In the Philippines, a local environmental body has urged consumers to boycott products made by Del Monte's local operation after it accused the company of endangering the lives of people on a passenger vessel.
The call came after a passenger ship carrying the insecticide endosulfan bound for Del Monte Philippines Inc. (DMPI) capsized and sank just outside of Romblon, after getting caught up in typhoon Frank on 21 June.
In a statement, Kalikasan-PNE (People's Network for the Environment) condemned DMPI and Sulpico Lines (the operator of the ship, named MV Princess of the Stars), and called for consumers to avoid purchasing Del Monte products, "particularly their fruit products, which are produced with toxic chemicals like endosulfan".
Kalikasa-PNE also lamented the Fertiliser and Pesticide Authority and the Philippine Coast Guard, both of whom, the group said, would have been aware that the shipment had been loaded.
Victoria Lim-Florido, a lawyer for Sulpico Lines, told the ABS-CBN morning show that DMPI had describe the cargo as "endosulfin, technical" and had not disclosed that the cargo was "toxic and marine pollutant". "As the shipper, DMPI has the obligation to fully disclose the kind of shipment," she said.
However, In a statement, DMPI said that it was "impossible" for Sulpico Lines not to know that it was carrying the shipment.
"It is impossible for Sulpico not to know that endosulfin is a toxic material despite having been presented with the required documents," the DMPI statement said. "Under the law, Sulpico must exercise extraordinary diligence in ensuring that all cargo arrive safely at their destination."
Hundreds died after the ship sank, with the recovery operation still in progress.