Iowa and trade... it's the prices, stupid
Trade on the Trail - Thanksgiving News Roundup

For T'giving, Mellow out or you will pay

So spake Jello Biafra in his tribute to former California Gov. Jerry Brown. So I am doing that, having scheduled this post to go up while I am on break.

But that's no reason to not be thankful for some fair trade victories. Jerry Brown, now California's attorney general, is suing the people-squashing corporations:

LOS ANGELES—California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. and Los Angeles City Attorney Rockard J. Delgadillo today sued twenty companies for manufacturing or selling toys with “unlawful quantities of lead.”

Commenting on the lawsuit which was filed today in Alameda County Superior Court, Attorney General Brown said, “Companies must take every reasonable step to assure that the products they handle are safe for children and their families and fully comply with the laws of California. Despite the lengthening global supply chain, every company that does business in this state must follow the law and protect consumers from lead and other toxic materials.”...

Companies subject to today’s lawsuit include: Mattel, Fisher-Price, Michaels Stores, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, Target, Sears, KB Toys, Costco Wholesale, A&A Global Industries, RC2 Corporation, Eveready Battery Company, Kids II, Kmart, Marvel Entertainment, Toy Investments.

Center for America's Future has a pretty funny video about this:

This is one important plank of beginning to hold corporations accountable for the safety of the products that they have offshored production of. On another plank of this project, another Brown, this time Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), is trying to update our current laws on product recalls, which were designed for a time when most domestic consumption was domestically produced:

The Food and Product Responsibility Act of 2007 (S.2081) would require that distributors of food and consumer products demonstrate the financial capacity to cover risks associated with recalls and product safety. Specifically, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in conjunction with other agencies, would develop a program to ensure distributors are able to cover the costs associated with both product recalls and all personal and property damages that may occur as a result of a defective product. Distributors would demonstrate that they possess product recall and liability insurance or have sufficient financial resources to afford a recall and any subsequent damage claims. Products covered would include: Auto parts, Food, drugs, devices, and cosmetics, Biological products, Consumer products, Meat, meat products, poultry, and poultry products, eggs and egg products.

In addition, Brown’s legislation would grant the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to require mandatory recalls of meat, poultry, and egg products and grant the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the authority to require recalls for fruits, vegetables, and other products it regulates.

OK, and just cuz we're having so much fun with the Browns, I want to post the aforementioned song, California Uber Alles by the Dead Kennedys, which celebrates/mocks the former governor Brown. Despite accusing him of jogging for the master race, poisoning with organic poison gas, and forcing meditation i schools, I'm sure Jello Biafra nevertheless appreciates AG Brown's efforts to keep Californians safe from killer corporations:

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