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Friday, May 1, 2015

Evaggelos Vallianatos Reflects on His Toxic Tour Experience

Writes Passionate Piece Decrying the Injustices of the Lake Apopka Farms, Industrial Agriculture

Photo of farms near Lake Apopka taken by Mr. Vallianatos on the Toxic tour.
Our new friend, Evaggelos Vallianatos, recently opened up the 33rd Annual National Pesticide Forum that we co-hosted for Beyond Pesticides with his Pesticides 101 lecture. In it he explains why pesticides are terrible for farmworkers, for everyone else, and for the planet and why we still use them. He's worked tirelessly for more than 30 years now to create regulations that better protect farmworkers and the environment so he should know. His 2014 book, Poison Spring, exposes the shocking corruption and devastating apathy which informs the Environmental Protection Agency's policies regarding pesticides and farmworker safety.

Vallianatos (center) poses for a picture with Dr. Tyrone Hayes (left) and Marty Mesh (right) of Florida Organic Growers during the National Pesticide Forum. 

As part of a group of conference participants, Mr. Vallianatos got to partake in the extended version of our Toxic Tour we wrote about here.  And yesterday, he published a powerful piece on Truth-Out.org reflecting on the injustices of the industrial agriculture of Central Florida called Lake Apopka: Ecocide, Rural Oligarchy, and Slavery. In it he connects the tragedy of Lake Apopka and its farmworkers to the larger issues with our food system and he ends it with a passionate plea not just to beef up Worker Protection Standards, but to actually provide farmworkers with land so that they can grow our food in humane and sustainable ways. Please read it and share it on your social networks.

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