brad brace

4/18/2015

Mexico

Filed under: consumer,culture,mexico,tourism — admin @ 4:58 am

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eggs

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7/31/2014

Thai Shrimp

Filed under: consumer,fish,human rights,markets,thailand — admin @ 6:43 am

The Guardian recently revealed shocking results from a six-month investigation of the Thai fishing industry: Much of the shrimp sold in American and British supermarkets were produced with slave labor.

While shrimp sold to U.S. consumers hail from a number of different countries, including our own, Thailand is the world’s biggest shrimp supplier. Charoen Pokphand (CP) Foods, the corporation at the heart of this story, is Thailand’s largest shrimp farmer.

You may think slavery ended with Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. But it’s still around.

Disturbingly, there are even cases of modern-day slavery found here in the United States — including farmworkers in Florida chained and locked inside of U-Haul style trucks, forced to work in the fields for as little as $20 per week. But here in the United States, when we catch cases like that, we send the perpetrators to jail.

Strangely enough, slavery only became illegal everywhere when Mauritania became the last country to outlaw it in 1981. Worse yet, Mauritania didn’t criminalize slavery until 2007.

In Thailand, slavery is illegal, plain and simple. It just happens anyway — a lot. The majority of the estimated half a million victims are migrants from poorer nations like Burma. They pay brokers to help them find jobs in Thailand, and instead the brokers sell them to fishing boats as slaves.

Once on the boats, the slaves are held without pay, forced to work up to 20 hours per day. Those who have escaped describe regular beatings, torture, and even witnessing the murder of other slaves.

But these boats don’t catch shrimp. They catch other fish and sea creatures — fish that aren’t economically valuable as human food. Then they sell their catch to factories that grind them into fishmeal.

From there, the fishmeal goes to CP Foods, which feeds it to farmed shrimp. It takes about 1.4 pounds of fishmeal to produce one pound of shrimp.

The shrimp, by the way, are often farmed in unspeakably disgusting and environmentally harmful conditions. As if slavery alone isn’t enough of a reason to avoid imported farmed shrimp. From CP Foods, the shrimp makes its way to major American retailers, like Walmart and Costco.

Shrimp is America’s No. 1 seafood. In fact, we eat far more shrimp than our other two favorites, tuna and salmon. Perhaps one reason we eat so much shrimp is because it’s not just tasty, it’s cheap.

Now you know why it’s so cheap.

For consumers, cleaning up our shrimp act doesn’t have to mean giving up shrimp entirely — but it does mean doing a bit of homework before dipping that next shrimp into the cocktail sauce. The Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program provides several recommendations for sustainable and ethical shrimp choices.

On a larger level, retailers and even the government can take action. Walmart, Costco, and their competitors buy shrimp from CP Foods because it is cheap. But they don’t have to.

Surely their customers would understand if they took a stand and said, “Sorry, we’re no longer sourcing farmed shrimp from Thailand until that country can end its widespread problem with slavery. We apologize if our prices go up slightly in order to bring you a slavery-free product.”

Costco told The Guardian it would require its suppliers “to take corrective action to police their feedstock sources.” But when will that occur, and how thorough will it be?

Costco’s best move would be to switch from Thai farmed shrimp suppliers until they change their ways. Better yet, the company could stop selling any shrimp produced via the disgusting seafood farming practices often used abroad.

6/27/2014

E. coli outbreak linked to sprouts; hummus, dips, walnuts recalled

Filed under: agriculture,consumer,disease/health,usa — admin @ 3:52 pm

This has been a big week for food product recalls and the risk of food borne illness. Hamburger nearly kills Michigan man

