Agricultural labels could benefit from bilingual options

No company wants to face fines or legal issues from failing to comply with GHS labeling standards. In agriculture, it is especially important for labels to be detailed and up-to-date, otherwise consumable goods could be exposed to hazardous chemicals.

Some farmworker advocate groups, though, are becoming increasingly concerned about the individuals who are operating the machines. A recent National Public Radio (NPR) article explained that these organizations are concerned that agricultural chemical labels are only printed in English. With more workers speaking Spanish as their native tongue, it makes it more difficult for them to keep themselves safe if they cannot understand the directions.

Virginia Ruiz, director of Occupational and Environmental Health at Farmworker Justice, explained to the news source that farmworkers "are frustrated about their lack of knowledge about these chemicals."

Ruiz's group, along with others, submitted formal complaints to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), saying that "without bilingual labeling, today's Spanish-speaking agricultural workforce is at great risk for pesticide exposure."

According to NPR, the EPA is working on updating its current standards designed to protect farmworkers. While the Worker Protection Standard has been in place for 20 years, advocacy groups claim it is not good enough, and that the language barrier is a huge issue. 

For companies that manufacture and distribute pesticides and other agricultural chemicals, having as detailed of labels as possible can be greatly beneficial. Whether they decide to include multiple languages or not might still be up to their own discretion, but creating unique descriptions is more easily done with a color label printer, such as the Epson GP-C831.

With this printer, businesses can produce mass quantities of durable labels that will not smudge, bleed or be easily peeled off of a container.

Leave a Comment