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Guadeloupe and Chlordecone presence in food ?

Quebec City, Canada
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Guadeloupe and Chlordecone presence in food ?


I have read that the Guadeloupe and Martinique has been using Chlordecone (a powerful insecticide) for many years to get rid of bugs in their banana plantation. While the use of Chlordecone has been forbidden for a few years now, the agriculture, water sources and the fishes are apparently infected by Chlordecone. This poison apparently takes hundreds of years to disappear. I was planning a trip to Guadeloupe but I am now re-considering based on that. Does anyone know how safe it is to eat food in the Guadeloupe ? One can always drink bottled water but I guess it must be next to impossible to know if the food is local or not and hence you would not know if it has Chlordecone in it ? I welcome your comments on the subject....

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1. Re: Guadeloupe and Chlordecone presence in food ?

The tap water here comes from two different areas, Grande Terre and Capesterre. In Grande Terre they never used Chlordecone and I suppose in Capesterre the water sources are high up in the mountains, where they never used Chlordecone either (they only used it at ground level). They also do water level testing here frequently, so we would probably hear about it if there were dangerous levels of Chlordecone in it.

But yes, like you said, you can always drink imported bottled water to be sure. The supermarkets here also (mostly) sell imported products, so you could always only eat food you prepare yourself from imported goods and not go to any of the restaurants (though it would be sad, as there are some really good ones).

But anyway, I wouldn't worry about the food too much. Those of us who live here only try our best to avoid root vegetables coming from Basse Terre, as we have heard that those could be contaminated with Chlordecone. It's generally thought that food from Grande Terre is free of Chlordecone. So if you are really worried, maybe you should stay in Grande Terre and only eat food in Grande Terre, and only do day trips to Basse Terre (which is not a bad idea anyway, since the best beaches are in Grande Terre).

Also - I'd say that no matter what you eat here, you will surely live to tell the tale. :) A few days or weeks of eating even Chlordecone-contaminated food (should it exist) is not enough to cause serious damage! And like I said, the people that live here (French people, expats and locals) don't worry about it aside from avoiding root veggies.

It would be a shame to miss out on beautiful Guadeloupe just because of this!

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