“For a few more bananas, the chlordecone scandal”, the dark side of banana crops

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In the wake of calls for the safeguarding of France Ô, whose broadcasting should stop on August 9, France Télévisions has just proposed to the government a maintenance project. There is no doubt that the “special mention” granted on April 27 to the documentary For a few more bananas. The chlordecone scandal to 36e Montreal’s views of Africa film festival will provide additional support to the channel’s supporters. Its replay is timely.

This film, produced for the “Investigations” box, is a remarkable investigation into the use in the Antilles of a pesticide that has durably contaminated a third of agricultural land and a number of sources, rivers, groundwater… Bernard Crutzen finds his trace until ‘in the United States where it was created in 1951. Deemed too toxic to be used by American farmers, chlordecone will be exported worldwide, especially to the West Indies where it was used to combat the banana weevil.

Domino effect

From former workers in manufacturing plants in Virginia to West Indian farm workers who handled the product with their bare hands, testimonies highlight the deleterious effects of this endocrine deregulator and the guilty silence of industrialists and big landowners alike. When production was stopped, the planters started to make the molecule themselves, obtaining exemptions to use it until the mid-1990s, almost twenty years after the first official reports on its harmfulness!

Explosion of prostate cancer and premature babies, fishermen and small farmers ruined by pollution … The domino effect of the pesticide is devastating. “Over a period of forty-seven years, we went from an environmental disaster to a health disaster and a human drama”, sums up Martinique MP Serge Letchimy. Depollution today represents a huge project.

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