Don't omit health effects of pesticide.
In a July 16 article, Victoria Kim of the Los Angeles Times reports on a recently dismissed court case between Dole Food Company and Nicaraguan banana plantation workers. The workers claimed they lost their fertility after being exposed to dibromochloropropane (DBCP), a pesticide used on Central American banana farms in the 1970’s. A California judge threw out the case due to issues of forgery, bribery and other fraudulent behaviors affecting both sides.
However, the article neglects an important issue. It does not address if DBCP could cause infertility. It can! DBCP is a well-established reproductive toxicant that causes infertility in men. This was known in the 1960s and 1970s and continues to be reported in the scientific literature. In fact, reproductive toxicity was the primary reason the pesticide was banned in the United States in 1977.
While the science did not affect the dismissal of the court case, the reporter should have included health effects information in the article because it was the underlying reason for the case.