Grape 'Facts' Are Often Debatable

Much of the information that has been given by various sides in the Great Grape debate should be taken with a grain of salt.

According to statements released by the Grape Farmers and Workers Coalition (GFWC) in 1989, the five chemicals the United Farm Workers (UFW) protests-dinoseb, parathion, methyl bromide, phosdrin and captan-were either eliminated or scheduled for removal at the time the UFW announced its opposition.

But in 1995 California grape growers used captan, methyl bromide, and parathion, according to the California Environmental Protection Agency.

The GFWC may not be a truly independent organization working to bridge the gap between growers and workers. It is a subsidiary of the Dolphin Group-a consulting firm that has had ties to the Republican party since Reagan was elected Governor of California in 1966, according to Mark Grossman, spokesperson for the UFW. It is only against workers to further the political fortunes of Republican politicians, he said.

In a December 1996 press release, the UFW claimed that pesticides were an initial reason for the 1984 boycott. However the grape boycott resolution it released in 1984 does not mention pesticides.