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Banana plantation workers sue Dole, Dow and Del Monte over pesticide

Workers claim the companies never told them of the chemical’s danger

More than 1,000 Latin American banana plantation workers are suing Dole Food Co., Dow Chemical Co. and Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. over injuries they claim are linked to the pesticide dibromochloropropane, the use of which has been banned in the U.S. since 1979.

The plantation workers in Costa Rica, Ecuador and Panama, however, allege that their employers never told them they were in any danger from the chemical, which was sprayed on bananas to get rid of nematode worms. According to the complaints filed May 31 in Delaware federal court, as a result of not wearing protective equipment, workers have been suffering from cancer, skin diseases, kidney damage, sterility and miscarriages, among other things.

This is not the first time U.S. courts have seen cases about this pesticide come in from abroad. Typically, courts have dismissed the cases, saying that workers have to pursue litigation in their home jurisdictions.

Read more at Bloomberg Businessweek.

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