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Toxicity increasing in the Flower Business

The toxicity among the roses is seen at the waterlogged savannah surrounding the capital of Colombia, the world's second-largest cut-flower producer, after the Netherlands. It produces upto 62 percent of all flowers sold in the United States.

There are 110,000 employees in the place and many of them single mothers, and annual exports are upto $1 billion. The flower industry provides an important alternative to growing coca, the source of cocaine. But these economic gains come at a cost to workers' health and Colombia's environment, consumer advocates say.

36 percent of the toxic chemicals applied by Florverde farms in 2005 were listed as extremely or highly toxic by the World Health Organization.

Growers are facing stiff competition from emerging flower industries in Africa and China apply pesticides and fungicides. Their usage is elevating the rates of cancer and neurological disorders and other problems.

But the Producers are interested in going for organic, especially when they are given the high costs of pesticides...Read More

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