These children often scamper for cover every time aerial spraying is conducted while they are on their way to school. One morning, though, the children were too slow to avoid the poisonous yellow shower. This is because the banana plantation company in their village in Subasta, Calinan District failed to announce the aerial spraying schedule.

This picture goes to show that not only are the banana plants get sprayed by the carcinogenic chemicals but also the people, including children who are mostly vulnerable to diseases.


Environmental exposures to fungicides usually involve relatively low concentration that may occur over long periods of times. While the human health effects associated with chronic, low level pesticide exposures are not yet well understood, a growing body of scientific evidence suggests that environmental pesticide exposures are associated with neurological and reproductive damage, effects on growth and development, birth defects, endoctrine disruption, cancer, and other adverse effects.

In 1999, toxicologist Dr. Romeo Quijano and daughter Ilang-Ilang published a study (Kamukhaan: A Village Poisoned) documenting the effects of 19 years of regular ground and aerial spraying on a small community near banana plantation in Kamukhaan, Davao del Sur.

The initial study and consequent international fact finding missions confirmed significant health impact to both children and adults, as well as to farm animals. Contaminated soil and water were also attributed to the spraying of chemicals.

While the major causes of diseases were communicable and typical in poor, rural Filipino communities, some atypical patterns were also reported which were consistent with independent studies documenting health impacts from pesticide exposure.

■ An unusual significant number of adult males showed signs and symptoms of anemia and possible blood dyscrasias;
■ A signficant number of males and females exhibited signs and symptoms of tremors and palpitations suggestive or endocrine disruption;
■ A considerable number of children showed developmental delays including stunting, wasting, delays in development of secondary sexual characteristics, and mental difficiencies.


The study of Dr. Quijano resulted to a filing of libel and civil suits against him and his daughter Ilang-Ilang by the banana giant Lapanday, formerly owned by former Agriculture Sec. Luiz Lorenzo.

While the libel suit was also trashed by the court, the Lapanday Corp. continued it's civil case against the Quijanos.

More on pesticides tomorrow.


Lyka Bergen said...

So who is to blame here? The plantation owners? The government? or the people? I reckon that all should be blamed. All are ignorant of the harmful effects these pesticides can give us. All we care is to eat nice bananas! Ching!

bananas said...

Grinning here kapatid.Thanks. I believe that something is really gravely wrong with our government policies regarding agriculture, econmic and development.

The government is tied with the policies of the World Trade Organization that is so oppressive against poor countries like the Philippines neng. Why not when the US, as the soul of the WTO, is oppressive itself that it forcefully dictates on us on.

The country, for one, cannot refuse to buy pesticides from WTO-member countries.

But the glaring fact is this: Filipino produce cavendish bananas not for the Filipinos but for the Japanese, Americans, and other cavendish banana-eating banyagas.

Hay...sarap pa sanang tumalak pa ng tumalak dito at magmukha nang isa pang blog ang sagot ko...

ba-blog ko na lang ito neng. At aba! concern sa pesticides at sa banana ang bruha.

Ikaw na!

Anonymous said...

i'm working for lapanday and former secretary lorenzo no longer owns a share in the company

bananas said...


Yeah, i know that the Lorenzos already gave up their share and that Lapanday is now owned by the Cojuancos.

That is why I said " The study of Dr. Quijano resulted to a filing of libel and civil suits against him and his daughter Ilang-Ilang by the banana giant Lapanday, FORMERLY owned by former Agriculture Sec. Luiz Lorenzo."

Anon, I am sure you know how allegedly (I repeat with feelings, allegedly) notorious your company is when it comes to violating some environmental laws, some of which are even indicated in your environmental compliance certificate (ECC).

This reminds me of the necessity to write about social-corporate responsibility one of these days.

Ikaw na! :D

Anonymous said...

i was not clear in my previous comment. the former secretary no longer owns a share in the family-owned corporation but it is still wholly owned by the lorenzos.

"But the glaring fact is this: Filipino produce cavendish bananas not for the Filipinos but for the Japanese, Americans, and other cavendish banana-eating banyagas."

^^ don't you worry about this, cavendish bananas don't taste that good at all... its still our own local bananas which taste a lot better, and they even cost so much than the locals (because of higher cost to produce).

it's nice that there are still people like you who shows concern and spends time on issues like this. i mean, working for a company such as this, we know what's going on around but it is harder for us to voice out, afterall, they're still the ones feeding our family...

anyways, good day.

bananas said...

anon, i really appreciate you dropping by my blog and for taking time to post comments. huge thanks.

i know somebody from tri-star too, the ayala-owned banana plantation company, who said he doesnt eat their product too. this despite the fact that they're at least 80 percent organic in their banana production in davao eh.

u bet, cavendish bananas dont taste good. sure i would choke on it.

about me carrying this issue--well, kinsa pa man ug dili ko? ug dili mi? hehehe...but, yeah, it's true.

I understand your predicament anon. and really appreciate ur comments.