Listen to the following report from NPR's "Weekend Edition" about pesticide drift and it's exposure to children. Farmers who spray pesticides have not been fined, until recently, for drift from applications in some states. Many instances where individuals are exposed to pesticides go unreported or are held up in judicial and legislative limbo. Children are among the most susceptible to pesticide drift, perhaps contributing to respiratory and nervous system ailments and diseases.
There's a fundamental regulatory problem here: We can't choose our neighbors, but there's also an expectation that the neighborhoods in which we live are safe. I understand that farmers aren't interested in tighter regulations, as the current federal farm programs already put irrational limitations that threaten their vocation and livelihoods.
This story is just another blatant reminder of why our agricultural and subsequent social and economic structures needs to change: Why are we OK with eating pesticides, but not OK when we physically see them sprayed? And, how can those most sensitive to pesticide exposure gain a more prominent voice at a national level?