Flower growers fight less-than-rosy image


The accusations landed with the force of laser-guided missiles. Under the headline “Let’s not buy them anymore,” the Italian daily Il Messaggero reported that Colombian flowers were tainted with “products banned in the European Union, like DDT” and harvested with the labor of “a thousand children no older than 12 on average.” On the floor of the Italian parliament, meanwhile, members of the Northern League political party evoked images of back-bent juveniles toiling under a broiling sun and breathing toxic chemicals. They spoke of unfair labor advantages and complained that Colombian imports had resulted in losses to Italian flower growers of 8% of annual sales. With the heat on, Italy’s left-wing parliament had little choice. On Jan. 13, two weeks before the... [Log in to read more]

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