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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Workers who produce the flowers imported for Mother's Day may be suffering because of the pesticides used. War on Want has brought out a report.

The pain and abuse behind a Mother's Day bouquet - Independent


"Fragrant foreign blooms handed to mothers this Sunday will carry more than a whiff of exploitation, according to a report today.

War on Want said pesticides on imported flowers from Colombia and Kenya were leaving workers there with skin lesions, allergies, eye problems, fainting, headaches and asthma. Some of the chemicals were alleged to cause miscarriages and malformations.

Published three days before Mother's Day, the anti-poverty charity's report, Growing Pains, said flower cutters were working shifts of 15 hours a day and were prey to sexual assaults.

The abuses were said to be occurring on farms supplying British supermarkets and shops despite voluntary codes of conduct to clean up plantations."