177471 Floriculture Industry: Thorns without Borders

Monday, October 27, 2008: 3:30 PM

Martin Donohoe, MD, FACP , School of Community Health, Portland State University, Lake Oswego, OR
On Valentine's Day, anniversaries, and throughout the year, lovers buy the objects of their affection cut flowers, many of which come from the developing world and are grown under unhealthy conditions involving multiple labor rights violations. Most buyers are unaware that in gifting their lovers with these aesthetically-beautiful symbols, they are supporting industries which adversely impact global health, through the utilization of forced labor (which sometimes involves children), human rights abuses, environmental degradation, and adverse health consequences (via over-exposure to toxic pesticides). This session reviews labor rights violations and the health, environmental, and human rights consequences associated with the production of cut flowers. Recommendations to improve the safety of production standards are offered. National and international movements and agreements designed to curb abuses (including US involvement in such agreements) will be reviewed, and an agenda for education, activism and policy change developed.

Learning Objectives:
Explain labor rights issues relevant to the international floriculture industry Discuss the economics of the international floriculture industry Explain the health, environmental, and human rights consequences of floriculture Recognize the role of women and children in floriculture Describe the major health consequences of pesticide exposure Discuss labor rights issues and national and international campaigns and treaties relevant to floriculture

Keywords: Labor, Social Justice

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I researched this talk and am solely responsible for its content.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.