If you give or receive any flowers this Valentine’s Day, they were most likely imported from somewhere with a much warmer climate and lower wages than the United States. On Valentine’s Day, when tradition demands that massive amounts of roses be ready all at once, many of the flowers delivered or aavailable for sale may have come from Kenya, which has a great climate for delivering roses in mid-February, and has less demand from its recent biggest customers. [More]
In a victory for little guys worldwide, the Malaysian restaurant McCurry has won an epic trademark battle against McDonald’s. Yes, McDonald’s. McCurry has been open for ten years, and has spent eight of those fighting McDonald’s. They won on the grounds that nobody could possibly ever confuse the two restaurants.
A few weeks ago, we brought to you a story of counterfeit antimalarials from China being labeled as “Made in India,” then sold in Nigeria. Turns out it’s not just drugs.
Want to know how that lead got into your kid’s toys? Why brand-name goods come in containers that fall apart. Or how radioactive cookery ended up on store shelves? A new book out by Paul Midler, Poorly Made In China, promises the inside scoop on why products made in China are as shoddy (and often as dangerous) as seemingly possible.
National Journal has an interesting article about the intersection of free trade and globalization with increased food safety abroad and at home. Rather than reject shipments of Chinese fish for being raised in disgusting environments, the US should require trading partners to set and enforce their own strict food safety standards and use globalization as a way to promote better standards worldwide, instead of a race to the bottom.
If you stayed at one of Best Western’s 1,312 European hotels since 2007, the Russian mafia now has your credit information! In a nightmarish globalization fairy tale come true, an Indian hacker successfully planted a virus in Best Western’s European computer systems that fed addresses, phone numbers, and credit card details to mobsters in Russia.
Ever wonder why bananas are the cheapest fruit in the supermarket? It makes no sense. They’re grown thousands of miles away by steely imperialist multinational corporations, and spoil within two weeks. A Times Op-Ed argues that bananas are on their way out, and may disappear entirely from store shelves in the next twenty years.
That $1,500 Prada bag may have been stitched by an illegal Chinese immigrant slaving away in a Tuscan factory. The tentacles of globalization are starting to snake dirt-cheap foreign laborers into once-protected enclaves known for their quality swag.
That certified organic edamame you bought from the local supermarket may have been made and packaged in China. The exporting juggernaut is quickly and quietly muscling in on the thriving global trade in certified organic products. Organic exports from China are certified by private companies and carry the official USDA organic logo. The logo, however, does not guarantee that products are truly organic:
• You know what they say about giving it away, it makes people think it’s worthless, which in this case is absolutely correct. [CT] “AOL May Offer Some Services Free”
• Glad to hear you finally escaped the cellar and got that slough cleaning job you’ve always dreamed of. [NYT] “Jobless Claims Fall Slightly”
• The sky’s price for friendliness just got $10 more expensive. [CT] “Price Of Flying Takes Skyward Turn Again”
• Globalization died last week of prostate cancer. It was 81. [NYT] “Theodore Levitt Dead”
• The one divorce that really is the kid’s fault. [LAT] “Amazon Opens Toy Store After Toys R Us Ruling”
• Albertson’s, it’s your store, Mr. Aryan Nation. [LAT] “Albertsons Sued Over Racial Discrimination”