Monday, February 14, 2005


The AP says Sen. Tom Harkin is encouraging people concerned about child slavery to steer clear of chocolate until manufacturers address forced child labor in the Ivory Coast and other cocoa-producing countries of West Africa.

Harkin says negotiations with the industry have "nearly collapsed'' and that the goal of a public accounting of labor practices in cocoa-growing countries by July will not be met.
West Africa is one of the biggest cocoa producing regions in the world, with 43% of the world’s coca beans coming from the Ivory Coast alone. There are more than 600,000 small farms producing cocoa beans in the Ivory Coast, many in the remote parts of the country. Local human rights activists in the Ivory Coast estimate that as many as 90% of cocoa farms use forced child labor.
Harkin says he is going to buy his wife flowers instead of chocolate but appears that buying roses is not without its moral element either.

And don't get me started on giving gold jewelry to your sweetheart.
Marking the second anniversary of their "No Dirty Gold" campaign, EARTHWORKS and Oxfam America are reminding consumers that the production of a single 18-carat gold ring weighing less than one ounce generates on average at least 20 tonnes of mine waste that may prove very harmful for local communities and the environment. ***

Based on gold-sales projections for the first two weeks of February, the two groups estimate that Valentine's Day sales of gold jewelry in the U.S. will have produced 34 million metric tonnes of waste worldwide.
No chocolate,
no roses,
no jewelry...

It looks like I will have to give my wife a vacuum cleaner again this year.

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