Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Take into account their society and where they live


Last month I mentioned a lawsuit by some workers on a Dole banana plantation in Nicaragua sterilized by a Dow Chemical pesticide (which it seems Dow tried to pull from the market because of its dangerousness, but Dole threatened to sue Dow for breach of contract). Six of the workers won their case in a Los Angeles court. They’ve been awarded an initial $3.2 million, with more to come if the jury believes that Dole acted maliciously when it, for example, decided that informing workers about the pesticide in their own language was “not operationally feasible and does not need to be implemented.” A lawyer for Dow tried to tell the jurors (before the judge stopped him) that Nicaraguans deserve lower compensation for sterilization because they are of less value than members of other nationalities, suggesting the jurors “take into account their society and where they live,” assessing damages “in the context of their world and their society.”

Speaking of agribusiness, here is another convincing, to me at least, George Monbiot article on how “Biofuels could kill more people than the Iraq war.”

So there was no Daily Show tonight because the writers are striking against not being paid when the news satire they write is accessed on new media like a computer screen, just as if they were lowly, lowly bloggers.

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