In a recent published study (May 21), researchers of the University of California San Diego School of Medicine claim that they have found higher blood pressure and pesticide exposure in children (living near flower crops in Ecuador) associated with a heightened spraying of crop protection products during the period around the Mother's Day flower harvest. We asked Alejandro Martinez, CEO of Ecuadorian association of flower exporters Expoflores to react on this study as they are constantly working with the local community and other crops to address the safe use of crop protection products in a proper way.
Alejandro Martinez at the Flor Expo Ecuador 2018 in Quito, Ecuador.
The article doesn't really specify how the pesticides are reaching children, Alejandro explains. "The area where the studies where made have a lot of other crops that are produced in open field without greenhouses so its more probable that the exposure to the local population comes from these other crops. Flower crops are highly regulated in terms of types of pesticides and procedures to apply to. Mothers day matches with the highest rainy season of the area so many other crops (tomatoes, lettuce, strawberries) use more pesticides for insects that have more incidence during this season."
"It's a serious problem that Expoflores has always addressed with the government to clarify and assess this properly. Fumigation in rose greenhouses are very focused on the plant and there´s no residues thrown to water or by wind towards local communities."
"Either way we are approaching this matter very seriously and getting closer to local universities and the pesticide industry to amplify local studies on this issue. As Expoflores we constantly work with local community and other crops to address the pesticide safety use in a proper way."
For more information on Expoflores, visit: expoflores.com