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ADM, Cargill & Nestlé appeal to US Supreme Court seeking dismissal of lawsuit alleging use of child labour in Côte d’Ivoire cocoa plantations

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2 June 2015

Can a US Court hold Nestlé responsible for child slavery in Africa?

Author: Annie Wu, Epoch Times

A legal case involving major food companies Nestlé, ADM (Archer Daniels Midland), and Cargill...has now reached the highest court in the country. The three companies are preparing to petition the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which would make the final ruling on the legal question. In 2005, three Malian nationals who were forced into working on cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast filed a class-action lawsuit in a federal court in California. They claimed that the three corporations—through purchasing cocoa harvested by child laborers—”aided and abetted” slavery, child labor, and torture...Though Nestlé, ADM, and Cargill do not own any cocoa plantations in the Ivory Coast, they have exclusive buyer-seller relationships with Ivorian farms...In 2010, the California court dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that corporations cannot be sued under the Alien Tort Statute...The Malians then brought their case to a federal appeals court, which reversed the dismissal...But Nestlé, ADM, and Cargill are not giving up the fight...Now, it’s up to the Supreme Court to decide whether they want to hear the case... [Also refers to Hershey, Royal Dutch Petroleum]


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1 June 2015

Ivorian cocoa embargo likely if Nestlé, ADM and Cargill child slavery case succeeds, says judge

Author: Oliver Nieburg, Confectionery News

U.S. chocolate manufacturers would forgo buying cocoa from Côte d'Ivoire if a case against a three major cocoa procesors succeeds, warns a dissenting judge. The U.S. Sourt of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit last month dismissed Nestlé's motion for rehearing en banc in a lawsuit brought by former child slaves who allege the Swiss giant chocolate firm, ADM and Cargill were complicit in their force work on cocoa farms in West Africa...Dissenting, Judge Rawlinson argued the court had done a disservice to the law by allowing sympathies to run afoul. "I quite agree the plaintiffs are diserving sympathy...But they do not bring this action against the slavers..." "[T]he panel majority concludes that defendant corporations, who engaged in...trade, did so with the purpose that plaintiffs be enslaved..." Later in May, Nestlé, ADM and Cargill successfully applied for the case to be stayed...until they could apply for a writ of certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court...The parties dispute whether corporations can be responsible for ading and abetting crimes outide the U.S. under the Alient Tort Statute. The firms also claim they lack the mens rea...

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