Tuesday, March 14, 2006

More about Carlitos

Carlitos’ mother was illegally exposed to pesticides on 11 different days during her first trimester, when a baby’s limbs form, according to the records of North Carolina’s Department of Agriculture.

By the time Carlitos was born in Florida with no arms or legs, she had been exposed on more than 20 days. She was picking tomatoes for Ag-Mart in eastern North Carolina, along with two other women who also gave birth to deformed babies.

The women’s exposures were illegal because they worked in fields too soon after pesticides were sprayed.

Ag-Mart says that none of its workers were illegally exposed to pesticides and that the Agriculture Department misinterpreted its records.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is investigating whether the three babies' deformities are linked to pesticides. That report is expected in the next few weeks.

In Florida, an investigation by the state Department of Agriculture found no link between pesticides and birth defects in children including Carlitos. Nevertheless, the state fined Ag-Mart $111,200 for violations of federal pesticide regulations, believed to be the largest fine ever levied in Florida in a pesticide case.

Read the Winston-Salem Journal article here.

And see previous post here.

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