"...that of the children interviewed in flower-growing regions [of Ecuador], 78 percent began working by the time they were fifteen years of age. Of those who reported that they worked, roughly half had jobs in the cut flower industry... Some of the children also received a medical examination as part of the study. Thirty percent had headaches, 32 percent had tremors, 27 percent had migraines, and 15 percent had experienced some kind of fainting or blackout. The results of these diagnoses and bloodwork "suggest that contact with neurotoxic substances" could be the cause of health problems among the children."
"And the alternative-no flower farms at all-is worse. " If you go home and buy California roses," one grower told me, " you are no supporting an American worker. You are supporting a Mexican worker who is away from his family. If you buy Ecuadorian roses, you are allowing an Ecuadorian family to stay together."
-Amy Stewart _Flower Confidential _