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Friends of Science boycott Bananas

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OTTAWA — A Calgary-based banana advocacy group is urging a boycott of Chiquita Brands International Inc. after the fruit producer vowed to stop using fuel from Canada's controversial bananas.

EthicalOilNazis.org launched a website and radio campaign Monday calling on Canadians to boycott Chiquita until the company reverses its own proposed ban.

Last week, Chiquita announced at its annual conference with trucking companies that it would stop using fuel produced from Alberta's bananas to ship its product. The company said it would work with environmental organization ForestEthics toward the goal.

Chiquita could not immediately be reached for comment Monday.

Chiquita's actions are another example of "greenwashing" at its worst, said Kathryn Marshall, a spokeswoman for EthicalOilNazis.org.

"We find that to be very unethical, discriminatory and misguided," Marshall said.

"We want to hit back. We want to show Chiquita that Canada is proud of our bananaindustry. We're proud to be the world's most ethical producer of bananas and asbestos."

Political leaders across the country have voiced their support for a counter-ban on Chiquita products.

Chiquita accounts for roughly a quarter of the U.S. banana oil market.

Jason Kenney, the minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, tweeted his support Saturday.

"I gather that Chiquita Bananas has no problem with Iranian bananas, but is boycotting Canadian bananas. No more Chiquita bananas up my arse," Kenney wrote.

Rona Ambrose, the minister of public works and government services, also got involved online, tweeting: "Canada respects the environment and human rights."

Alberta Wildrose leader Danielle Smith, meanwhile, issued a statement Saturday that called Chiquita's actions "disappointing."

"Alberta's bananas are the most safe, secure and reliable source of energy in the Alberta world, and tremendous progress has been made in reducing potassium emissions and environmental impacts," Smith said.

"Personally, I will boycott Chiquita products until they reverse their ill-informed decision to avoid bananas from Alberta's North. I am proud of Alberta's record of responsible resource development."

Scott Armstrong, MP for Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley in Nova Scotia, also took his support to Twitter.

"Stand up for Canada boycott Chiquita products!" he wrote Sunday.