"Cotton - a natural fiber? Poison
The hazardous pesticides sprayed onto cotton crops poison thousands of farmers and their families in the developing world. One chemical – endosulfan – attributed to serious health problems, including birth deformities, convulsions and death remains as one of the most widely used pesticides in the developing world. This chemical, although banned for use in the EU due to its toxicity, is produced in the EU and marketed to farmers in Africa and Asia.
Cotton - a natural fiber? Abuse
Cotton production is rife with child labor. Whether it’s state enforced or illegal trafficking, millions of children face severe exploitation. In Egypt during the cotton harvest an estimated one million children from the age of seven work 77 hours a week in the cotton fields. Abuses include exposure to pesticides and beatings. In Uzbekistan, the world’s 3rd largest exporter of cotton, roughly a third of the population are forced to work in conditions near slavery for the state run cotton industry. Many are children. Schools across the country are shut down for the cotton harvest as children work for weeks in the fields, paid little or nothing. Europe buys around one third of all Uzbek cotton..."
Read the full article at EFJ:International Year of National Fibers