Information for consumers about how their spending habits affect human rights, animal rights and welfare, and the environment.
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2014 June 16:BBC on extinction threat to African elephants.
"The office of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) said poaching levels were far above the elephant birth rate." Organized crime and demand from China contribute to the large illegal lucrative trade in ivory. Some progress has been made, but it has been irregular.
2014 June 13:Crustacians, Pain, and Anxiety
BBC says recent experiments show that crustaceans (such as crayfish, lobsters, crabs, shrimp) not only experience pain, but exhibit behavior suggestive of anxiety. "Crustaceans are not considered sentient by bodies such as the European Food Safety Authority, and there are no regulations concerning their treatment." There is no way to tell whether the animals experience pain and anxiety in the ways we do, but some argue there should be regulations as a precautionary measure.
2014 June 4: The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Office of the General Counsel has issued a consolidated complaint against Walmart alleging that the company violated the rights of its employees as a result of activities surrounding employee protests in 13 states."....
"The National Labor Relations Act guarantees the right of private sector employees to act together to try to improve their wages and working conditions with or without a union. The consolidated complaint involves more than 60 employees, 19 of whom were discharged allegedly as a result of their participation in activities protected by the National Labor Relations Act."
2014 May 5: USAToday reports Drywall imported from China between 2005 and 2012 is still causing problems to health, pipes, wiring, appliances, and electronics if it has not been replaced. The largest number of cases have been found in Florida and Louisiana, where damage from severe hurricanes in 2004 and 2005 caused a shortage of U.S.-made drywall and where heat and humidity have caused test samples of the Chinese drywall to give off increased harmful chemicals. The problems appear to be caused by high levels of hydrogen sulfide, which smells like rotten eggs and is not found in harmful levels in U.S.-made drywall. "Tainted Chinese drywall is no longer sold in the United States since the 2012 passage of the Drywall Safety Act, which set chemical standards for domestic and imported drywall", the report says. Lawsuits have been filed in a New Orleans federal court, but many homeowners are still waiting for compensation.
Fair Trade News: Fair World Project works to protect the strength and integrity of the term fair trade.
Special Report: Chocolate
2013: How to make sure your chocolate purchases do not support child slavery.
Special Report: Torture
There is hope! Please see the post on a January 2012 anti-torture resolution by the city of Chicago, and how other municipalities can do the same. If you do not see it at first, refresh the page by clicking the refresh button on your browser bar or pressing the f5 key.
Special Report: Fair Trade
2013 update summarizes changes in standards and controversy over increasing availability of products with the certification by making it easier to get certified vs. maintaining more rigorous standards. Fair World Project offers suggestions for resolving the conflict by making product labels more transparent about percentage of ingredients that are certified.
Special Report: Modern-Day Slavery
2012 Oct. 3: good news!Green America reports that Hershey Co. "will be certifying 100 percent of its cocoa by 2020 and urged the chocolate giant to go 100 percent Fair Trade with incremental benchmarks."
2012 Oct. 5: more good news! Chipotle signed the Fair Food Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Trader Joe's signed back in February 2012.