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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Amvac' Category


Farmworkers Lose Amvac Genocide Appeal

(Beyond Pesticides, September 26, 2008) On September 24, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Ivory Coast farmworkers’ claims that they were victims of genocide when pesticide exposure made them sterile. The nearly 700 plaintiffs were exposed to the soil fumigant and nematocide 1,2-Dibromo-3-Chloropropane, or DBCP, while working on Dole Food Company farms in Africa. The original First Amended Complaint was filed on April 6, 2007, and despite the latest setback, the Africans’ attorney, Raphael Metzger, said he would pursue a rehearing. Until 1977, DBCP was widely used in U.S. agriculture, when it was banned for all uses except pineapples. In contrast, DBCP was widely used for fruit production in developing countries in to the 1990s in spite of its U.S. regulatory status. “The manufacturers continued making money on [DBCP] by shipping it to Third World countries where farmworkers were given it to use,” Mr. Metzger said. The suit, Abagninin v. Amvac Chemical Co, was filed under the Alien Torts Statute and contended “that such conduct supports claims under the ATS for genocide and crimes against humanity because the conduct was undertaken with knowledge of DBCP’s effects and pursuant to a State or organizational policy.” The court rejected Abagninin’s […]



Farmworkers’ Lawsuits Claim Pesticides Made Them Sterile

(Beyond Pesticides, July 12, 2007) More than 5,000 agricultural workers from Central America have filed lawsuits in the United States, claiming that a pesticide used on banana trees has rendered them sterile. The pesticide, dibromochloropropane (DBCP), was used by workers from Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama to kill worm infestations in the trees’ roots. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, DBCP, which was largely phased out on U.S. crops by 1979, causes male reproductive problems, including low sperm count, and is a “probable human carcinogen.” The first of the five lawsuits, originally filed in 2004, which began jury selection two days ago, accuses Dole Fresh Fruit Co. and Standard Fruit Co. of “negligence and fraudulent concealment while using the pesticide.” In addition, it argues that Dow Chemical Corp. and Amvac Chemical Corp., which manufacture DBCP, “actively suppressed information about DBCP’s reproductive toxicity.” The suit filed by attorney Duane Miller states that Dow and Amvac were aware of the health risks of DBCP in the 1950s. “Defendants, however, continued to market, sell, and use pesticide products containing a DBCP outside of the United States, including Nicaragua,” it says. In addition, Miller claims the pesticide seeped into the water […]



Amvac Corporation Charts Risky Business Model

(Beyond Pesticides, April 27, 2007) Health risk, environmental risk and investment risk all have one thing in common — they are all part of Amvac Chemical Corporation’s business practices. According to a Los Angeles Times investigation earlier this month, this socially irresponsible business model has led Amvac to double-digit revenue growth and a toxic legacy. The Amvac homepage reads, “The Company’s chief strategy is to acquire niche product lines from multi-billion dollar companies that divest mature products to focus on newly discovered molecules. The Company’s products include insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, soil fumigants, defoliants, molluscides and growth regulators.” In actuality, Amvac buys the rights to older, high risk pesticides from larger companies. Many of these pesticides, which are some of the most toxic on the market, are likely to be banned or restricted due to safety concerns. Amvac hires scientists and lawyers to keep these dangerous chemicals on the market as long as possible. The company also often skirts regulatory issues by exporting products to countries with weaker regulatory systems. “There’s something here rather unique, which is a company that basically goes intentionally after chemicals that are in trouble because of health and safety concerns,” said Steve Schatzow, a former director […]