January 19, 2004

I save quite a few tid bits for my blog. Actually getting them up here, on the other hand, is a bit more of an endeavor. (Its so much easier just to play neopets.)

Back in the November 4 edition of the NYT there was a horrifying article about factory workers in China.

Shen Yunxiang worked for Hisun Pharmaceutical (one of China's leading exporters of pharmaceutical products -- with prices Western manufacturers cannot match). He and his brother-in-law were told by the company to clean up some waste that had collected beneath the factory. Within minutes his brother-in-law passed out. By that evening he was dead. Mr. Shen has since had migraines and lung congestion that doctors are unable to diagnose. Another worker was sent down the next day to finish what Shen and his brother-in-law had been unable to do. He also died.

"Internal reports by local and national environmental investigators have found that each year, Hisun and other nearby companies release 3.6 million tons of water laden with organic and inorganic compounds that receive little or no processing."

Another worker's daughter was born with birth defects, which they attribute to the toxic conditions the mother worked in. The parents named their daughter Hisun so she would always know the cause of her deformity.

There's another article from September 16th's NYT (these are all from 2003, btw) about a Korean farmer, Lee Kyung Hae, who killed himself at World Trade Organization talks in Cancun.

“Give me the strength to accept the things I cannot control, the courage to change the things I can control, and the wisdom to know the difference between the two.” --The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr (despite the fact that its more often attributed to anonymous)