Not that we needed any more proof, but this story from Listverse is a good example of what I'm talking about!
American Cyanamid Co.
In the four years between 1996 and 2000, companies in the US exported a little over a billion pounds of chemical pesticides to third-world countries. That’s not really a big deal, but this is: Most of those pesticides were banned in the US because they were known carcinogens—but through a loophole, it’s still legal to manufacture and export them, as long as they’re not being used in the country.
As a result, over 350 million agricultural workers in areas like Africa and Central America are put in contact with these chemicals, only, through another loophole, they’re not told about the small fact that without the proper gear they have a very good chance of dying. So you end up with a situation like this plantation in Costa Rica that was sold a pesticide called Counter by American Cyanamid Co.
A quick fact about Counter: The chemical in it is an organophosphate—that’s what they used to make nerve gas before WWII. Counter is only approved for handling if you’re wearing gloves, a face mask, and eye protection. The uninformed Costa Rican farmers, on the other hand, worked shirtless and spread the pesticide with their bare hands. Some of them even used full bags of Counter as pillows at night. After a few days, the workers were literally vomiting blood and foaming at the mouth from the toxins that had worked into their bodies.
And it’s still happening everyday. Companies like American Cyanamid and Chevron Chemical Co. export about 10 million pounds of these chemicals out of the country each month—to areas that provide approximately a quarter of the produce sold in America, freshly dusted with illegal pesticides.
It's really sad that some companies put the quest for profit far above human lives. You have to wonder how these folks sleep at night, ya know?
Coffee out on the patio this morning. Anyone want a bear claw?