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Problemas con Las Rosas

ECUADOR | Friday, 30 March 2007 | Views [2774]

at an organic rose plantation in patate ... i  will definitely be writing more about this later.

at an organic rose plantation in patate ... i will definitely be writing more about this later.

As we made our way down the country of Ecuador to Cuenca (the third largest city) we stopped at an organic rose plantation. Roses are one of Ecuador´s main exports... chances are that if you buy roses in the U.S. they are from an Ecuadorian plantation. However, many of the plantations are not organic and are using many chemicals in the growing of their roses causing toooons of serious health problems for the Ecuadorians growing them: the chemicals are causing cancer, fatigue, nausea, blurred vision, rashes and the women workers are experiencing complications pregnancy -- many times becoming infertile.

An environmental group here discovered that a vast majority of the roses grown here contain 1,000 times the amount of cancer causing pesticides as food products and 50 times the legal limit of pesticides allowed to be use on food. The pesticides used are banned by many countries (including the U.S.) around the world an dthe World Health Organization labels them as highly toxic. Although these pesticides many not be affecting us because we are not eating the roses, they are greatly affecting the Ecuadorian people and the environment in Ecuador.

Although a lot of the rose companies have ¨doctors¨for their employees they pay them in order to tell the workers that they are fine and are not experiencing health problems.


So... basically all of this information really upset me. I think of how I have bought flowers for people (like my mommy) to show affection, but can we really say we are buying people flowers in the name of love when it is harming so many people? So... what do we do?? Well... I was reading an article that talked about this and it is kind of a Catch 22. We can´t necessarily stop buying roses because of the grave affect that would have on the Ecuadoran economy (which already has 80% of its population in poverty). Not to mention many of the hardworking laborers would lose their jobs.

The article suggests that when buying roses, we make an effort to ask our florist where the roses are coming from; express a desire to buy roses from an organic plantation. If your florist doesn´t know.. ask them to find out. This way the florist discuss the concerns of us (the consumers) to the distributors/importers. So...yeah keep that in mind this mothers day! Organic roses may be more expensive but honestly, its worth it.

Tags: Culture

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