According to The Atlantic, there are over 21 million slaves in the world. It means there is a good chance that a product you bought was made by "victims of forced labour -- and a significant amount of this suffering is fueled by every day products available on American shelves." What's actually impressive is the steps McDonald's -- that's right, the often maliciously portrayed burger giant -- has been taking in order to ensure it only does business with places who can prove they're not abusing workers.
Seventy-eight percent of U.S. families reported choosing organic foods in a November 2011 survey, despite the fact that they are often more expensive. In a new Gallup poll, 5 percent of Americans identify as vegetarians for environmental reasons or because they object to the inhumane practices of many meat producers. Is there even a word to describe people who choose to eliminate slave-made goods from their daily lives? How often do we see asterisks and a note that ingredients in a meal were harvested freely by people being compensated according to domestic or international law? The American Humane Association has trademarked the "No Animals Were Harmed" ® disclaimer, and yet, no such tagline exists for cruelty to people.
In the Melilla 203 case, McDonald's refused to purchase the fish from the New Zealand supplier because it requires all of its suppliers to submit to third-party audits on its labor standards. The 2010 California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010 requires companies that operate in California with an annual worldwide profit that exceeds $100 million to "disclose what efforts, if any, they have taken to eliminate human trafficking from their supply chains." This is a laudable first step.