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Five on Friday: The Workers Behind Valentine's Day

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Five on Friday workers behind valentines day


Valentine’s Day is sneaking up on us. Homemade cards with love poems in cursive are the preferred gift over here, but if you decide to go the flowers-and-chocolates route, don’t forget about the workers behind the products. One in 12 flower cutters may be child laborers, reported the Atlantic a few years ago; the Washington Post last year ran an op-ed claiming two-thirds of flower workers in Colombia “have health problems because of exposure to pesticides and toxins (many of which are prohibited in the United States).” The chocolate industry still struggles to end the use of child slaves in its fields, despite decades of opposition from activists. Voting with your dollar means being prepared; night-before-Valentine’s rushes to the local drug store limit your options. Call ahead, check out the wide variety of options (like the local farmer’s market,, or even a Rainforest Alliance-certified bouquet from Costco), make sure you look for the fair trade logo on your chocolate, and let the love flow! 

Now on to our five recommended health justice reads from MCN staff:



1 citizenship apartheid


Amy sent, “Judge Blocks Discrimination Against Puerto Ricans, Says Federal Government Is Engaging in ‘Citizenship Apartheid’.

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2 who was susan harwood


Amy also enlightened us to who actually was Susan Harwood, whose name we use almost daily as proud recipients of OSHA’s Susan Harwood Training Grant: “Susan Harwood, A Legacy of Compassion.

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3 anger sign of depression


Del forwarded on, “If you're often angry or irritable, you may be depressed.


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4 eliminating hpv


Amy also shared, “Migrant child died after release from detention, attorneys group alleges.”

Alma shared “Esta científica mexicana logró eliminar el virus del papiloma con un método no invasivo.

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5 Green new deal


Claire did a happy dance at her desk while reading the draft of the Green New Deal legislation (which -- rare for legislation -- is truly a good read). The needs of migrants and other vulnerable populations as climate change advances are called out in the preamble!


Have a safe and healthy weekend.


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