Returned to Amsterdam and noticed a new documentary film which is showing back in New York City this week, entitled: BANANAS!
Bananas! is the story of the Banana industry’s use of a chemical known as Nemagon, a highly toxic chemical compound used for spraying banana trees throughout the 60’s and 70’s. The pesticide has grave effects on the health of any mammal, as it caused massive levels of male sterility among banana workers, as well as high levels of cancer. Despite knowing the effects of the pesticide on humans, companies including Dole (one of the world’s largest banana growers) sprayed fields anyway without informing or making any effort to protect workers.
The film focuses not only on the banana industry but on the case of Juan “Accidentes” Dominguez, a lawyer representing 12 Nicaraguan banana workers suffering the effects of Nemagon, taking on Dole.
The emergence of the film naturally drew criticism and threats from Dole, who claim their own investigators determined most of the claims in the film to be fraudulent. They threatened legal action against the film, but according the film’s website, those suits have been withdrawn.
I had not heard about this film before today, and I have only begun to read specifically about Nemagon. But I very much intend to see the film when it comes to Amsterdam next month, as well as interview the director and perhaps some other parties involved in this issue. I’m sure you’re hoping I talk to Dole… I’ll see what I can do, large corporations don’t normally have time for we the independent reporters out there.
If you’re curious, here’s the trailer.