issue 111

Boycott News from Issue 111 March/April 2008



Beijing Olympics

The 2008 Olympics, to be held in Beijing, has become the focus of human rights campaign groups.

One of them, Reporters Without Borders, works to defend journalists and media assistants imprisoned or persecuted for doing their job and to expose the mistreatment and torture of them in many countries.

They are calling for a boycott of the event due to the country's censorship and detainment of at least 30 journalists and 50 internet users, some of whom have been held since the 1980s.

RWB say that the Chinese authorities promised the International Olympic Committee concrete improvements in human rights in order to win the 2008 Olympics for Beijing, which have since fallen by the wayside.

Sign the online petition at



Made in China

The campaign groups are calling for all consumers to boycott products made in China.

The book 'Buying The Dragon's Teeth' is available to read free on the website, and provides a detailed account of China's myriad human rights abuses against its own people and its repression in Tibet.

According to the website, the book "provides a lucid, powerful exposéof the real -- not CNN or Fox's -- China that should make anyone pause when reaching for a 'Made in China' product."

Sign the pledge form and read the book here.



Rachel's not-so-organic?

In April 2007 the USA's Organic Consumers Association launched a boycott of two leading US-based organic dairy brands and distributors.

The first, Horizon, is a divison of Dean Foods and parent of UK-based Rachel's Organic.

The second is Aurora. The boycott has been called for the mislabelling of their products as "USDA organic". All of Aurora's and much of Horizon's 'organic' milk is coming from factory farm feedlots where the cows have been brought in from conventional farms and have little or no access to pasture.

The United States Department for Agriculture investigated the brands after the Cornucopia Institute, which promotes economic justice for family-scale farming, lodged legal complaints against them.

In the case of Dean foods, Cornucopia found that from 2002-2006, Horizon's milk cows lacked any meaningful amount of pasture as required by law. However, despite finding that there had been violations of the federal law governing organics, the USDA allowed the companies to continue trading, without even administering a fine.

Since the boycott was launched, thousands of consumers and a number of co-ops and natural food stores have joined. Now OCA are calling to expand the boycott to retailers of these 'bogus' organic products and of Horizon's sister brands.

For more information visit



Chicken Out Campaign

Compassion In World Farming (CIWF) have long been campaigning for a better quality of life for broiler (meat) chickens.

However, Hugh-Fearnley Whittingstall's recent Channel 4 TV series 'Chicken Run' and Jamie Oliver's 'Fowl Dinners' have brought the nation's attention to the plight of chickens bred for food in this country, and CIWF are welcoming this high-profile celebrity endorsement of their campaign.

Due to the love of cheap chicken in Britain, farmers are under pressure to produce poultry as quickly and cheaply as possible - which means birds live short lives, in cramped conditions, without ever seeing natural daylight.

They commonly develop severe injuries and disabilities, associated with unnaturally fast weight gain and restricted movement. A shocking 95% of the chicken eaten in the UK has been intensively farmed.

27% of UK egg production now comes from free range farms since consumers' attention was brought to the conditions that battery caged hens endure. Although many consumers are aware of the plight of meat birds, the Chicken Out! Campaign seeks to engage the whole British population in a big push for higher welfare standards in the chicken production industry.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is calling for the industry to 'de-intensify' by lowering stocking densities and including environmental enrichment programmes in all its chicken sheds.

Hugh has suggested that the RSPCA Freedom Foods system, or similar audited systems very close to it, should be the new minimum welfare standard for indoor-reared broiler chickens.

CIWF urge you to join the Chicken Out! Campaign and put pressure on your supermarket to stop stocking factory-farmed birds.

Make a pledge to support the campaign at

Send an e-card from to the EU Commissioner Markos Kyprianou calling for clear labelling of chickens stating the method of production used.




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