Paula Deen Accused of Using Child Labor, Unsafe Working Conditions to Make Lifestyle Products

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Paula Deen, the Butter Queen, is making headlines once again as reports that the factories she used to manufacture her lifestyle products were notorious for child labor violations and hazardous and deadly working conditions.

RadarOnline.com reports that it has "uncovered Deen's extensive history of partnering with companies that can make her rich, no matter the cost to their workers."

With Deen netting over $17 million last year and being the 4th highest paid celebrity chef, it seems like perhaps they're not wrong.

In recent months, Paula Deen has weathered allegations of racism, been dropped by all of her sponsors, and fired from the Food Network which helped make her a household name in the first place. 

Is she gearing up for another battle over the factories where her products are made? Maybe.

The RadarOnline.com article reports that in some of the factories in India where Paula Deen's products are made, employees are paid only $75 a month and that, after seven years in the same factory, some workers have only seen an $8 raise.

Other factories have had major safety violations, such as the one which was gutted by a fire earlier this year. The glass factories where her candles are produced are notorious for their shady child labor practices because the regulations against employing children aren't well-implemented or enforced.

But her problems aren't just aboard. She signed on to be the face of Smithfield in 2006, shortly after they were criticized in a well-publicized report by the Human Rights Watch which alleged that conditions there were so dangerous, employees were actually dying because of them.

Glen Birdsong, 25, died from inhaling toxic sodium bisulfate fumes in one of Smithfield's tanks and workers repeatedly stabbed and injured themselves with the dull knives used to ready Smithfield's pork products for packaging. Deen, however, proclaimed Smithfield a "good company" and commented that the people there "are so happy to have jobs."

Despite her fall from grace in 2013, Paula Deen is preparing to open the first Paula Deen Foods store in Buffalo, N.Y. next February. 

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