Letter to the editor: We need to stop poisoning our farmworker families in Watsonville

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To the editor:

Thank you for your Oct. 3 article on pesticides. I was present at the CORA event with T. S. MacQuiddy Elementary School and Driscoll’s. It made me so sad to see the children with leukemia, birth defects and autism and hear their farmworker parents tell about their struggles.

I now live in Bay Village, the senior housing community where a state pilot program notifies residents when toxic pesticide are used on fields within one mile. Since Aug. 31, we have received over 20 of these notifications, which don’t even tell you which fields are being fumigated.

I share teacher Sarah Legion’s frustration with being powerless to escape the toxic chemicals. My family has found little practical value in the notifications except that they make us more aware of the danger we are all in. We avoid taking walks in the neighborhood, wash all produce from our backyard garden and don’t hang laundry out.

Pajaro Valley must become a showcase for healthy organic agriculture. We cannot continue to poison our citizens, especially our farmworker families.

Kathryn Mizuno, retired Pajaro Valley Unified School District teacher