Flowers From Colombia Not Tested For Toxins

Unless you’re trying to pull some gothic gesture, you may want to avoid giving your beloved flowers from Colombia this Valentine’s Day.

The U.S. doesn’t test imported flowers for toxins. A survey of the pesticides Columbian growers apply indicates use of chemicals linked to higher incidences of cancers and neurological disorders among workers.

Colombia produces 62% of the flowers sold in the United States. — BEN POPKEN

Do you know where your flowers have been? [AP via Consumer World Blog

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  1. Not meaning to be an evil grammar-policenik, but I do believe that the name of the country is spelled Colombia, not Columbia, as in the name of The District, the university, and the sportswear brand. Cheers.

  2. Kos says:

    So can we assume that all the 2 dozen for $8.99 deals in NYC delis are from Columbia?

  3. bluegus32 says:

    Wait a minute! Are you telling me that the Colombians are acting in a less than responsible fashion?

    This doesn’t mean that my cocaine isn’t pure, does it? Cuz if it’s true, I’m going to have to start getting my smack from local growers. Support the local economy, that’s what I always say.

  4. medalian1 says:

    The article I read was more about how dangerous it is to the workers, not that it posed a risk to the flower recipient. Who really cares about the Colombian workers? That’s like asking me if I care about the workers that pick the tomatoes used in my taco bell tacos.

  5. shoegazer says:

    Granted, toxins are bad, but the article never pointed to a consumer risk, the health problems come with prolonged exposure to the sprays. So isn’t it a bit misleading to suddenly represent this as a health risk?

  6. medalian1 says:

    Holy fuckballs commenting here is a pain in the ass, takes two or more times to get my sheet to go through.

    Does anyone buying the flowers really care about the people in Colombia that grow and harvest these cheap flowers? I’m making paper flowers this year, posted on lifehaker … should get super points for it cause the homemade factor.

  7. shoegazer says:

    durr, what medalian said, only less dismissive of columbians. and tacos.

  8. royal72 says:

    unless you’re planning on dipping your rose thorns in poison, you got nothing to worry about. in reality it’s more along these lines,
    “damn it! they’re not buying our more expensive american flowers. we came up with this damn holiday to sell the fucking flowers in the first place. so what are we gonna do?!… write this down and send it your journalist buddy…”

    that cheeseburger and fries your eating right now as you read this, has more toxins and is more dangerous than a couple of flowers.

  9. John Stracke says:

    unless you’re planning on dipping your rose thorns in poison

    Nothin’ says lovin’ like hemlock in the oven!

  10. AcilletaM says:

    So does a boycott of Colombian flowers lead to more farmers there growing more coca? Gawker commenters must be estatic!

  11. olegna says:

    Hmmm, maybe this is payback for the US-Colombia coca-crop-eradication program, where US taxpayers spend billions spraying Monsanto RoundUp Ready from helicopters all over southern Colombia.

    OK, maybe this is my cheap shot at trying to publicize this awful policy, but humor me:

    #1.) Monsanto’s own instructions for using RoundUp Ready specifically states not to spray it from aircraft (it’s supposed to be sprayed from about 5 feet above the plants from tractors to avoid the wind carrying it far and wide and defoliating natural habitats;

    #2.) Because the US taxpayer pays for the spraying of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready from low-flying aircraft in southern Colombia, the mist of the defoliant drifts for miles, covering natural habitats and non-coca crops that are downwind from the spray zones;

    #3.) There is no oversight over the pre-mixing of Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready (which is sold in concentrated form), and some human rights activists have said higher concentrations are used and that people living inside the spray zones get respiratory irritation form the spraying — not to mention the destruction of subsistence crops and natural habitats within the spray and drift zones;

    #4.) In the early 90s, it has been proven that the US and Colombia were adding a additive to Monsanto Roundup, something made by a British chemical firm — something that made the Roundup stickier (Roundup works by sticking to leaves, cutting off photosynthesis). When the British company realize what the US and Colombia were doing they voluntarily stopped selling the additive to the contracting firms involved with providing the defoliant to the crop-eradication program;

    #5.) Human rights groups in Ecuador claim that the people living within the drift zones (poor subsistence farmers that have nothing to do with the drug trade) have had their crops destroyed and have reported respiratory distress (inhaling a mist of sticky Roudup Ready can’t be good for you).


    Anyway, it would be nice if the average Americans would get a little outraged at this while they’re getting outraged over pesticides on their Valentine’s Day roses.

  12. homerjay says:

    And this is partly the reason I nominated Monsanto as the 2006 worst company in America…. possibly the world.

  13. Sudonum says:

    better living throught chemicals……… oops, thats DuPont

  14. It is extremely difficult to beat Monsanto for all around evilness, since their business model hinges on destroying our food security and making all our plants sterile so we have to buy them from Monstanto or starve. Which is great until Monsanto gets wiped out by a nuclear bomb or whatever.

    Plus all the cancer and endocrine disrupters. I guess if none of US can reproduce because of chemcials Monsanto introduced to our environment, we’ll die out a lot faster than we would from mass-starvation from Monstanto sterilizing all our crops.

    Or from the superbugs Monsanto is deliberately goading into existence.