Centerpiece

Regional concern about pesticides on rise

Chile

Eugenia Mejías is a temporero, one of the thousands of seasonal laborers who help harvest Chilean export crops from October to February each year. She never imagined that her work on a farm near the central Chilean city of Rancagua would result in a mother’s worst nightmare. In 2004, Mejías saw her 14-year-old daughter Evelyn die from complications stemming from severe birth defects that left the girl with hydrocephalus, misshapen and paralyzed legs, a twisted, partially exposed spine and a body the size of a three-year-old’s. Mejías, her family’s doctors and outside experts attribute the defects to Eugenia’s own exposure to pesticides when she was pregnant with Evelyn. She says that during her pregnancy, she lived yards from an apple orchard... [Log in to read more]

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