Costco Lawsuit: Americans Eat Thai Shrimp Fattened by ‘Slaves’
The lawsuit in many respects mirrors media reports and investigations by the London-based Environment Justice Foundation over the past year that have raised concerns about large retailers such as Costco and Walmart selling seafood products generated from a supply of forced labor in Thailand.
“This lawsuit seeks to give Californians confidence that they are not serving slavery for dinner”. After all, the country exported $7.3 billion of seafood in 2011, according to the U.S Department of Fisheries, which makes it the third-biggest producer of that product in the world.
Plaintiffs’ attorney Niall McCarthy, of Cotchette, Pitre & McCarthy, said that human suffering should not be overlooked to improve economic bottom line of a company and California consumers are unknowingly favoring slave labor.
“Some men remain at sea for several years, are paid very little or irregularly, work as much as 18 to 20 hours per day for seven days a week, or are threatened and physically beaten”, the report said.
Costco’s relationship with CP Foods contradicts its public statements about slavery in the company’s supply chain, according to the complaint.
The suit, in making its claim against Costco, points to what it says is the chain’s policy to not tolerate slavery by its suppliers.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction to cease Costco from promoting prawns and not using a label describing its “tainted” provide chain and to stop the corporate from shopping for, distributing and promoting merchandise they know or suspect to be derived from slave labor or human trafficking.
“Plaintiff and other California consumers care about the origin of the products they purchase and the conditions under which the products are farmed, harvested or manufactured”, her complaint reads.
The lawsuit comes a year after an article revealing that slave labor in Asia is used to supply seafood bought by main U.S. and European retailers... (To read the entire article, please click HERE)