To the Editor:
The organization Safe Ag, Save Schools (SASS) is working under the umbrella of Californians for Pesticide Reform to bring back, and expand to online, the posting of pesticide applications around schools in Monterey County and throughout the state of California.
Watch for a news conference and rally planned for next Tuesday, Oct. 26, at noon at the Monterey County Board of Supervisors building. Its focus, according to representative Mark Weller, will be to protect our farmworker communities from childhood cancer-causing pesticides.
Two recent studies from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health confirm a link of more than a dozen pesticides — most of them applied in Monterey and Santa Cruz counties — to childhood leukemias and brain tumors if their mothers while pregnant lived within 2.5 miles of the pesticide applications.
We cannot wait years or decades, once again, for the state or our County Ag Commissioners to act to protect our communities’ health. We will call on our Ag Commissioners to stop pesticide secrecy and immediately post pesticide warnings online, so we can take safety precautions from harmful pesticide drift. We will also call on our Ag Commissioners and the state to take immediate actions to restrict the use of these pesticides linked to childhood cancers.
Finally, we will call on the state to immediately initiate plans to put public health first in our pesticide regulatory and agricultural systems, similar to the U.S. Senate’s proposed “Protect America’s Children from Toxic Pesticides Act” and the European Union’s “Farm to Fork Strategy.”
I urge South Monterey County residents to join these efforts, as we are those most directly affected.
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