abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb
Article

Guadeloupe & Martinique: Historic use of chlordecone pesticide in banana farming poisoned food chain, causing health crisis & chronic pollution

“Pesticide poisoned French paradise islands in Caribbean”, 25th October 2019

…The French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique thrive on their image as idyllic sun, sea and sand destinations for tourists. But few visitors are aware that these lush, tropical islands have a chronic pollution problem. A pesticide linked to cancer - chlordecone - was sprayed on banana crops on the islands for two decades and now nearly all the adult local residents have traces of it in their blood.

French President Emmanuel Macron has called it an "environmental scandal" and said the state "must take responsibility". He visited Martinique last year and was briefed on the crisis on the islands, known in France as the Antilles…

Large tracts of soil are contaminated, as are rivers and coastal waters. The authorities are trying to keep the chemical out of the food chain, but it is difficult, as much produce comes from smallholders, often sold at the roadside…

In the US a factory producing chlordecone - sold commercially as kepone - was shut down in 1975 after workers fell seriously ill there. But Antilles banana growers continued to use the pesticide…