BBC’s Panorama reporter Paul Kenyon goes undercover as a cocoa trader in West Africa and discovers children as young as seven working long hours on cocoa farms, helping to make the chocolate we love so much. He buys a tonne of cocoa made with child labour, and sees how easy it is to sell it into the supply chain which leads to our high streets.
Amid all the controversy over genetically-modified (GM) crops and their pesticides and herbicides decimating bee populations all around the world, biotechnology behemoth Monsanto has decided to buy out one of the major international firms devoted to studying and protecting bees. According to a company announcement, Beeologics handed over the reins to Monsanto back on September 28, 2011, which means the gene-manipulating giant will now be able to control the flow of information and products coming from Beeologics for colony collapse disorder (CCD). Continue reading 'Monsanto buys Beeologics'»
The Environmental Protection Agency has refused a petition that aimed to ban the sale of a powerful pesticide linked with cancer — and while already available, a surge in sales is expected as scientists ready a new crop resistant to the chemical.
Not only has the EPA rejected a petition that sought to prohibit the domestic sale of the dangerous 2,4-D pesticide — a key ingredient in Agent Orange — but the main manufacturer of the chemical predicts that sales will skyrocket in the coming months. The reason, it would seem, is that Dow Chemicals is awaiting federal approval of a genetically engineered crop they’ve created that will be resistant to 2,4-D.
If approved, farmers will be able to plant the frankencrop corn variant and douse their fields with the pesticide to eliminate unwanted weeds with greater success. Although 2,4-D isn’t currently used to a large degree on corn fields, all that could soon change for the country’s most successful crop. Opponents argue, though, that the potential side effects of the pesticide are enough to push for a ban on 2,4-D altogether. Continue reading 'EPA approves ‘Agent Orange’ pesticide'»
After farming, retailing is India’s major occupation. It employs 40 million people. A sizeable majority of owner/employees are in the business because of lack of other opportunities.
The decade of liberalisation has so far been one of jobless growth. It is no wonder that retail has become the refuge of these millions. Lopsided economic development is transforming India from an agrarian economy directly to a service oriented post-industrial society.
The Indian retail industry is highly fragmented. According to AC Nielsen and KSA Technopak, India has the highest shop density in the world. In 2001, it was estimated that there were 11 outlets for every 1000 people. Since the agriculture sector is over-crowded and the manufacturing sector stagnant, millions of young Indians are virtually forced into the service sector.
The presence of more than one retailer for every hundred persons is indicative of how many people are being forced into this form of self employment, despite limitations of capital and space.
Download the PDF document.