Seven confirmed and three likely cases of E. coli infection linked to raw clover sprouts have been reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. Beef recall expands Each year one out of every six Americans is sickened by a food borne illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are some of the biggest food borne illness outbreaks since 2001. Click here for tips on how to keep your food safe. Each year one out of every six Americans is sickened by a food borne illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are some of the biggest food borne illness outbreaks since 2001. Click here for tips on how to keep your food safe. Cantaloupes tainted with salmonella infected more than 260 people across 24 states in October 2012. Three people in Kentucky died and 94 were hospitalized. Investigators determined Chamberlain Farms Produce Inc. of Owensville, Indiana, was the source of this outbreak. Cantaloupes tainted with salmonella infected more than 260 people across 24 states in October 2012. Three people in Kentucky died and 94 were hospitalized. Investigators determined Chamberlain Farms Produce Inc. of Owensville, Indiana, was the source of this outbreak. Salmonella in a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, known as Nakaochi Scrape, sickened 425 people and hospitalized 55 in the spring and summer of 2012. The product was used most often to make “spicy tuna” sushi, according to the CDC. Salmonella in a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, known as Nakaochi Scrape, sickened 425 people and hospitalized 55 in the spring and summer of 2012. The product was used most often to make “spicy tuna” sushi, according to the CDC. In September 2011, listeria in cantaloupes left 30 people dead in what was the deadliest U.S. outbreak of a food borne illness since the CDC started keeping track of listeria cases in 1973, according to the agency. In September 2011, listeria in cantaloupes left 30 people dead in what was the deadliest U.S. outbreak of a food borne illness since the CDC started keeping track of listeria cases in 1973, according to the agency. Between February and August 2011, the Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. recalled more than 36 million pounds of ground turkey after tests revealed a strain of salmonella. The outbreak killed one person and sickened more than 130. Between February and August 2011, the Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. recalled more than 36 million pounds of ground turkey after tests revealed a strain of salmonella. The outbreak killed one person and sickened more than 130. In summer 2010, more than 1,900 people were reportedly sickened by salmonella found in eggs produced by Iowa’s Hillandale Farms, which voluntarily recalled about a half-billion eggs nationwide. In summer 2010, more than 1,900 people were reportedly sickened by salmonella found in eggs produced by Iowa’s Hillandale Farms, which voluntarily recalled about a half-billion eggs nationwide. Authorities shut down a processing plant in Texas in October 2010 after four deaths were tied to listeria-infected celery produced at the site. The Texas Department of State Health Services ordered SanGar Fresh Cut Produce to recall all products shipped from its San Antonio plant. Authorities shut down a processing plant in Texas in October 2010 after four deaths were tied to listeria-infected celery produced at the site. The Texas Department of State Health Services ordered SanGar Fresh Cut Produce to recall all products shipped from its San Antonio plant. Between April and August 2008, 1,442 people in 43 states were infected with salmonella from Mexico-grown jalapeÒo and serrano peppers. At least 300 people were hospitalized, and the infection may have contributed to two deaths, according to the CDC. Walmart stores in four states recalled jars of serrano peppers as a result. Between April and August 2008, 1,442 people in 43 states were infected with salmonella from Mexico-grown jalapeÒo and serrano peppers. At least 300 people were hospitalized, and the infection may have contributed to two deaths, according to the CDC. Walmart stores in four states recalled jars of serrano peppers as a result. Nine people died from salmonella-infected peanut butter between September 2008 and April 2009. The Peanut Corp. of America had sold the tainted peanut butter in bulk to King Nut, which recalled its products. More than 700 people were infected and 166 hospitalized. Nine people died from salmonella-infected peanut butter between September 2008 and April 2009. The Peanut Corp. of America had sold the tainted peanut butter in bulk to King Nut, which recalled its products. More than 700 people were infected and 166 hospitalized. In the summer of 2006, more than 200 people became infected with E. coli from spinach grown on a single California field. Investigators traced the prepackaged spinach back to Natural Selection Foods and baby spinach sold under the Dole brand name. Five deaths were linked to the outbreak. In the summer of 2006, more than 200 people became infected with E. coli from spinach grown on a single California field. Investigators traced the prepackaged spinach back to Natural Selection Foods and baby spinach sold under the Dole brand name. Five deaths were linked to the outbreak. During 2005 and 2006, four large outbreaks of salmonella infections hit 21 states in the United States. Tainted tomatoes being served in restaurants were found to be the cause. Investigators linked the produce to fields in Florida, Ohio and Virginia. During 2005 and 2006, four large outbreaks of salmonella infections hit 21 states in the United States. Tainted tomatoes being served in restaurants were found to be the cause. Investigators linked the produce to fields in Florida, Ohio and Virginia. Pre-sliced Roma tomatoes purchased at deli counters in Sheetz gas stations infected more than 400 people in the summer of 2004. Two other smaller outbreaks in the United States and Canada also occurred that summer and were linked back to a tomato-packing house in Florida. Pre-sliced Roma tomatoes purchased at deli counters in Sheetz gas stations infected more than 400 people in the summer of 2004. Two other smaller outbreaks in the United States and Canada also occurred that summer and were linked back to a tomato-packing house in Florida. Listeria-infected sliced turkey killed eight and infected 46 others in 2002. Three pregnant women had fetal deaths. Two processing plants recalled 30 million pounds of meat following the outbreak. Listeria-infected sliced turkey killed eight and infected 46 others in 2002. Three pregnant women had fetal deaths. Two processing plants recalled 30 million pounds of meat following the outbreak. In 2001, cantaloupe was again the culprit. Salmonella tainted the fruit that killed two, hospitalized nine and infected 50 in an outbreak that started in Mexico. In 2001, cantaloupe was again the culprit. Salmonella tainted the fruit that killed two, hospitalized nine and infected 50 in an outbreak that started in Mexico. Worst food borne illness outbreaks Cantaloupe Tuna Cantaloupe Ground turkey Eggs Celery Peppers Peanut butter Spinach Tomatoes Roma tomatoes Deli meats Cantaloupe

