It turns out that if farm workers are treated poorly, it could create a security threat for the nation’s food supply, Newsweek reports. Roughly 75 percent of the nation’s farm workers are undocumented, and many of them are vulnerable to the poor conditions in which they work because they lack access to health care and employee protections.
“Injuries, poor air quality, contact with animal waste, exposure to antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and exposure to novel strains of the flu virus viruses,” could cause many workers to miss days of work, according to a recent Johns Hopkins report.
As Newsweek reports, in 2010 U.S. farms lost over $300 million in revenue because of a farm worker shortage.
Farmworkers in Coachella Valley often face extreme heat and contact w/ dangerous pesticides. Now they face the threat of deportation. pic.twitter.com/I7bXqXpHF3
— AJ+ (@ajplus) April 3, 2017
These kinds of shortages in the workforce could raise the price of certain goods, like milk, by nearly 90 percent. This is just one way U.S. consumers are directly affected by treatment of the undocumented. However, many of these undocumented workers do not report their working conditions or exploitative wages because they are afraid of retaliation from employers – or worse under the current administration.
Newsweek reports that improving the working conditions for undocumented workers is a necessary step to ensuring the safety of the United States’ food supply, which could collapse otherwise.
Check out the link to the Newsweek article below for the whole story.