Monday, December 19, 2011

What will 2012 bring for Lake Apopka farmworkers?

For decades, the health and safety of farmworkers seems to have been placed on the back-burner in the minds of politicians and the general public.  This sentiment could not be more true for the former Lake Apopka farmworkers.

Last May, Florida’s Governor Rick Scott vetoed a $500,000 budget appropriation that would have given former Lake Apopka farmworkers much needed medical attention.  The allocated funds would have allowed the Apopka Family Health Center to hire medical specialists, including rheumatologists, dermatologists, endocrinologists, and nephrologists.  The individuals are needed in the Apopka community as many people, including former farmworkers who were exposed to toxic pesticides have serious health issues. 

On December 14, the Committee on Agriculture in the Florida Senate released an interim report entitled “Status of Health-Related Consequences of Muck Farm Workers in the Lake Apopka Region.”  This report, prepared at the request of Senator Gary Siplin of Orlando, will raise awareness of health problems faced by the Apopka community, and hopefully, bring the much needed funding.  

Read more here.

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