Vodafone ‘spying’ admission fuels election surveillance concerns

Filed under: consumer,fiji,human rights,ideology,institutions,media — admin @ 3:21 pm

Confirmation today there is cause for concern over phone and internet tapping by the regime leading up to the election.

Vodafone has admitted it has ‘secret wires that allow government agencies to listen to all conversations on its networks’, saying they are widely used in some of the 29 countries in which it operates ‘in Europe and beyond.’

Fiji is listed as one of those countries in a report by The Guardian newspaper, where Vodafone admits it allowed ‘state surveillance’ 760 times in Fiji in 2013.

Vodafone Fiji has denied as recently as April it even has the technology to allow phone and internet tapping.

Section 63 of the electoral decree prohibits people from communicating political messages by telephone, internet, email, social media or other electronic means 48 hours before polling opens and there is wide concern the regime will tap phones and monitor internet to prevent breaches.

Vodafone has previously denied it has the facilities to monitor calls and text messages, insisting it can only access phone records via police or court warrant.

It has also said there is no legislation in place which would allow for telecom operators to intercept text messages, phone calls or internet messages.

The Guardian newspaper report, however, says Vodafone has revealed ‘wires had been connected directly to its network and those of other telecoms groups, allowing agencies to listen to or record live conversations and, in certain cases, track the whereabouts of a customer.’

Concerns about phone and internet monitoring in FIji is not new. The subject has come up before on this blog, including revelations from former 3FIR commander, Roko Ului Mara, who says the regime started tapping phones in 2007.

Mara said both Connect and Vodafone do it, but Vodafone was the worst. Others have attested also that the regime uses experts from both India and China to spy on Fiji citizens, especially its critics. —–

9/19/2013

Betel Nut Beauties

Filed under: consumer,culture,General,taiwan — admin @ 4:59 am

3/29/2012

Toasted Egg Sandwich

Filed under: consumer,culture,fiji,global islands — admin @ 6:14 pm

Fiji Times ad: pretty nifty consumer innovation but it couldn't possibly be Fijian; $53/34US on Amazon

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