By Robert A. Vella
In today’s environmental news:
Popping the tails off countless shrimp while plowing through an order of Chinese takeout or a plate of scampi hardly feels like labor. That’s part of the magic of the vast international supply chain that catches, processes, packages, and ships the 1.3 billion pounds of shrimp that Americans eat every year, more than any other type of seafood. Ninety percent of that shrimp is imported, much of it from Thailand.
But the makings of an easy dinner on one side of the world are part of a vast, abusive industry on the other. Investigations by The Associated Press and The New York Times have shown that the system that allows us to enjoy shrimp at a low price is rife with labor abuses, including slavery. Now a new investigation published Monday by the AP looks at the human rights abuses in a new corner of that system: the peeling sheds in Thailand’s $7 billion seafood export industry, where your shrimp goes from having a head, body, legs, and guts to being a simple bite.
From Global News – Flint, Michigan mayor declares emergency over lead water crisis:
FLINT, Mich. — Flint’s mayor has declared a state of emergency due to problems with the city’s water system caused by using water from the Flint River, saying the city needs more federal help.
Karen Weaver announced the declaration Monday night and said the move intends to help raise awareness of continuing problems. She said damage to children caused by lead exposure is irreversible and that the city will need to spend more on special education and mental health services as a result.
Flint switched from Detroit’s water system last year to Flint River water in a cost-cutting move while under state emergency financial management. The Flint River was supposed to be an interim source until the city could join a new system getting water from Lake Huron.
But residents complained about the taste, smell and appearance of the water. Officials maintained the water met safety standards, but children were found to have elevated levels of lead in their blood and it was determined that corrosive river water was drawing lead from aging pipes.