Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Are Gibson Guitars destroying the rainforest? (BBC News)

The dark side of TNCs is often well-known but it is often the global brand names like Nike and Addidas that come under scrutiny as opposed to music labels. However, this report raises some interesting questions and ethical issues about the products we buy and consume....

Iconic US guitar maker Gibson is facing a criminal probe over claims it broke environmental laws while importing wood. So is music the next threat to the world's forests?

"Up here you grow up liking Fenders or you grow up liking Gibsons," says Billy Jack, 55, sat in a Nashville music store eyeing up a trio of shiny new Gibson guitars.

Cradling a $3,800 (£2,413) Gibson Les Paul, Mr Jack, a veteran guitarist, recalls riffs gone by as he explains his fondness for one of rock's iconic instruments.

"You can hear it in your ear. It's how quickly you can run through your chops. It's the tone. You just can't go wrong."

But things have gone wrong. On 28 August federal agents raided Gibson's Nashville and Memphis premises, seizing shipments of Indian rosewood and leaving the venerable guitar maker more than a little off-key.
The agents brandished search warrants issued amid suspicions that Gibson had violated the terms of the Lacey Act, an environmental law that requires imports to the US to comply with laws in the country of origin as well.

To read more click here

Rosewood/ EbonyCentral and South America, central Africa and Asia
MahoganyCentral and South America (lesser mahogany types from Africa)
North America and Far East