Posted by: Skeptical Moose | January 2, 2010

List of Firms With Something to Hide

Wanted to give a heads-up on a few firms we should all be avoiding. You know, when someone exclaims “oh, you shouldn’t buy from Nestle or Gap or Shell; they’re evil” and you think “but I really like their stuff: is this just anti-corporate hype?!” … what do you do? So, I’ve pieced together a few decent reasons as to why some of the companies we hear so much about should be avoided.

Not exhaustive, but a fair start …

In no particular order, here’s my Top 20: up to you what you do now!

1. Nestle – killed more babies than Hitler – fact!! Simple: tell uneducated women breast-feeding is bad; give them formula for free; get them hooked; raise price of said formula; slowly kill child. The massive campaign is outlined at http://stopnestle.com/ (it doesn’t get much more evil). Oh, and this … because it really is that bad

2. Coca Cola / Fanta – all manner of union-busting, human rights-abusing and slavery-inducing efforts … oh, and support for the Fuhrer. Note how Fanta bubbles kind of sound like “SS”! Watch the mighty Mark Thomas having a go

3. McDonalds – where to start? Animal mistreatment, forced labour, child exploitation, meat that comes from organs most of us haven’t even heard of, the fact that they now try and sell salads … The McLibel case is worth a check and also Supersize Me, although I think the film focuses on the wrong aspects of McDonalds’ shame

4. Shell – Niger Delta destruction and the murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa, to name but two incidents. Here’s an introduction to Amnesty’s damning indictment of one of the most despicable firms to grace our planet

5. … and can one honestly say that any oil company:

… is not evil by definition?? They essentially destroy our (yes, OUR – just because a company privatises the Earth doesn’t mean it’s not still ours) natural resources and spend 0.1% of ill-gained profit on a beautifully presented CSR report to keep the public happy!

6. Unacal – a subsidiary of Chevron, but I just love these guys and wanted to give them a special mention for their kind support to the Burmese regime (which has involved killing locals for fun). All laid out in the amazing movie Total Denial

7. IBM – willingly colluded with the Nazi government to make machines used to track concentration camp inmates. And before you ask: yes, they did know what they were doing!

8. Enron – proof that profit without any form of ethical foundation should (and it’s sadly just a ‘should’) lead to disaster. Here’s The Smartest Guys in the Room

9. Starbucks – remember how it started off all hippie-cool: that soon changed once there was real money to be made. (The same with everyone’s favourite cryogenically stored anti-Semite, Disney)

10. Wal Martdestroys small businesses, monopolistic, uses slave labour … (here’s the film all about the high cost of pricing low, low, low)

11. … and our domestic supermarkets are challenging that top spot: Tescos and Asda (a Wal Mart ‘family member’ – cute term) both use slave labour and horribly exploit women (Guardian report)

12. BechtelBolivian water privatization, to name but one; as they love a little war profiteering as well. French company Suez have done the same: essentially: a. isolate poor country with debt to pay and/or a corrupt regime; b. privatise local resource; c. sell it back to locals for massively inflated price; d. kill locals that complain. While I’ve got your attention, bear in mind how many companies get to run riot because of the utterly corrupt World Bank, which reduces debt only if the company will privatise its assets to … guess who … huge multinationals. Corporate imperialism at its very best!!)

13. Philip Morris – pretty obvious, well-documented, but still Big Tobacco battles on. Worth watching Thank You For Smoking by the way

14. Monsanto – a quite amazingly nasty bio-tech company and you have to love the fact that they were lobbying at Copenhagen. The things they have done to cows do not bear thinking about!

15. De Beers – let’s be clear: every diamond is a ‘blood-diamond’ … and here’s why you shouldn’t buy them

16. Fashionistas: Nike, Primark, Gap, et al – 100% guilty of using slave labour. In fact, it’s debatable whether any mass-producer of fashion could achieve the margins they do without this method. Worth paying a few £ more to not have a small child working 20 hours a day sewing on your buttons? I think so …

17. Private Security Contractors (oooh, sounds all warm and safe; so let’s change that to War Profiteers instead) – take your pick from Cheney’s Halliburton, Blair’s BAE, Blackwater, Dyncorp, Group 4 Securicor, Lockheed Martin, Boeing et al. I like to throw in a film link, so how about Lord of War

18. P&G and Unilever – work in countries with repressive regimes, very dodgy marketing of pseudo-science (we’ve all seen the comedy adverts and changing my deodorant has yet to get me laid), horrendous pollution … all outlined here

19. GSK – produces rather horrible toxins and stops poor people getting drugs (it’s not going to help them if South Africans stop dying, is it now!)

20. … and the rest of Big Pharma (slated here), like Pfizer, Merck et al. Yes, of course they produce some wonderful remedies, but that’s not what we are concerned about here. Same subject matter, great film: The Constant Gardener

If you care about getting your consumption right – and for bringing these guys to account – keep an eye on:

http://www.corpwatch.org/

http://www.nosweat.org.uk/category/companies-and-brands and

http://www.referenceforbusiness.com/management/Str-Ti/Sweatshops.html

http://www.corporatepolicy.org/

http://www.warresisters.org/smod/smod_hp.shtml

http://www.globalexchange.org/getInvolved/corporateHRviolators.html

http://www.endevil.com/blacklist.html

http://www.business-humanrights.org/Home

And get out on DVD: The Corporation , Mr Smith Goes to Washington and pretty much anything by Michael Moore

Thanks for reading: now take some action!!

p.s. a little update on Nestle

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Responses

  1. Well, I’ve got an easy solution to this Wal-Mart problem.


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