Few days ago, I watched a short documentary film on the community channel about Bonita Ugly Bananas which tells the story of workers on an Ecuadorian banana plantation through the eyes of Scottish artist, Jan Nimmo.
Noboa, the largest banana exporter in Ecuador, is the fourth largest banana company in the world, following the three U.S.-based giants, Dole, Chiquita, and Del Monte. Noboa markets its bananas under the Bonita label. The owner of the Noboa Company is Alvaro Noboa, who ran for President of Ecuador in the October 2002 and 2006 elections and came in second both times.
Noboa's banana operations are completely non-union!! The company has vigorously, and sometimes violently (e.g. in 2002), opposed workers organizing to form unions and gain better wages. Banana workers in Ecuador have called for a boycott of Bonita bananas.
A struggle of banana workers organizing on Noboa plantations in Ecuador in 2002 also led to an international campaign to pressure Ecuador to reform labor law to remove obstacles that block workers from organizing, as documented by Human Rights Watch.
In 2005, Bonita intervened with an independent supplier to secure a satisfactory resolution in a labor struggle, marking a sharp reversal from the company's earlier behavior. However, the company subsequently refused to intervene with suppliers to ensure respect for core worker rights.
How do organophosphates work?
Organophosphates work by inactivating acetylcholinesterase. Acetylcholinesterase is an enzyme present in human nervous system. Its job is to break down acetylcholine, which is a chemical that carries signals between the nerves and muscle. . Once acetylcholinesterase has been inactivated, acetylcholine builds up in the nerves, and the nerves become over-active. Organophosphate poisoning can occur rapidly or build up over a number of days.
Signs and symptoms of Organophosphate poisoning can be divided into 3 broad categories, including (1) muscarinic effects, (2) nicotinic effects, and (3) CNS effects.
Mnemonic devices used to remember the muscarinic effects of organophosphates are SLUDGE (salivation, lacrimation, urination, diarrhea, GI upset, emesis) and DUMBELS (diaphoresis and diarrhea; urination; miosis; bradycardia, bronchospasm, bronchorrhea; emesis; excess lacrimation; and salivation). Muscarinic effects by organ systems include the following:
Cardiovascular - Bradycardia, hypotension
Respiratory - Rhinorrhea, bronchorrhea, bronchospasm, cough, severe respiratory distress
Gastrointestinal - Hypersalivation, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fecal incontinence
Genitourinary - Incontinence
Ocular - Blurred vision, miosis
Glands - Increased lacrimation, diaphoresis
Nicotinic signs and symptoms include muscle fasciculations, cramping, weakness, and diaphragmatic failure. Autonomic nicotinic effects include hypertension, tachycardia, mydriasis, and pallor.
CNS effects include anxiety, emotional lability, restlessness, confusion, ataxia, tremors, seizures, and coma.
Álvaro Fernando Noboa Pontón (born November 21, 1950 in Guayaquil) is an Ecuadorian businessman and politician. Noboa has been actively involved in politics, running for president unsuccessfully in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2009. In 2007 he was elected national assemblyman.
In 1997 with the 25.1% of the banana business company, he purchased another 25% of the shares, assuming control of the Fruit Shippers Ltd., the holding company for the family business. After that there was a lengthy legal battle with his siblings for the control of the company.. Noboa won the trial. Actually as a business man he controls the Noboa Group of Companies and Noboa Corporation, with more than 110 companies in Ecuador and around the world which include branch offices in United States, Antwerp, Rome, Japan, Argentina and New Zealand.
Toxicity of Organophosphate