On Cesar Chavez Day, local farmworker groups press for county protections from brain-harming pesticide
Call comes one year after Trump Administration ignored US EPA scientists’ recommendation for nationwide ban on chlorpyrifos
Santa Maria, CA – In honor of Cesar Chavez’s birthday, a coalition of farmworker, community health, labor, and environmental justice groups will call for specific county reforms relating to the use of the brain-harming pesticide chlorpyrifos. Co-founder of the United Farm Workers, Cesar Chavez was the country’s most prominent advocate for pesticide reform, fasting 36 consecutive days for that cause in 1988.
Eriberto Fernandez, Civic Participation & Policy Coordinator with the United Farm Workers Foundation, will lead a list of prominent speakers who continue Chavez’s fight to reform pesticide use tomorrow at the Cesar Chavez Day Pesticide Reform news conference, Friday, March 30, at 11:00 a.m. at the Minami Center Parking Lot, 600 West Enos Street in Santa Maria. The news conference is sponsored by the Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE).
Eriberto Fernandez of the UFW Foundation said, “Cesar Chavez’s last and longest fast, 36 days in 1988, was a protest that specifically called for the banning of five pesticides—two of them organophosphates like chlorpyrifos. Here we are thirty years later, continuing the fight for farmworker communities, like those in the Santa Maria-Guadalupe area.” Chavez himself said a year after his longest fast, “If we ignored pesticide poisoning, if we looked on as farmworkers and their children are stricken, then all the other injustices our people face would be compounded by an even more deadly tyranny.”
Local chlorpyrifos protections are needed now. Given the rejection of science at the federal level and long delay by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, many of the speakers and news conference attendees are calling on the Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner to implement important reforms regarding chlorpyrifos applications.
Who: Eriberto Fernandez and speakers who continue Chavez’s fight to reform pesticides
What: Cesar Chavez Day Pesticide Reform news conference
When: Friday, March 30, at 11:00 a.m.
Where: Minami Center Parking Lot, 600 West Enos Street in Santa Maria
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