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The operation to recover hundreds of bodies inside a sunken Philippine ferry has been suspended after a highly toxic pesticide was found to be on board.
Ten tonnes of endosulfan were illegally in the cargo, destined for a Del Monte pineapple plantation, officials said.
Exposure to endosulfan, an insecticide, has been blamed for mental and genetic disorders, skin diseases and nervous disorders, and even death.
Reports suggest it may have been the fruit multinational which alerted authorities to the toxic cargo.
Reports do not suggest that Del Monte was aware beforehand that the insecticide was being illegally carried aboard a passenger vessel.
Whether the ferry operator, Sulpicio Lines, knew of the toxic cargo is unclear.
But it is unclear whether it received the information from Sulpicio Lines, or whether Sulpicio Lines was itself in the dark about the chemical cargo.