Posts Tagged: farmworker
An article by Gosia Wozniacka for the Associated Press discusses a new law signed Sunday by Gov. Jerry Brown that aims to make farmworker unionization easier, by automatically certifying union elections if a grower intimidates workers during the election process. The reporter turned to Philip Martin, professor with the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, for analysis of the law and what differences it could make. Martin told the reporter that it was hard to tell, but that making unionization easier could also put pressure on farmworker wages. "This is a very evolutionary change, not revolutionary," he said.
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The Sacramento Bee picked up on a UC news release about the most recent issue of California Agriculture journal, which said more than 1 million California farmworkers face a higher risk of diabetes and respiratory disease because of poor air quality.
The news release says California's Central Valley has the highest recorded levels of particulate matter in the country. The polluted air results in increased rates of asthma and other respiratory illnesses. In addition, the release said research points to possible environmental links between pesticide exposure and the risk of diabetes.
In a sample of 1,300 Mexican Americans who participated in the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted from 1982 to 1984, higher levels of organochlorine compounds, which are found in pesticides, were observed in the blood of adults with self-reported diabetes compared to those without diabetes, according to the Cal Ag article.
"However, due to the cross-sectional design of the study, it is not clear whether there is a causal relationship between pesticide exposure and diabetes, or what the nature of that relationship may be," according to the article.
That said, perhaps the Sacramento Bee headline - "Farmworker diabetes risk linked to bad air" - is overstated.
The UC release also appeared on Yubanet.com.
The January to March issue of California Agriculture journal.