DOLE FOOD COMPANY INC. ANNOUNCES PARTICIPATION OF SHELL OIL COMPANY IN AUGMENTED WORKER PROGRAM FOR HONDURAN BANANA WORKERS CLAIMING INJURIES AS A RESULT OF EXPOSURE TO DBCP
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California - August 16, 2007
Dole Food Company, Inc. today announced that the participation of Shell Oil Company and certain of its affiliates in an augmented Honduran Worker Program, involving Standard Fruit de Honduras, S.A., the Government of Honduras and representatives of Honduran banana workers, has now been approved by all parties. The original Worker Program was announced on October 23, 2006 and implemented beginning in January 2007. The Worker Program is intended by the parties to resolve in a fair and equitable manner the claims of male banana workers alleging sterility as a result of exposure to the agricultural chemical DBCP. Shell will be creating another layer to the Worker Program. The new layer, to be funded by Shell, will provide a participation payment to male Hondurans who can demonstrate that they were banana workers who were exposed to DBCP while working for Standard Fruit Company or on a contracted farm between 1967 and 1980. While Dole believes there is no reliable scientific basis for alleged injuries from the agricultural field application of DBCP, Dole has continued to seek reasonable resolution of the pending claims.
Michael Carter, Dole's Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary said "We very much welcome the participation by Shell in the Honduran Worker Program. Shell's participation in the augmented Worker Program is good for the community and will encourage more workers to benefit from the Worker Program. The Honduran Worker Program reflects Dole's continued efforts to resolve DBCP claims worldwide. Dole has consistently demonstrated its willingness to use structured worker programs as the most effective means to resolve these claims with immediate cash payments to those workers who meet minimum criteria, consistent with reliable science." Mr. Carter also commented that "As in Honduras, Dole is committed to finding a prompt resolution to the DBCP claims in Nicaragua, and is prepared to pursue a structured worker program with science-based criteria."
Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2006 revenues of $6.3 billion, is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and fresh-cut flowers. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.
This release contains "forward-looking statements," within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Forward looking statements, which are based on management's current expectations, are generally identifiable by the use of terms such as "may," "will," "expects," "believes," "intends" and similar expressions. The potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied herein include weather-related phenomena; market responses to industry volume pressures; product and raw materials supplies and pricing; energy supply and pricing; changes in interest and currency exchange rates; economic crises and security risks in developing countries; international conflict; and quotas, tariffs and other governmental actions. Further information on the factors that could affect Dole's financial results is included in its SEC filings, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K.