Dan Koeppel:
Nemagon billboard in California, 1970s. (Photo: http://plpnemweb.ucdavis.edu)

Dan Koeppel: “Why is Dole suing a filmmaker?”

From Dan Koeppel’s blog:

The following is the English text of an article I wrote for Dagens Nyheter, the largest daily newspaper in Sweden. The story is about Dole’s attempt to stop the distribution of “BANANAS!*”, a documentary made by Swedish filmmaker Fredrik Gertten that the banana company believes to be untrue. The film is about lawsuits filed against Dole by Nicaraguan workers claiming to have been injured by the company’s use of a pesticide called Nemagon, or DBCP. In 2007, those workers achieved a partial victory against the banana company – but a follow-up suit was dismissed earlier this year after lawyers for the fruit giant offered evidence that the lawyer for the laborers had falsified information (here’s one of many news accounts about the trial’s denouement.)

In the story, I explain why I find that “evidence” unconvincing – and why Dole’s suit has roots not just in a century of  banana industry history, but also in a business model that persists to this day.

Read the article »

 

American writer Dan Koeppel has written articles for New York Times Magazine and Popular Science. He appears regularly in National Geographic Adventure.

Don’t miss Koeppels book on the banana industy: ”Banana. The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World” (Hudson Street Press, 2007).

 

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