Several chemical companies manufactured DBCP, also known by its trade names Nemagon and Fumazone, including Dow Chemical Company and Shell Chemical Company. Dole Food Company, Inc. did not manufacture DBCP. The companies that manufactured DBCP were required to register it with the United States government. Dole stopped purchasing DBCP in 1979 when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cancelled the registration for its use in the United States.
While Dole cannot comment on ongoing litigation, we can tell you that there is no credible scientific evidence that Dole's use of DBCP on banana farms caused any of the injuries claimed in any of the DBCP lawsuits, including sterility. In fact, when plaintiff lawyers tried to enforce a fraudulent DBCP judgment in Miami, the Federal District Court ruled that "the credible and unrefuted medical testimony in this case is that it is factually impossible for what is represented in the Judgment to have occurred," and that due process "do[es] not permit awarding damages in the face of clear scientific evidence of the absence of causation," or, as in this case, "with proof that [the defendants] are not at fault."
The only other U.S. court to evaluate the claims plaintiff lawyers have made about DBCP use on banana farms also found that those claims were not legitimate. The court held that the claims were "the product of a fraud on the court and extrinsic fraud perpetrated against defendants by [plaintiffs' lawyers] and their agents." The court summarized that fraud as follows: "[T]hat [plaintiffs' lawyers] coached their clients to lie about working on banana farms, forged work certificates to create the appearance that their clients had worked on Dole-contracted farms, and faked lab results to create the impression that their clients were sterile. [Plaintiffs' lawyers] and their agents also tampered with witnesses, and ... threatened witnesses and took other actions to carry out the fraud."
While Dole believes, based on credible scientific evidence, that its use of DBCP did not cause any of the injuries alleged, it has entered into a number of worker programs whereby male banana workers who can demonstrate that they worked during the time when DBCP was used, that they suffer from impaired fertility, and meet other minimal criteria are fairly compensated. Dole is dedicated to constant improvements in the health and safety of our 75,000 employees worldwide. Dole sets high standards for the Company that go beyond what the law requires. Our people are our greatest asset and their safety and well-being our highest priority.
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif. - August 08, 2012 - Dole Food Company, Inc., (NYSE:DOLE) today announced that the Los Angeles Superior Court dismissed with prejudice the case Macasa v. Dole. The lawsuit, which was filed last year, had been brought by 2,935 Philippine plaintiffs claiming to be banana workers who had been injured from alleged exposure more than 30 years ago to the agricultural chemical DBCP. The plaintiffs had filed an identical lawsuit 13 years earlier in the Philippines, which was ultimately dismissed by the Philippine Supreme Court.
"The Superior Court dismissed a case that should never have been brought in the first place," said C. Michael Carter, Dole's Executive Vice President and General Counsel. "There is simply no reliable scientific basis for alleged injuries from the agricultural field application of DBCP, and the fraudulent claims in Macasa were no different than other similar cases."
Dole is the world's largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen foods and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research.