Organophosphate pesticides (Ops) are harmful, man-made acutely neurotoxic chemicals that are sprayed on numerous crops in the U.S., and their use on food must end. Every day that OPs continue to be allowed on these crops is another day that children and workers are needlessly poisoned.
People are exposed to OPs through residue on food, contaminated water, and when pesticides drift from where they are applied to where people live, work, go to school, and play. Children often have greater exposure than adults to OPs due to their increased hand-to-mouth activity, body weight to surface ratio, eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, and breathing more air. Farm workers face the highest exposures and risks from OPs when they apply these pesticides or enter fields where OPs have been sprayed. Farm workers and their families are also more likely to live and go to school near where OPs are sprayed.
But we can make a difference. Let your legislators know you support the Banning All Neurotoxic Organophosphate Pesticides from our Food Act (The BAN OPs Act).
Please contact your legislators and ask them to pass this important bill. (Here is a sample email you can use.) We are also looking for people who would be willing to participate in virtual meetings with their legislators. Participating in a meeting is easy and you won’t be alone. Members from Earth Justice, Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, and/or National Farm Worker Ministry will join you in this meeting and can speak to the specifics of the bill.
Shelila is a NFWM supporter who recently met with her legislator in VA. Read about her legislative meeting experiences and then contact Julie Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you would also like to participate in a meeting with your legislator.
Q&A with Sheila about her legislative meeting
1. Why was it important for you to meet with your legislator about The BAN OPs Act?
It was important to meet with my legislator because I want to stand up for farmworker protections at every level, and make sure the faith voice in support of worker protections is heard.
2. How long was your meeting and did you have to do a lot of prep work beforehand?
The meeting was about half an hour, and for prep, I basically just reviewed the BAN OPs fact sheet.
3. What would you tell someone who is reluctant about contacting their legislator about The BAN OPs Act or other important legislation to the farm worker movement?
I’d remind folks that our elected officials are supposed to be representing our voice. Constituent opinions and personal testimony are often a deciding factor on how legislators vote and what they prioritize. Plus, the people we meet with are always gracious and ready to listen. It’s worth your time to participate!
Don’t Forget: If you are interested in participating in a virtual meeting with your legislator, please contact Julie Taylor at email@example.com.