Products of slave labor
February 25, 2006 12:08 AM   Subscribe

From the Hands of Slaves: Common products of forced labor. [Via MoFi.]
posted by homunculus (18 comments total)

 
Thanks for the link, homunculus. The chocolate thing ("They are eating my flesh.") hit home. From now on, I'll pay more attention to what I buy, and from whom.
posted by paulsc at 12:19 AM on February 25, 2006


The average American consumes 170 pounds of sugar each year

Sorry. Nowhere close. And don't even try the "Do you know how much corn syrup is in those Cheetos/Hot Pocket/Tuna Helper?" gambit on me, cause I know about that and don't eat them either.

Thanks for the link, though the list is far shorter than I would've guessed.
posted by sourwookie at 12:29 AM on February 25, 2006


Sorry. Nowhere close. And don't even try the "Do you know how much corn syrup is in those Cheetos/Hot Pocket/Tuna Helper?" gambit on me, cause I know about that and don't eat them either.

Fine, fine, we get it, you aren't AVERAGE.
posted by Jimbob at 12:43 AM on February 25, 2006


There are many more products that are produced from forced or unfree labour; I think these are just meant to be a short list of products to get people thinking.
posted by jb at 1:41 AM on February 25, 2006


Wait a second. I abhor slavery, obviously, but I think it's a kind of cruel trick if I innocently walk into a shop, see a nice tempting bar of chocolate, eat it, and someone suddenly says "You're eating someone's flesh you bastard!" I mean, I'm not the slave-driver am I? I'm not responsible for market deregulation in Africa, nor for the world economic situation! It's governments, producers, corporations, etc. who are the ones to blame! Not the consumers. Of course, consumers are the only ones with enough of a conscience to do anything about the situation, by choosing not to eat certain things, but they shouldn't have to do that, there should be other safeguards in place to prevent the products of slavery being sold in Western countries! You can't place the responsibility with the consumer! I am not saying consumers should choose to remain ignorant of the situation, I am just saying that they are not directly to blame for it.
posted by mokey at 2:36 AM on February 25, 2006


but, perhaps monkey if the consumer is aware of where there product is from and under what conditions it is produced his IS somewhat culpable if he continues to buy the product, especially if it is a luxury item like a bar of chocolate
posted by edgeways at 2:58 AM on February 25, 2006


Also not to detract from your worthwhile link homunculus.
Mokey - its a question of awareness and also sad to say of apathy. Boycotts work viz. S. African produce during apartheid. If you aren't part of the solution you are probably part of the problem.
posted by adamvasco at 4:09 AM on February 25, 2006


So this blame-free consumer... are they also a citizen, perhaps also a voter?

(and, as edgeways says, once the consumer is aware of the provenance of this chocolate bar, bloody oath they're responsible)
posted by pompomtom at 5:53 AM on February 25, 2006


Technically it is not slavery as they are paid for their work and could refuse to work , slaves can't do that.

It is more like indentured servitude worsened by the fact you still are an illegal immigrant.

It's evident all the research and development promises of private sector are empty promises..why do we still need that much manual unskilled labor ? And if they are otherwise skilled, why isn't market offering them appropriate wages tied to a strong demand ?

I guess this happens because the market is being distorted somewhere ..could it be that distribution is obtaining 500% or more profit on each tomato/lettuce/whatever reaching your plate ? Could it be that workers are forced to work long hours and at miserable wage because somebody wants to obtain enormous unjustifiable profits ?

Imagine what will happen they day Monstanto or other genetic crop engineers will charge PER SEED ? It's a nightmare
posted by elpapacito at 6:03 AM on February 25, 2006


I'm surprised that miniature Christmas lights were not mentioned. I read an article once on how the Chinese are forced to make these in prison camps and I acually put my Christmas tree up without lights and spent much time on EBAY finding vintage (made in the USA pre 1980's) lights.

What's sad is that even if you try as hard as you can to find slave labor free products , you often do not have a choice (ie, just try to find a pair of tennis shoes made in America).
posted by Tablecrumbs at 8:39 AM on February 25, 2006


Much more over at the BBC
posted by skallas at 9:25 AM on February 25, 2006


From now on, I'll pay more attention to what I buy, and from whom.

It's the best, and for most people the only way, to change the world.

To give an example: when the beef industry was told by the govt to stop feeding cows ground up brain bits which was causing the spread of a virus, they balked and said it was too costly and couldnt be done. When McDonalds burger sales started to drop because of public fears of the safety of meat, the meat industry changed its practice within weeks. There are other examples like that. You have to hit them where it hurts: McDonalds, WallMart, Home Depot

Another thing is become aware of labels. For example the lumber industry will label lumber that comes from sustainable forests, it's called the Forest Stewardship Council and lumber is labeled "FSC". Home Depot has it, look or ask for the label before you buy an old growth rainforest tree by accident.
posted by stbalbach at 9:26 AM on February 25, 2006


Thanks for the link homunculus, and I agree that responsibility has to be taken by the consumer but how many people really care about these awful stories when you can buy more and more things for cheaper and cheaper?
posted by AJD at 10:18 AM on February 25, 2006


stbalbach, that example had nothing to do with grassroot protest buying. You cite a major health concern. I'm very skeptical about smart buying changing anything. Usually theres a catastrophe or near catastrophe involved, the press, and government regulators sabre-rattling before big policy changes happen.
posted by skallas at 10:27 AM on February 25, 2006


Thanks for the link. Good work.
posted by arcticwoman at 12:45 PM on February 25, 2006


Thank you for the link.
posted by chaz at 12:55 PM on February 25, 2006


Very nice link, thanks
posted by spinko at 5:07 PM on February 25, 2006


wow, thanks for this - I missed it the other day. You post worthwhile, substantive things to think about, homunculus - thanks.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:16 AM on February 27, 2006


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