During the 1970s, the pesticide Dibromochloropropane (DCBP, also known as Nemagon and Fumazone) was used extensively on banana and pineapple plantations all over the world including 12 countries along Central America (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panamá, Guatemala and Honduras), the Caribbean (St Vicent, Dominica, and St Lucía), South America (Ecuador) and Asia (Philippines) and Africa (Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast).
In Davao (Philippines) the pesticide was used from 1970 to end 1980 causing high levels of sterility and other health (and psychological) damages. According to Slutsky et al (1999), Philippines is the country where the percentage of workers with azoospermia (absence of sperm, which means sterility) is the highest from all the 12 countries.
Sterility is the only impact scientifically proven but other impacts such as cancers, asthma, tuberculosis, skin disease, body pain, tumors and death are other impacts that ex-workers relate with the pestice.
In 1993, banana plantation workers from Philippines filed a class-action suit against Dole (the company) demanding justice (medical care and income to live, as they can´t work anymore). In 1999, the Philippine Supreme Court dismissed the case. Years after, a similar case known as Macasa vs. Dole (Macasa is the name of one of the complainants) was submitted in a US court, but again in 2012 the court dismissed the case. Ex-banana workers also say that soil and water remains toxic due to the DBCP for more than 20 years, impacting not just humans but the entire environment. No scientific studies regarding the impacts on biodiversity have been done.
The organisation Bagon Alyansang Makagayan (New Patriotic Alliance) helps the ex-workers to elevate the case to the Human Rights commission in Philippes, they also give support to the ex-workers. most of them have died with no economic compensation.
DBCP is banned around the world and is not used anymore, but people remain paying the costs of the banana production in their own bodies and their environment.(See less)