Activist Mommy

{August 17, 2007}   Profits Before Safety

Made In ChinaEvery one it seems is talking about the dangerous products made in China. I’ve seen several blogs across the web swearing off anything made in China from their homes. For parents such as myself the toy recalls can be an big blow. How many toys that we buy come from China? Do you know which ones are safe? Do you know if they are really safe or jsut claimed to be? Melissa & Doug is a favorite in this house, but even they are made in China. So are Melissa & Doug toys safe? They say so, but we’re really only hoping it’s true.

 One thing that disgusted me is getting online last night. There on was a huge ad, soft blue skies with light clouds. It seemed so tranquil, so calm. And the words “Mattel cares about kids…” starting coming across the screen. I wanted to vomit. Because Dirk Star rants it better than me I’ll just point you over to his thoughts while I try to regain my composure.

What is the cheapest way to produce our widget and how much can we compromise the quality of materials going into it to maximize our profits. Where is the cheapest labor available? Where are the pollution laws more lax than in our own country? Where are labor laws, tax laws, safety laws, consumer protection laws or any laws more favorable to producing low cost goods and services?

First the Chinese food scandels, now toys. Living completely self-relient and off the grid sounds better and better every day.

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{July 11, 2007}   Nestle = BAD!!!

boycott NestleMy post yesterday on water bottles lead to a great comemnt and a link to a post of 13 news stories worth checking out. Scroll down to #8, a great piece on Nestle yet again making money at the expense of others.

Many people don’t know that there is a boycott on Nestle and their products going on. One that has been in effect since 1977. The reasons for boycotting Nestle make a pretty long list. Check out What’s Wrong With Nestlé? to see for yourself. Irresponsible marketing, exploiting employees, supporting brutal / repressive regimes , and abusing animals are a few of the ways Nestle gets its kicks. Doing a full boycott of Nestle can be difficult for some, especially since they own everything under the sun. As the company grows and grows one almost has to stop going to the store at all in order to avoid the stretch of Nestle. In the future the world will be owned by Nestle and sold by Wal-Mart. *shudders*

 If you want to know more you can check out the Boycott Nestle blog, which has an interesting post up right now about the Boycott Nestle week and mothers in the Philippines being misled into think that processed formula is better than their own milk. Much in the same way women here in the US were told the same lies. There is a great post here about the according to the World Health Organization, some 16,000 Filipino children die as a result of “inappropriate feeding practices” every year.

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I, unfortunately, live in a pretty small area. One where shopping choices are not very plentiful, and the few we have have been forced to raise their prices through the roof to make ends meet. Why? Because we have a super Wal-Mart. The huge, open all-night shopping meca complete with a fresh deli, bakery, food court, nail and hair salon, arcade, and photo center. Almost everyone you know works there or has at one time or another. The pay stinks, the hours are terrible, and the chance for promotion is virtually nonexistant. Yet that does not stop people from crowding into the store at all hours of the day and night to shop, shop, shop.

I read this blog post yesterday, The big bite of Wal-Mart, and felt a little more queasy than I normally do at the mention of Wal-Mart. She mentions that one of the reason that Wal-Mart stands to gain is that they can afford to chas paychecks for $3, rather than the larger percentage that some other businesses charge. They will also be offering a reloadable Wal-Mart Visa card that you can put your precious paycheck into.

“Wal-Mart MoneyCenters will assist customers who are outside mainstream banking with convenient, nationwide access to low-cost money services, including check cashing, money orders, bill payment and money transfers.” – “Wal-Mart Rapidly Expands Access to Low-Cost Money Services For Millions of Customers Nationwide,” Wal-Mart Facts, June 20, 2007.

Of course we should all know by now that you can’t get anything for free, or for a seemingly low price. So besides offering this great new service which will no doubt make them lots of money (I mean, who is going to Wal-Mart just to cash their check when you could get all your shopping done at the same time?) and offering these snazzy new reloadable Visa cards, what else does Wal-amrt have up its sleeve? Oh, you mean the hidden fees. You know, suddenly $3 seems a lot bigger.

The WalmartWatch blog has a great selection of posts with more about this in their Friday Blog Round-Up. But there is a little more than just new banking plans posted there. According to the news Wal-Mart is all about screwing people, but only if they are the opposite gender. Apparently after a bit of arm twisting (likely, none at all) from the Conservative Right Wal-Mart has pulled out what little GLTB support they were offering. They stopped donations to support groups though it seems that Wal-Mart is so huge that even some gay activists can’t turn their backs.

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