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The Bitter Price of Tropical Fruits

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

Story at-a-glance -

  • Pineapples are one of the world’s most desired fruits, but conventional pineapple farming is threatening human health and damaging the environment
  • Costa Rica is the world leader in pineapple production, exporting 2 million tons each year
  • The featured film, “The Bitter Price of Tropical Fruits,” shows how large-scale pineapple producers are using pesticides and cheap labor to maximize their profits
  • Toxic agrochemicals used in conventional pineapple farming are contaminating water supplies in Costa Rica, forcing locals to rely on state-supplied water
  • Costa Rica, despite its small size and eco-friendly image, uses more pesticides than any other country, as well as has the longest list of approved chemicals

Sweet, healthy and delicious, and inexpensive to boot, pineapples are one of the world's most desired fruits. On average, the world eats more than 26,000 tons of pineapples each year.

But hidden beneath their low-price tag lies an industry riddled with heavy pesticide use, water pollution, deforestation and the exploitation of farmworkers, who are forced to work in risky conditions and for low wages. The dark side of the pineapple industry is rooted in Costa Rica, the world leader in pineapple production, producing more than 6.4 million pounds each year.

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