lunes, 4 de mayo de 2015


Pineapples (Ananas comosus). Source:

By Gundhramns Hammer
May 4, 2015
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Upon hearing the name "pineapple", average Europeans or Americans might conjure images of the lushy tropical vegetation and its great variety of fruits.

For those of you hunting after pineapples, here are a few questions: 

  • Do you like pineapples? 
  • Do you enjoy eating this tropical fruit? 
  • Do you know anything about the working conditions of the workers that slave away picking up the pineapples somewhere in the tropics? 
  • Do you give a damn about them? 
  • Do you care about the toxic chemicals used in pineapple monocultures? 
  • Do you care about the social and ecological impact this crop has on the local communities and environment where this fruit is planted?

If so, we have an interesting documentary (Video 1) for you which will show you the truth multinationals do not want you to know about pineapples. We will go to Costa Rica to find out what is going on there:

Source: YouTube

Guerras de precios de los supermercados, residuos tóxicos y frutas tropicales. Una producción de Guardian Films para Consumers International y la OCU, este documental de investigación expone condiciones sociales y ambientales inaceptables que padecen las comunidades productoras de piña en Costa Rica ... y por qué los supermercados más importantes de Europa deben compartir la culpa.

Video 1. The dark side of pineapples (El lado oscuro de las piñas). Uploaded by Consumers International.

Watch this documentary with subtitles 
in Danish/Dansk (here/her
or French/Français (here(ici).

Only English (here). 

This is basically what happens wherever pineapples are cultivated in the tropics, whether it is in Nigeria, Costa Rica, Brazil, Colombia, Panama (Fig. 1) or anywhere else. 

Figure 1. Worker applying pesticides in pineapple (Ananas comosus) field in Panama. Source: OIRSA (2000).

It is a crop that requires human labour and intensive use of agrochemicals, particularly herbicides and insecticides.

Now you know. It is up to you whether you buy this delicious fruit when imported and sold in the supermarkets in your city.

Unless you grow them ecologically, which means no use of man-made chemicals and living in the tropics, pineapples (Ananas comosus) sold in our supermarkets always contain residues of dangerous agrochemicals such as glyphosate, and multiple organophosphate and organochlorine compounds such as aldrin, parathion, DDT, endosulfan, heptachlor, disulfoton, dimethoate (Gutiérrez et al., 2010), amongst others.

Consider yourself lucky if you can get this delicious fruit through fair trade which is being implemented in some tropical countries (e.g., Costa Rica).

But beware of tricksters that might use fair trade to do some wheeling and dealing! 


García D. (2013). El Lado Amargo de la Piña., Noticias 24/7, Costa Rica.

Gutiérrez J. A., Pinzón M. I., Londoño A., Blach D. & Rojas A. M. (2010). Residuos de Plaguicidas Organoclorados, Organofosforados y Análisis Fisicoquímico en Piña (Ananas comosus). Agro Sur. 38 (3): 199-211.

OIRSA (Organismo Internacional Regional de Sanidad Agropecuaria) (2000). Manual Técnico: Uso y Manejo Seguro de Plaguicidas en el Cultivo de Piña. Panamá. 33 pp.

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