Thanks to the efforts of Care2 and Forest Ethics members, Chiquita will eliminate shipping its bananas with fuel from refineries from Canada’s Tar Sands. Along with Dole brands, Chiquita sells more than 27 billion bananas a year, which account for more than 60 percent of the US banana market. Not only is that a lot of bananas; it’s a lot of bananas that have to be transported over 3,000 miles before you buy them.
Chiquita has been using fuel from the controversial Tar Sands, which is located in Northern Alberta and which threatens the health of those who live near the refineries in Alberta and also of those in US communities. US refineries that process Tar Sands are some of the biggest and the dirtiest. Turning Tar Sands into fuel produces excessive toxic water and air pollution as well as forest destruction. The very extraction of Tar Sands “threatens an area of Boreal Forest the size of Maine, sacrificing the long-term value of these forests for the quick burning of oil,” as Care2 blogger Hilary Stamper wrote. Communities in Alberta that are downwind and downstream from the refineries have far higher rates of cancer than average.
That is, fuel from Tar Sands is dirty and even tainted, and the furthest thing from any sort of clean energy. It is also not exactly the sort of fuel you’d like to have delivering your food after traveling miles on miles across the US. As Kate Colarulli of The Sierra Club says on Forest Ethics:
“Tar Sands crude is the dirtiest oil on Earth. The public and a growing number of companies have seen through Big Oil’s lies. Together we are drawing the line and standing firm against this dangerous and destructive oil.”
Two dozen other major companies have also agreed to reduce their use of “controversial fuels” such as those produced by Tar Sands.
Now that Chiquita has done the right thing, it’s time to call on Dole to do the same. You can go to Forest Ethics‘s website and share the Chiquita victory on Dole’s Facebook page and please also sign the petition to tell Dole to just say no to Tar Sands bananas.
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Photo by Dawn Huczek