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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Holidays' Category


13
Feb

It’s the Organic Thought That Counts This Valentine’s Day

(Beyond Pesticides, February 13, 2007) As Valentine’s Day approaches, dozens of roses and bouquets are being stocked at stores nationwide. The intentions may be sweet but many of the flowers are not — most of them have been treated with toxic chemicals. Pesticides are used on most conventionally grown flowers. A good portion of this use takes place in the waterlogged savannah surrounding the capital of Colombia, which has the world’s second-largest cut-flower industry after the Netherlands, producing 62 percent of all flowers sold in the United States. With 110,000 employees — many of them single mothers — and annual exports of US$1 billion, the industry provides an important alternative to growing coca, source crop of the Andean nation’s better known illegal export: cocaine. But these economic gains come at a cost to workers’ health and Colombia’s environment. Colombia’s flower exporters association has attempted to respond by launching the Florverde program, but with limited success; its members have reduced pesticide use by 38 percent since 1998, to an average of 97 kilograms (213 pounds) of active ingredient per hectare (2.4 acres) per year. However, 36 percent of the chemicals used by Florverde farms in 2005 were still listed as “extremely” […]

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