The defendants argue, in part, that the plaintiffs lack Article III standing, saying “the plaintiff’s alleged injuries are not fairly traceable to the defendants,” and there is no direct connection between the plaintiffs and the defendants or their alleged traffickers; nor are there any indirect connections.
There is more of the same in the memorandum to dismiss and it makes for interesting reading, though difficult treading at times if you’re not familiar with reading legal documents like these.
The arguments being made, IMO, are entirely technico-legal in nature, engaging the language of the complaint with respect to the provisions of the TVPRA, essentially dismissing out of hand the industry’s voluntary commitments under Harkin-Engel. For Reasons.
I get that lawyers are supposed to vigorously defend their clients. It is their responsibility to do so. However, I find the arguments presented on behalf of the defendants in this case – Barry Callebaut USA, Cargill Incorporated/Cargill Cocoa, The Hershey Company, Mars, Incorporated/Mars Wrigley Confectionery US, LLC, Néstle USA, Inc., Mondelēz International, Inc., and Olam Americas, Inc. – not only morally bankrupt and indefensible they are reprehensible.
I have already made the conscious decision not to purchase any products from any of these companies where it is possible for me to readily identify their involvement – in any way – in the growing, manufacturing, or distribution of these products.
I am also going to take the extraordinary step of refusing to cover or review any new product introduction from any of these companies or their affiliates / brands.