Daily News Archive
Church Helps Warn Farmworkers About Pesticides
"It's not a typical thing that Catholic parishes do," said Tim Kautza, science and environmental education specialist for the conference, a private, non-profit organization. "With this audience having a great tie to the Catholic Church, looking at the church as a place that provides a safe environment, a trusting environment, it fills the need."
The idea was sparked during a board meeting in the Yakima Valley, an agricultural region -- heavy with apples, cherries, grapes and hops -- that relies largely on Hispanic labor. Bishop Carlos Sevilla, whose diocese covers seven Central Washington counties, agreed that the training was a perfect fit for his parishioners.
"I think any
church, certainly ours, is looking for the well-being of the whole person
-- their relationship with God, their well-being spiritually has a lot
to do with their well-being physically," Bishop Sevilla said. "The
purpose is to help the people in the fields preserve their health."”
The sessions offered by the Catholic group target women and children, who are more likely to miss pesticide training as they work seasonally to supplement the family income.
For more information on farmworkers and pesticides, contact Beyond Pesticides. We also recommend visiting the Farmworker Justice Fund website for more information. You may read the full AP story on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer website.