Segments in this Video

Textile Production in India Causes Cancer (02:53)


Competitive pressures create incentives for fabric producers in India to ignore health hazards; incidence of cancer explodes in India's textile industry.

Overuse of Pesticides in Cotton Fields (03:12)

Punjab cotton farmers apply large quantities of pesticides to control cotton worms. Dangerous pesticides, many banned in Europe, impact farm worker health.

Workers Don't Wear Protective Clothing (02:08)

Field workers routinely apply toxic sprays without taking protective measures. Many workers cannot read pesticide warnings and instructions.

Cancer Hospitals Overflow (02:37)

In seven years, charity agencies establish eight new cancer hospitals in India's cotton belt. Demand for care exceeds hospital capacity.

Pesticides Bioaccumulate; Danish Manufacturer Cheminova (03:21)

Punjab cotton farmer blood samples contain the highest levels of pesticides found in the world. In India, a Danish manufacturer produces pesticides banned in Denmark.

Pesticide Plant Affects Surrounding Community (02:54)

Residents believe gases released from a Cheminova plant cause breathing difficulty and body rashes.

Cheminova's Danish Owners; Pesticides in Water and Food (02:12)

Danish owners control Cheminova. Researchers find residue of pesticides in water, food, and cotton products.

Merchants of Death (02:53)

World Health Organization encourages less use of pesticides and more use of protective clothing. Experts accuse Western pesticide companies of becoming "merchants of death" in India.

Toxic Textile Factories (02:37)

Journalists visit a textile factory in Panipat, India, supplying European retail chains. Investigators observe child labor and workers handling toxic chemicals without protection.

Obsolete Technology (02:06)

A chemical engineer considers processes used at the Indian factory G.S. Exports outdated and dangerous. European retailer Dansk Supermarket evades comment.

Worker Abuse (02:28)

Workers at G.S. Exports claim to suffer crowded housing, long hours, low pay, and abuse. A VP for Swedish retailer ICA expresses surprise and anger.

ICA Investigates Supplier (01:59)

ICA arranges inspections and pledges to demand ethical treatment for workers. G.S. Exports denies all wrongdoing.

Danish Retailer JYSK's Towels (02:46)

One of Europe's largest retailers of home textiles proclaims strict ethical values. Journalists pose as buyers to tour JYSK supplier Kapoor Industries.

Toxic Wastewater (03:07)

A neighboring farmer claims Kapoor Industries' wastewater pollutes groundwater, causing health problems. Factory officials interrupt interviews with farmers; a dispute erupts.

Kapoor Bullies Journalists (02:36)

Kapoor Industries managers confiscate video and threaten journalists conducting an interview. Police side with Kapoor. Though JYSK touts firm ethical policies, the company declines comment.

Environmentally Friendly Indian Textile Factory (01:43)

ALPS Industries LTD produces textiles using materials and processes safe for workers and the environment - though at a higher cost that discourages European buyers.

INDISKA Buys Products from Sanganer (02:42)

More than 1000 primitive textile factories in Sanganer, India, pollute land and injure workers. Swedish retailer INDISKA claims their products come from safe working conditions.

Toxic INDISKA Supplier (02:04)

Journalists trace the source of an INDISKA sheet to a subcontractor in Sanganer. Processes used by the subcontractor conflict with INDISKA's stated environmental claims.

INDISKA Contract Cancelled (02:11)

INDISKA admits the subcontractor's processes violate company policies and cancels their contract. Consumer pressure can force companies to act responsibly.

Sanganer, Toxics Everywhere (02:31)

An Indian expert on environmental and occupational health expresses dismay at the widespread use of dangerous chemical processes in Sanganer.

Occupational Illnesses (02:36)

Workers suffer fungal infections, respiratory and vision damage. Young workers burn out in only a few years.

Who Is Responsible? (02:56)

Companies that profit from India's textile industry must take responsibility for health and environmental impacts at the production level. Consumer pressure can force corrective action.

Credits: A Killer Bargain (00:35)

Credits: A Killer Bargain

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A Killer Bargain

3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



Are inexpensive consumer goods really a bargain when they carry such a high human cost? This program goes to textile production centers in India to reveal the downside of cut-rate fabrics, from the growing of cotton using carcinogenic pesticides, through the dyeing of cloth with harmful chemicals, to fabrics’ final sale as towels and sheets in Western stores. Wreaking havoc on workers’ health as well as on local biosystems, the textiles industry operates at the mercy of global markets as factory owners are pressured to sacrifice safety to remain competitive—and even corporations with stated commitments to buy only from ethical suppliers cannot be trusted to enforce these principles if it means a price increase. (57 minutes)

Length: 58 minutes

Item#: BVL49781

Copyright date: ©2006

Closed Captioned

Reviews & Awards

“A powerful and illuminating examination of the human price of today’s import market for cheaply made goods. Highly recommended.”  Video Librarian


“A searing human rights documentary unveiling corporations profiting from Indian textile production through the massive use of pesticides, which kill indigenous workers and destroy their environment....Illuminates thoroughly and convincingly the dark side of globalization...”  —Micheline Ishay, Director of the International Human Rights Program, University of Denver


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