Philippine Journalists Arrested for Reporting on Illegal Pesticide Use

Four journalists working in the Philippines, including a New York Times correspondent, have been arrested on libel charges because of articles and columns they wrote in 2000 about the use of illegal pesticides at a banana plantation. Also arrested was Romeo Quijano, a professor of medicine at the University of the Philippines and president of the Pesticide Action Network Philippines, who was the main source of information for the journalists’ stories. According to Quijano’s investigations, 700 residents of a community near the banana plantation were stricken with health problems because of ground and aerial spraying of a number of banned pesticides, considered carcinogenic by the U.S. EPA.