Heavy Metal: 12 Million Tons of Chinese Rice Contaminated

Ugh. Hong Kong’s English daily South China Morning Post has a distinctly unsavory dispatch from the Chinese media this morning: Government scientists have released research that millions of acres of Chinese agricultural land and over 12 million tons of Chinese grain are contaminated by toxic metal pollution, according to this …

The Beginning of an End to Whaling in Japan?

The annual kerfuffle between Japanese whaling ships and the anti-whaling activists who chase them around Antarctic waters every winter is once again getting its seasonal share of ink and airtime. But this year the familiar scenes from the southerly tug-of-war might have a new victor – for now.

For the last several winters, the Sea …

A Happier Year in Store for America’s Sharks?

Sharks caught a break yesterday after the Senate passed a piece of important legislation aimed at reducing the number of sharks finned in U.S. waters. The Shark Conservation Act of 2009 passed the Senate on Monday, strengthening existing legislation by closing a few gaping loopholes in the law, and is now due to move to the House.

The …

China’s Other Jailed Dissident: Food Safety Fighter Zhao Lianhai

The Hong Kong Journalists Association is on the defensive this week after several reporters from the SAR were assaulted in a Beijing suburb on Friday, the same day the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded in Oslo to jailed human rights activist Liu Xiaobao. The Hong Kong reporters were waiting outside the housing complex of another detained …

China’s Textile Industry: How Dirty Are Your Jeans?

If you’re a bit of a slob like me, you are wearing jeans to work today, and if, like me, you’re a bit of a slob who doesn’t manage hedge funds, your jeans are fairly run of the mill. My H&M specials today were made in Pakistan. But most of my other jeans are made across Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbor in southern China, and may very …

Bad News for Bluefin Tuna Keeps on Coming

The beleaguered bluefin was dealt another blow this week when the European Union, under pressure from France, Spain, Italy and Malta, all of which have a stake in the lucrative tuna fishery, backed down from lobbying for slashing quotas of the eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna at talks this week in Paris.

The EU fisheries commissioner …

Tuna on Trial: The Dark Side of the Bluefin Tuna Market

All along the northern coast of Sicily there is evidence of organized crime: empty tonnaros, or tuna canneries, that went out of business last century when the massive blue fin tunas they hauled from the Mediterranean for generations finally disappeared. Sicily’s ghostly tonnaros may not have much to do with the Corleones or the

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