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The Standard Fruit Company is an American subsidiary of the Dole Fresh Fruit Company, headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. Domingo Castro Alfaro and eighty-one other employees of the Standard Fruit Company and their wives filed a suit against the Dow Chemical Company and the Shell Oil Company. The employees claimed that they suffered personal injuries as a result of exposure to Dibromochloropropane (DBCP) while working on their company’s banana plantations in Costa Rica. The employees claimed that the exposure to DBCP caused several medical problems, including sterility.

DBCP is a pesticide manufactured by Dow and Shell, which was allegedly furnished to the Standard Fruit Company. After the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned DBCP in the United States, Dow and Shell shipped several hundred thousand gallons of the pesticide to Costa Rica for use by the Standard Fruit Company. Alfaro sued Dow and Shell in Texas in April 1984, alleging that handling DBCP caused the employees serious personal injuries for which Dow and Shell were liable.

Search the Internet and read the complete case of Dow Chemical Co. v. Alfaro, 786 S.W.2d 674 (Tex. 1990).

Are there any legal and ethical ramifications of this case? If so, what? If not, why? Should U.S. companies sell products banned in the United States to other countries? Why or why not? Discuss fully and cite sources that support your response.

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