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Food and Agriculture

The industrial food chain is complex - and highly profitable for those who control it. In India, ancient traditional grains have been patented by multinationals, while drought- and pest-resistant strains of food crops are engineered in laboratories and planted in massive monocultures worldwide. Harsh pesticides and herbicides have become the rule instead of the exception. GMO soybeans are crowding out the Amazon rainforests; meanwhile, massively subsidized, nutritionally-challenged corn finds its way into almost every aspect of the American diet, especially fast food. The corporations (Monsanto, Cargill, ADM, McDonald's, etc) behind what we eat exert power in their best interest, rather than in ours. What's good for their bottom line is not necessarily good for our waistlines, our coastlines, our treelines ...


Nestle Recalls 400 Million Packets of Instant Noodles in India
by Richard SmallteacherCorpWatch Blog
June 18th, 2015
Nestle says that it will destroy 400 million packets of Maggi brand instant noodles in India worth some Rs 320 crores ($50.5 million). The company made the announcement after the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India found “hazardous” levels of lead in company products and ordered legal action.

Australian “Free Range” Chicken Company Alleged to Use Exploited Labor
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
May 11th, 2015
Baiada, one of Australia’s biggest poultry producers, has been accused of using labor contractors that under pay and exploit foreign visitors on temporary work permits. The company sells Steggles and Lilydale Free Range Chickens to supermarket and fast food chains like Aldi, Coles, KFC and Woolworths.

Florida Tomato Pickers Sign Up New Major Retail Chains For Higher Wages
by Fatima HansiaCorpWatch Blog
March 10th, 2015
The Fresh Market, a major U.S. retail chain, recently joined the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Fair Food Program, adding another victory in the battle for humane working conditions for tomato pickers in Florida’s $650 million industry. Thirteen companies including Burger King, McDonald's and Walmart have signed up so far.

Bangladeshi Tribals Evicted For Tea Plantation Expansion
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
March 6th, 2015
Syed Tea and Land, a Bangladeshi company, has been accused of using armed men to evict ethnic minority communities in order to expand a tea plantation in Sreemangal in northeastern Bangladesh. The expansion will impact Kandas, Khasis and Tantis who have lived in the area for a century.

European Supermarkets Defend Low Wages To Moroccan Tomato Pickers
by Mayu ChangCorpWatch Blog
November 12th, 2014
Tomato pickers in Morocco – who supply fresh produce during the winter to big European supermarket chains like Albert Heijn in the Netherlands and Sainsbury’s and Tesco in the UK – are paid poverty wages, according to a new report from Fairfood International.

Indian Rose Exporter Declares Bankruptcy in the Netherlands
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
October 2nd, 2014
A subsidiary of Karaturi Global, the Indian flower export multinational accused of land grabbing in Ethiopia and Kenya, has been declared bankrupt by a Dutch court. The company owes some $300,000 in the Netherlands, as well as upwards of $4 million in taxes in Kenya.

Migrant Rights Activist Fights Thai Pineapple Company Lawsuit
by Pratap Chatterjee
September 12th, 2014
Natural Fruit, one of Thailand’s largest pineapple processors, has sued Andy Hall, a British researcher, over a report that he worked on for Finnwatch on labor abuses in the industry. Hall faces some seven years in jail and $10 million in fines.

Fast Food Workers Hold Biggest Ever Strike For Wages in U.S.
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
September 5th, 2014
Hundreds of low wage fast food workers were arrested at strikes and protests in some 100 cities around the U.S. on September 4. They were demanding that companies like Burger King, KFC, McDonald's and Wendy's pay workers a living wage of $15 an hour.

Papua New Guinea Landowners Win Lands Back From Malaysian Palm Oil Plantation
by Fatima HansiaCorpWatch Blog
June 16th, 2014
A Papua New Guinea (PNG) court revoked two 99 year land titles awarded to Kuala Lumpur Kepong (KLK) of Malaysia to develop palm oil plantations on 38,350 hectares of land in Collingwood Bay in Oro province following complaints of land grabbing by customary landowners.

World Bank Agrees to Investigate Labor Conditions at Indian Tea Company
by Pratap ChatterjeeCorpWatch Blog
February 21st, 2014
The World Bank has agreed to investigate Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited (APPL) in India for abusive working conditions on tea plantations in the north-eastern Indian state of Assam, following a formal complaint by workers. A Columbia Law School team has confirmed the workers allegations.

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