Bananas the Film

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  They threatened legal action against the film, but according the film’s website, those suits have been withdrawn.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.

BANANAS!* trailer from WG Film on Vimeo.

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5 thoughts on “Bananas the Film

  • October 27, 2009 at 10:07 pm
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    Interesting story. I live and teach in Honduras, where Dole has huge tracts of land planted in bananas and pineapple. There seems to be lots of birth defects here too, but you can’t tell
    what the cause could be, the people do stupid things like cover their bodies in kerosene to
    keep away insects or take all kinds of “cure all” medicines that they can’t read what’s inside.
    I was pulling my weeds in the vegetable garden last week and my next door neighbor brought over
    a gallon of Paraquat that was 20+ years old and wanted to sell it to me. He said he’s been using
    all around his house for over 30 years!! He can’t read or write and I tried to tell him but……….
    Education has to be the key here.
    Megan Mills Tegucigalpa, Honduras

  • October 28, 2009 at 6:05 pm
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    Megan if you ever want to talk about your experiences there either offline or on the podcast, Id love to hear more… get in touch with me via email puuuurlease.

  • November 3, 2009 at 2:33 pm
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    and only remembers Guatemala in 60 years and that the banana (CIA) industry since that country.

  • December 18, 2009 at 2:27 pm
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    gracias hermano

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