By Kim Fortun
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Supreme Court Justice. A world in which Iraqi farmers are told that they are required to plant “protected” crop varieties, defined as new, distinct, uniform and stable—as Monsanto seeds. ). The complexity of these conditions, the entanglements—of business and government, of law and politics, of war and farming, of natural and technical systems—is stunning, and sobering. Figure SEQ Figure \* ARABIC 2. Degraded components of the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India. The site is now abandoned, but remains contaminated with pesticides, chlorinated benzenes, and heavy metals.
The American plant in central India was underdesigned for safety, and had not been maintained. The 40-ton tank that released its contents into the air of a sleeping city on December 3, 1984 is where the many failures of many involved systems came together, at a boil (Fortun 2001). Thousands were killed; hundreds of thousands of others were exposed, their bodies becoming even more laced with toxics than mine, yours, and all others in our late industrial age. Understanding of the chemicals released in Bhopal remains inconclusive; they are among the over 100,000 chemicals registered with governments around the world for routine use; the data hasn’t been collected, the science hasn’t been done, to understand how these chemicals affect human and ecosystem health.
Much of his firm’s work focuses on food retail, including supermarkets, restaurants, bodegas, and convenience stores. Through this, Powell has had access to food executives, marketers, cashiers, and customers. He has learned that there are nearly 150,000 convenience stores in the United States, constituting a $500 billion industry, and that this industry knows it needs to rethink itself and the future. Partly because tobacco sales, which comprise a huge percentage of convenience store sales, are declining.