Target: Jay Inslee, Washington State Governor
Goal: Ban pesticides linked to illnesses and birth defects
A sudden upsurge of illnesses in Washington state is being linked to pesticide spraying. Around 60 people in only a couple of months have been affected by pesticide-related sicknesses, with eight people seeking emergency medical treatment because of their symptoms. Many experts believe these illnesses to be the result of pesticide ‘drift’ – when pesticides are carried by the wind or not applied correctly. If pesticides cause this much damage when intentionally sprayed away from humans, how much damage are they causing when we eat the food? Sign this petition to ban pesticide use altogether, and find other methods to control pests that don’t put human lives at risk.
Reports have found that the recent illnesses in Washington originated in orchards, and the people affected are agricultural workers, utility workers, and residents who live near these orchards. Those affected have suffered from nausea, vomiting, headaches, skin and eye irritation, and difficulty breathing.
But an even more serious consideration should be taken in this matter. It also happens that in many of the same counties where pesticide drift has occurred, a serious birth defect, anencephaly, is now triple the national average rate. Anencephaly is a rare but deadly defect in babies, who are born with parts of their brain or skull missing. This anomaly even has experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerned.
The evidence is very strong that there is a link between pesticides and these illnesses. However, shouldn’t our concern also be of the food that we are eating? If agricultural employees have to wear safety suits and masks to spray our food, how can it be safe to eat? These illnesses – and possibly the serious birth defects – are all accidents waiting to happen when our food is laced with chemicals. Sign this petition to pressure Washington State to ban these pesticides, and to consider other ways of protecting food from pests.
Dear Mr. Inslee,
I write with concern over the number of pesticide-related health issues that have hit Washington state recently. People in several counties have reported illnesses that have been linked to pesticide drift, and some of these people had to seek emergency medical treatment for nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, and difficulty breathing. Not only this, but counties in Washington that have seen these pesticide-related illnesses have also seen a dramatic spike in anencephaly cases – a serious birth defect where babies are born with parts of their skull or brain missing.
The evidence is very strong that pesticides are to blame, but I also ask you, if small amounts of pesticide can cause this type of damage, how can we be sure the food that is sprayed with these chemicals is safe to eat?
I believe the time is right to ban pesticides altogether. This may seem like a radical move, but given the nature of the recent cases in your state, I would consider it to be only reasonable. If the people who spray our food with dangerous chemicals have to wear layers of protective clothing, how can it be safe to eat?
Please ban the use of chemicals in Washington. There are many methods to ensure that pest numbers are reduced without using harmful chemicals: crop rotation, crop diversity, pest catching animals, and organic pesticides. Please do not let the health of your people be sacrificed for a cheap solution to crop management.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Pl77 via Wikimedia Commons