Chemicals & Manufacturing

In the wake of the multiple scandals over tainted Chinese food and drug exports in recent months, Chinese goods now have an indelible image of being not just cheap, but life-threatening as well. But the fact that wrongly labelled foods, liquor and pharmaceuticals have routinely sickened and even killed people en masse in China has been largely overlooked.
Neighbors of a former IBM plant in New York state sued the company on Thursday, saying it released chemicals into the air, ground and water for nearly 80 years that caused birth defects and cancer.
Companies found guilty of anti-competitive practices will face multibillion euro fines or more than 10 times the current tariffs for abusing their monopoly and taking part in cartels under draconian new competition guidelines adopted by the European Commission today.
A workers' rights group in the United States released a report on Tuesday detailing what it called brutal conditions and illegal practices in Chinese toy factories, many of which supply some of the world's biggest brand-name toy makers, including Walt Disney and Hasbro.
Federal regulators have turned down a request from Monsanto Co. to take action against dairy companies that advertise milk as free of synthetic hormones.
The U.S. obsession with soft toilet paper has driven the growth of brands like Cottonelle Ultra, Quilted Northern Ultra and Charmin Ultra. But fluffiness comes at a price: millions of trees harvested in North America and in Latin American countries, including some percentage of trees from rare old-growth forests in Canada.
FIFTY environmental activists have stormed and occupied an open cut goldmine in Western New South Wales, halting mining operations, and causing the arrest of eight protesters, police and the activists said today.
The union activists suing U.S. coal company Drummond Co. Inc. in Alabama in the 2001 murders of three labor leaders say deliberate foot-dragging by Colombian authorities is preventing the jury from hearing their star witness. Concerned by the delay, 12 Democrats in the U.S. Congress wrote Colombia's vice president last week asking him to intercede.
Rights activists are unhappy with the Labour Ministry's plan to amend labour laws to introduce 80 hours of overtime every month for factory workers, including those in export processing zones (EPZ).
While the world braces for a US war against Iraq, Washington is using its newly inked Free Trade Agreement with Jordan to open sweatshops and secure an ally in the region.