BRUSSELS - Suffering from Parkinson's disease or cancer, European farm workers experience inadequate recognition and failing compensation schemes, a cross-border research of media in ten European countries shows.
Farm workers are not protected from pesticides. Recommended equipment, expensive, untested and rarely worn as it is, does not provide effective protection. Without this presumed protection, dangerous pesticides would be banned.
French whistleblowing scientists have raised the alarm for more than a decade. They remain unheard. Science has shown that pesticides exposure is linked to serious and deadly illnesses for farm workers, including Parkinson's disease and blood cancers.
Victims across Europe are struggling for recognition and compensation, as occupational disease remains a blind spot for authorities.
As of now, only France and Italy officially recognize Parkinson’s disease to be linked to farm work. The condition is not on the list of occupational diseases upon which the European Union recommends Member States to act.
The official EU agency is not able to collect and share basic statistics on health at work.
This cross-border investigation is coordinated by Investigative Reporting Denmark, edited by Le Monde and a UK editor, and made in collaboration with journalists from Le Monde in France, Knack in Belgium, Tygodnik Powszechny in Poland, Ostro in Croatia and Slovenia, IRPI in Italy, De Groene Amsterdammer in The Netherlands, Ippen Investigativ in Germany and The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting in US.
This investigation has been shortlisted for the Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism 2022 by the European Parliament.
Photo: A farmer, who does not protect himself with any PPE, mixes a dangerous herbicide with water in his tractor and then applies it on a wheat field of Biscarrués (Spain).
Photo credit: Marcos Garcia Rey.
- Poisoned farmers: exposing the myth of pesticide protection (Le Monde, France,16/02/2022)
- Pesticide victims left to fend for themselves (Le Monde, France, 16/02/2022)
- Pesticides : la grande illusion des équipements de protection des agriculteurs (Le Monde, France, 16/02/2022)
- Poisoned farmers: exposing the myth of pesticide protection (Investigative Reporting, Denmark, 16/02/2022)
- Pesticide victims left to fend for themselves (Investigative Reporting, Denmark, 16/02/2022)
- Pesticidi na poslu: hrvatski poljoprivrednici bez odštete zbog izloženosti otrovima (Oštro, Croatia, 16/02/2022)
- Pesticidi na delu: Porozna zaščitna obleka (Oštro, Slovenia, 16/02/2022)
- Agricoltori a rischio: il mito dei dispositivi di protezione contro i pesticidi (IrpiMedia, Italy, 16/02/2022)
- Beschermingskledij tegen pesticiden werkt niet: riskeren boeren parkinson? (Knack, Belgium, 16/02/2022)
- Wystawieni (Tygodnik Powszechny, Poland, 16/02/2022)
- Probing for a pesticides link to Parkinson's disease (EUObserver, Belgium, 16/02/2022)
- Pestizide: Wie Landwirte und Winzer vergeblich um Entschädigung kämpfen (BuzzFeed, Germany, 16/02/2022)
- 'De norm deugt niet' - Onderzoek Pesticiden en Parkinson - (De Groene Amsterdammer, The Netherlands, 16/02/2022)
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