Make Sure Your Valentine’s Roses Are Green

Gar Smith
Berkeley Daily Planet

It’s February 14 and you’ve just handed your sweetie a gorgeous bouquet of roses. Tears spring to her eyes and her cheeks begin to flush bright red. But wait: Is this love or just an allergic reaction?
Valentine’s Day is a time for flowers, chocolates and the occasional diamond. But each of these love-gifts can come with curses. Chocolates can involve child labor, smuggled gems can support rebel armies (proof that diamonds truly are a guerilla’s best friend), and flowers can arrive perfumed with pesticides.

According to the Society of American Florists, more that 175 million roses will be planted, reared, sheared, and shipped thousands of miles to feed the Valentine’s Day market in the US alone. But be careful when you chose your spray of roses because there’s a better-than-even chance that those roses have been sprayed—with herbicides and pesticides...

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