Saturday, March 16, 2013

White cloud of death

We were driving along a rural road (just at the edge of town) on our home delivery rout when I saw it. The white cloud of death rising from a pear farm. The workers were out in their hazmat suits using the huge fan duster to apply the usual collection of poisons to the pear trees. It is an all too common sight. The white cloud of poison rising tens of feet above the orchard and drifting in the wind.

We of course immediately stopped the air circulation to avoid breathing the remnants of the poison. But then we see the houses along the road as we pass. Children playing in the sunshine, grandma gardening, moms sitting in the shade of a porch.... all unaware of the poisons they consume at the hands of the pear farmer.

But they are not unaffected. We seem to get a disproportionate number of calls from those living alongside the pear farms seeking help for severe medical issues. The issues are varied, but the end result is always suffering. It is ironic that pear farmers enclose their workers in haz mat suits to protect them from poison exposure while the tractor sprayer drives for hours right by several houses, the wisps of poison drifting across yards and children. And this happens year after year.

I pity the poor soul that will one day awake to realize the suffering caused so many families through the ,misguided search for profits in the pear field. How many children have been raised with constant exposure to their applications of poison, accumulating life long health issues.

Will it someday be a crime to purposefully apply poison in a fog of powder that drifts across the land across houses and families?  When will the children start lawsuits accusing pear farmers of negligent actions resulting in permenant suffering? As the need for poison increases each year to combat acquired resistance and tolerance in pests, surely it is only a matter of time.

As we drive by the white cloud of death, all these thoughts haunt my mind... concern for the unsuspecting and trapped residents, as well as concern for the farmer that will one day realize...

Next time you see the non organic pears in the grocery store with their delicious and flawless appearance.... think back to the white cloud of death drifting over children playing in their own back yard. Puts things in perspective.

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