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It may seem strange to think of banana labels in political terms, but the little labels do, in many cases, tell a story clothed in controversy. In John Kirchner's favorites section you will see Misha, the Russian Bear, who never made it to a banana because the U.S. pulled out of the 1980 Summer Olympics. Residents of European Community nations see bananas with labels from Caribbean and African countries which have enjoyed protective quotas against other world producers-- part of the battle that recently led the World Trade Organization to support "free trade" which favors big multi-national growers, and Latin American nations.

We have also seen "Fair Trade" banana labels like Max Havalaar, Fairnando and Transfair, that represent European attempts to promote "Solidarity" with small growers in many different parts of the world.