama cabinet member in Southwest Florida. The tour promoted the new “We Can Help” Initiative, which encourages workers of any immigration status to report abuse in the workplace... Read More







 Agencies Pledge To Curb Abuse Of Child Farmworkers : NPR


Recent news article exposes the extent of child labor in the fields.  Check out the link below and read this important article by the Associated Press:


Agencies Pledge To Curb Abuse Of Child Farmworkers : NPR



Trail of Dreams Walkers Reach Washington D.C.


Supporters of Immigration Reform are Arrested in Front of the White House

Illinois Rep. Luis Gutierrez Arrested Outside of the White House


On May 1, the Trail of Dreams Walkers finally reached Washington, D.C..  Hundreds of people gathered to march with the walkers in support of comprehensive immigration reform and the passage of the DREAM Act. The 7 mile march began in Alexandria, at the headquarters of Tenants and Workers United and ended at Lafayette Park, facing the White House.

At the park, community leaders from several states spoke in favor of comprehensive reform and just treatment of undocumented immigrants. The rally also addressed the opressive new law being passed in Arizona, which forces Arizona police to employ racial profiling and immigrants to carry around immigration papers. 

Following the animated rally, a sit in protest was staged in front of the white house. Several people sat in front of the white house, demanding to speak with President Obama. Over thirty sit in protesters were arrested by D.C. police. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois congressman with close ties to president Obama, was one of the protesters arrested.

At the conclusion of the protests, the walkers left their worn out shoes in front of the white house as symbols and grim reminders of the people who disappear and leave families behind everyday due to incarceration and deportation.

More at





Sign the Petition to Ban Chlorpyrifos
Click here:

Chlorpyrifos is a nerve poison that hurts farm workers and their children. 

  • It was banned in household products a decade ago because of risks to children.
  • Yet, spraying of this drift-prone pesticide has continued in agriculture often literally within meters of  homes, daycares and pregnant workers.
  • Ongoing exposures for children and workers are very well documented
  • Human and animal studies strongly associate chlorpyrifos with mental deficits, other neurological injury, lung cancer and other problems.
  • Chlorpyrifos use is associated with depressed cholinesterase (an important nervous system enzyme) in workers who are medically monitored in Washington State.
  • In a  major study in New York City exposures to chlorpyrifos and associations with health impacts declined for urban children when the household ban went into effect.  The double standard    affecting farm worker children could not be clearer.
  • Chlorpyrifos also hurts honey bees, salmon and other wildlife.
  • It gets into foods eaten by children and adults throughout the United States

    The Obama Administration has declared a commitment to "Environmental Justice" (ending the disproportionate exposure and harm from pollutants in communities of color and low income) and to protecting children.   There could be no greater Environmental Justice/ Children's Health issue.  Nor could there be a more compelling example of a toxic chemical that should be banned. The science is very strong, and clear alternatives to chlorpyrifos exist and are already in use on many farms.

    That's why groups around the country are joining together in a nation-wide coordinated effort to persuade EPA to ban chlorpyrifos.  And to use the chlorpyrifos example to push for broader pesticide registration reforms to better protect farm workers, their children and all people from pesticides.

    Please join us by circulating this Alert and signing the petition right away at: The on-line petition gathers sign-ons from individuals. To sign your organization email [email protected] This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it providing individual name, organization name, city, state, zip code.

    To download hard copies of the petition and a background document go to  Please take copies of the petition to meetings you attend!  On that web page you can also get a copy of a letter written by well-know pediatrician Dr. Phil Landrigan and Dr. Miodovnik of Mt. Sinai to EPA. For additional information or to get more involved contact Carol Dansereau, Farm Worker Pesticide Project at [email protected] This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

    Thank you! 




Woman to Woman Conference a Success

On March 27th, the Farmworker Association of Florida teamed up with the University of Central Florida Women’s Studies Program to sponsor the first “Woman to Woman” conference.
The conference – hosted in St. Francis of Assisi’s Church, in Apopka – addressed the serious issues that are often neglected from a woman’s point of view.  Topics included women’s health, domestic violence, coping with financial stress, immigration issues for women, stress and depression, parenting skills, and the beauty and identity of the woman.





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