Originally published November 11 2015
Lumber Liquidators pleads guilty to environmental crime of importing hardwood from endangered regions
by Jennifer Lea Reynolds
(NaturalNews) Lumber Liquidators' web site says they "...aim to be the industry leader in sustainability because it's good for the environment, and because it's good for the future of our business." However, the public is quickly learning that this is a lie.
The hardwood and laminate flooring company recently pleaded guilty to environmental crimes, and they'll be paying more than $13 million for the illegal importation of hardwood flooring from areas in Russia. It just so happens that these areas are home to endangered species such as the Siberian tiger (of which there are only 300 to 400 living in the wild in the entire world) and Amur leopards. The plea deal monies will go towards criminal fines, civil forfeiture and service payments, all because the company did not operate in accordance with the Lacey Act, which states that it is illegal to import timber that has been taken in violation of a foreign country's laws.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service explains that the Act, which "covers all fish and wildlife and their parts or products" as well as protected plants, was updated in 2008 to "include a wider variety of prohibited plants and plant products, including products made from illegally logged woods, for import."
Greed is the name of the gameAs we see time and time again, whether it is Big Pharma or a massive flooring company, greed is the name of the game, with an emphasis on profits over people, animals, and the health of the planet. We see it with vaccines, poorly manufactured foods, animal crowding in industrial farming settings, and of course, Monsanto. We hear it from GMO advocates, including the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson, whose latest interest now is geoengineering, or deliberately altering the atmosphere in an effort to address climate change.
Greed is running rampant throughout society, and it must stop.
"Lumber Liquidators' race to profit resulted in the plundering of forests and wildlife habitat that, if continued, could spell the end of the Siberian tiger," said Assistant Attorney General John Cruden. "Lumber Liquidators knew it had a duty to follow the law, and instead it flouted the letter and spirit of the Lacey Act, ignoring its own red flags that its products likely came from illegally harvested timber, all at the expense of law abiding competitors."
Company even goes against its own sustainability credoIronically, Lumber Liquidators' web site maintains its dedication to sustainability stating that they "strive to become an industry leader in the conservation and protection of threatened forest habitats" and "remain committed to implementing processes designed to safeguard the future of natural resources critical to the timber industry through, among other things, the support and use of legally harvested and exported sustainable wood sources through a transparent, legal, and sustainable supply chain."
Apparently, not so much.
Lumber Liquidators: A history of being up to no good, experiencing business declineThen there's the "good for the future of our business" statement mentioned at the beginning of this article. There's not much good happening in this regard; as of this writing, their stock has gone down 77 percent over the course of this year; the S&P 500 has lost 0.6 percent.
This bothersome news comes months after Lumber Liquidators made headlines for their involvement in another disturbing act that was aired by 60 Minutes. What were they up to then? Oh, just a little dabbling in supplying Chinese-made flooring that exceeded state and federal formaldehyde standards by as much as 1,300 percent, then falsifying claims that it did any such thing.
Not surprisingly, after the formaldehyde news came out, their stocks tumbled 25 percent.
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