Banana Chemical Downs 80 Davao del Norte Residents, Mostly School Kids

Nov. 30, 2006

Nearly 80 individuals, most of them schoolchildren, fell ill on Wednesday after they were exposed to toxic fumes from the banana plantation of Tadeco, which is owned by the Floirendos, in Dujali, Davao del Norte, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported. Authorities said at least 30 of the children passed out after inhaling a chemical used to kill worms in banana plants, the paper said.

This incident, the latest in a string of chemical poisoning in the Philippines the past week, is sure to revive the debate in Davao on how banana plantations are using chemicals, particularly aerial spraying. This early, one environment group warned that what happened in Dujali could happen in Davao.

Recently, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte reversed himself and said he would allow aerial spraying of pesticides in banana plantations in the city, despite claims by environmental and health groups that it would endanger human beings. One group said Dutertes change of mind favors the rich at the expense of the poor.

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