Family Farm Defenders (Kansas Chapter)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Pesticides and the Black American Community

More documentation of the disparate and horrendous impact of our global, concentrated, and industrialized food and agriculture systems, policies and practices on Americans of Black African descent. While these systems, policies and practices have a horrendous impact on all human beings, life and our environment, people of Black African descent, are more disparately and negatively impacted.

"The U.S. government’s policies and practices in regulating toxic pesticides, whether by neglect or design, are inherently racist...This calculation (of risk of pesticides) ignores the disproportionate risk, for example, to African American inner city children whose asthmatic conditions are caused or triggered by the very pesticide products that meet the health-based standard. The disproportionate impact of this and other public health and environmental policies, contributing to disproportionately high morbidity and mortality due to asthma, is borne out by the statistics on asthma: 12.5 percent of children nationwide; 17 percent of children in New York City; and, 30 percent of children in Harlem, New York City. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health, African Americans are 4 to 6 times more likely than whites to die from asthma. Therefore, any time our policies allow regulators to permit uses of pesticides with known asthma effects, which is done daily, a disproportionate impact is felt in the African American community. Among other policies, this toxics policy contributes to a cycle of poverty, as asthma is the leading cause of school absenteeism due to chronic illness."

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