Congress made an important move this week: they presented a bill to the President that would hopefully end US involvement in food produced by slave labor.
The prevalence of slave labor in Thailand’s fishing industry has been well documented. In 2014, the Guardian exposed ways in which laborers were forced into servitude and how the fruits of that forced labor are often found in American supermarkets and on your plate. In 2015, these facts were rehashed and expanded on, and they finally caught the attention of the mainstream media.
After this second wave of press, pressure came down on major brands. People started boycotting brands that participated in this supply chain, pushing companies like Nestle to make their regulations more strict.
And now, according to Grub Street, Congress has taken significant action to close the loophole that allows for US companies to legally participate in these sourcing chains. That loophole is part of a 1930 trade law that allows for products produced using child or slave labor to be sold in the US, in the instance that they cannot not be acquired through other means.
And while President Obama is expected to pass the bill, critics are still wary that it might not be enough. These skeptics cite the difficulty of border patrol and customs to determine what food items actually come from producers that use slave labor, as well as the fact that private companies are already steps ahead of the government in their own private sanctioning processes.
[via Grub Street]