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“The optimization of production still gets priority over other things. And if someone develops cancer, or if a plane sprays a teacher, well, it’s the teacher’s business”, said Walter Miglionico, trade union leader of the Labour Health and Environment Department of the workers’ central union PIT-CNT.
Miglionico was one of the speakers during a regional seminar called “Agrotoxics in the Southern Cone: The Human Right to Water and the Right to Health Under Threat”, held at the PIT-CNT’s headquarters in Montevideo, Uruguay on July 17. The activity was organized by the Trade Union of Public Servants (COFE), the National Commission in Defense of Water and Life, REDES-Friends of the Earth Uruguay and Programa Uruguay Sustentable.
“I could come here on behalf of the Labour Health Department and on behalf of rural workers and tell them “stay calm, we’ll sort it out”. But I can’t. The fact is we are quite vulnerable to confront this issue”, said Miglionico. He explained that in the rural areas “there are three or four places where we have strong trade unions that have been able to at least ask for the equipment (to spray agrotoxics)”.
The trade union leader said the “regulation, something the agronomists ignore, is clear” and it mentions important preemptive measures in order of priority: “substituting chemical products; modifying the process, isolating the process”, while the personal protection will be used “as a provisional supplementary measure, if they other measures failed in terms of sources of pollution and the forms of spreading it”. But the compliance with the rules “does not matter”, regretted Miglionico.
Photo: Radio Mundo Real
Hacia la IV Conferencia Especial para la Soberanía Alimentaria (Santiago de Chile, mayo 2014). Integrante de la Asociación Nacional de Mujeres Rurales e Indígenas de Chile y de la Coordinación Política de la Coordinadora Latinoamericana de Organizaciones del Campo (CLOC-Vía Campesina), Francisca Rodríguez es referente de la campaña mundial en rescate de las semillas criollas, campesinas y nativas que incluye la denuncia a varias corporaciones transnacionales por su política de legislación privatizadora de la biodiversidad.
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