To the Editor:
Public schools in Berlin are making efforts to incorporate more plants on students’ plates (Berlin school chefs learn about plant-based meals, May 19, 2019).
Free plant-based training for cafeteria staff and greater plant-based offerings for students are a step in a greener and healthier direction.
These programs will enable Berlin’s students to receive healthier foods in schools and improve their well-being.
However, in light of a push for greener plates in Berlin, it’s important to also consider what toxins these plants expose Connecticut’s students to. Chlorpyrifos is a toxic pesticide currently used on Connecticut’s agriculture to kill or repel pests. It poses a major risk to Connecticut’s children. The pesticide is linked to brain damage in children, autism, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and other health consequences.
As more plants are introduced in school cafeterias, Berlin’s children face a higher risk of coming into contact with chlorpyrifos and developing adverse health effects. House Bill No. 7346 acts to eliminate the use of chlorpyrifos in Connecticut.
This bill would reduce the harms to Connecticut’s children and ensure that Berlin students are receiving safe and healthy foods in their cafeterias. Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz has expressed that Connecticut’s young children are a legislative priority of his. He has championed numerous initiatives to protect and support the future of Connecticut’s children. I urge Speaker Aresimowicz and his fellow Berlin neighbors to continue to protect the well-being of Connecticut’s children by supporting HB 7346 to ban chlorpyrifos in Connecticut.