29.12.2014 |

Nicaragua: Banana workers to receive payment for pesticide exposure

Pesticide application (Photo: Scot Nelson/

After 40 years, the U.S. corporation Dole Food Company has agreed to compensate more than 1,700 former banana workers from Nicaragua who were exposed to the banned pesticide Nemagon, suffering severe health problems. “The payments will be made soon”, said Humberto Hurtado, Dole spokesman, in a statement on Friday. Between 1973 and 1980, Dole used the agrochemical dibromochloropropane (DBCP), also known by the brand names Fumazone and Nemagon, in plantations in Central America to control soil-dwelling nematodes that fed on the roots of banana plants. The chemicals caused serious health problems including infertility, cancer, miscarriages and skin diseases. The amount of the settlement was not revealed but the attorney for the workers said that it would be distributed according to the severity of the damage suffered by each worker. The 1700 workers belong to a group of 4150 former Nicaraguan banana workers from different departments of the country who sued Dole for physical and psychological damages. “I hope the whole group will receive compensation”, said the lawyer for the workers, Antonio Hernandez Ordeñana. He said that the settlement should serve as an incentive for further cases against chemical companies that produced DBCP, including Dow Chemical and Shell Oil Company. (ab)

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