Friday, 12 Sep, 2008 Offbeat
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Mother of a Limbless Boy Testified on Pesticides Exposure

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A woman who gave birth to a boy with no limbs said that she was regularly exposed to pesticides on a North Carolina farm during her pregnancy.

Francisca Herrera, 20 year old woman, witnesses at a trial before the North Carolina Pesticide Board. The woman worked in the Ag-Mart's Florida and North Carolina tomato farm before and during her pregnancy. She told that managers ignored the seven-day waiting period rule and she was forced to work right after the chemicals were sprayed.

Her son Carlos, now four year old, was born without limbs, suffering from spinal and lung abnormalities.

The state started the investigation of the Ag-Mart Produce, the operator selling vegetables and fruits, after the case went public. It was found that two more women working at the farm gave birth to babies with severe birth defects.

Ag-Mart did not admit any wrongdoing, but stopped using the toxic chemicals that were connected to birth defects.

Herrera claimed that she was sent into field right after and sometimes even during spraying. "The boss would always be scolding us and telling us that we came to this country to work, not to rest," the migrant woman said.

The attorney said that the company wants to call another woman, who also gave birth to a baby with birth defects, to testify that she was not exposed to pesticides.

Source: United Press International

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