These 10 Companies Control Enormous Number Of Consumer Brands
It may be obvious that Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes are both made by Kellogg’s, but did you know that Hot Pockets and L’Oreal share a parent company in Nestlé?
A ginormous number of brands are controlled by just 10 multinationals, according to this amazing infographic from French blog Convergence Alimentaire. Now we can see just how many products are owned by Kraft, Coca-Cola, General Mills, Kellogg’s, Mars, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, P&G and Nestlé.
(Disclaimer: We are not sure how up-to-date the graphic is. For example, it has not been updated to reflect P&G’s sale of Pringles to Kellogg’s in February.)
It’s not just the consumer goods industry that’s become so consolidated. Ninety percent of the media is now controlled by just six companies, down from 50 in 1983, according to a Frugal Dad infographic from last year. Likewise, 37 banks merged to become JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and CitiGroup in a little over two decades, as seen in this 2010 graphic from Mother Jones.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this post misidentified General Mills as the parent company of Corn Flakes and Frosted Flakes.
See what the 10 companies own in the infographic below:
Scientists say sugar is as toxic as alcohol – and there should be a drinking age for soda
Sure, sugar’s bad for you. But should we establish a drinking age for sugary sodas? According to UC San Francisco pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig, the answer is emphatically yes. He says that added sweeteners have health effects comparable to alcohol and tobacco, and should be regulated accordingly. In a comment piece for the journal Nature, Lustig and his colleagues argue that the state should selectively block access to sugar, using some pretty stiff rules.
For years, Lustig has advocated against added sugar, specifically sweeteners that include fructose. In the recent opinion piece, Lustig and his colleagues Laura A. Schmidt and Claire D. Brindis point out that fructose and other sugars can cause liver toxicity, among other chronic diseases. They write:
A little is not a problem, but a lot kills – slowly. If international bodies are truly concerned about public health, they must consider limiting fructose – and its main delivery vehicles, the added sugars HFCS and sucrose – which pose dangers to individuals and to society as a whole.
To restrict sugar, the researchers start with ideas drawn from existing alcohol and tobacco restrictions. They suggest establishing taxes on “sweetened fizzy drinks (soda), other sugar-sweetened beverages (for example, juice, sports drinks and chocolate milk) and sugared cereal.” In addition, they advocate that we reduce the availability of sugar, particularly to children. This restriction would make it more difficult for vending machines to sell sweet drinks and sugary snacks in schools and in workplaces, building on already existing regulations that have removed sodas from some schools.
But there are even bigger steps to be taken in limiting the availability of added sugars. Lustig et. al. write:
States could apply zoning ordinances to control the number of fast-food outlets and convenience stores in low-income communities, and especially around schools, while providing incentives for the establishment of grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Another option would be to limit sales during school operation, or to designate an age limit (such as 17) for the purchase of drinks with added sugar, particularly soda. Indeed, parents in South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, recently took this upon themselves by lining up outside convenience stores and blocking children from entering them after school. Why couldn’t a public-health directive do the same?
Refusing to allow fast food restaurants in certain areas? Banning children from convenience stores? I just can’t see anyone accepting changes this radical. Do the researchers really think that people will sit back and let the government take away pastries, candy, and soda? Over our pudgy dead bodies. Surprisingly, the researchers don’t see sugar cravings as their biggest obstacle.
Regulating sugar will not be easy – particularly in the ‘emerging markets’ of developing countries where soft drinks are often cheaper than potable water or milk. We recognize that societal intervention to reduce the supply and demand for sugar faces an uphill political battle against a powerful sugar lobby, and will require active engagement from all stakeholders.
So the scientists think the biggest problem with regulating sugar is the sugar lobby*. But even without the lobbyists, would people ever cede their right to eat sweets?
Though sugar undoubtedly causes disease, I have a hard time accepting that we’ll see the establishment of sugar regulations. And it’s not just because the populace would rise up in protest.
One impetus for tobacco and alcohol regulations is protecting others. Tobacco can cause cancer in the smoker and those who are exposed to second-hand smoke. Alcohol is not only an addictive substance that can poison the body in large enough quantities, but also impairs judgment to the point where a drinker might, say, get into a car and plow into another vehicle or a pedestrian. The government doesn’t regulate these substances just to protect the smokers and drinkers, it does so to protect others from the smokers and drinkers. Unless we discover that sugar hurts the people who watch us eat it, strict restrictions may be a long time coming.
*Not to be confused with a candy-filled receiving room, the sugar lobby is actually very powerful. Even if it’s hard to take seriously when you picture the lobbyists working out of gingerbread offices.
Which Companies Are Using Aborted Human Fetuses in Their Food?
By Max Read
Last week, Oklahoma State Senator Ralph Shortey introduced a bill that would ban “the manufacture or sale of food or products which use aborted human fetuses.” But which foods or products use aborted human fetuses? Let’s investigate.
NPR speculates that Shortey’s bill has to do with a recent boycott aimed at PepsiCo for working with a company called Senomyx that “has been accused of using proteins derived from human embryonic kidney cells in its research.” Quoth Shortey:
The senator says that his research shows there are companies in the food industry that have used human stem cells to help them research and develop products, including artificial flavorings.
“I don’t know if it is happening in Oklahoma, it may be, it may not be. What I am saying is that if it does happen then we are not going to allow it to manufacture here,” Shortey tells KRMG’s Nicole Burgin.
As an impartial journalistic outlet, we’re not here to tell you that Ralph Shortey is an utter moron whose incompetent attempts to ban stem cell-derived medicine reveal his all-encompassing idiocy, nor to tell you that the use of aborted human fetuses in food would already be in clear violation of a variety of different federal and state laws. Nor, for that matter, are we here to tell you that you should or should not be eating aborted human fetuses. What we are here to do is find out what foods are made using aborted human fetuses. We’ve contacted a number of the country’s largest food companies and asked: do you use aborted human fetuses in your food products?
Companies That Do Not Use Aborted Human Fetuses in Their Food Products
Which Companies Are Using Aborted Human Fetuses in Their Food?
Products include: Big Macs, Chicken McNuggets, Filet o’ Fish, McRib, McChicken, McGriddle
Contains aborted human fetuses? Ashlee Yingling, media relations: “The answer is no. McDonald’s does not use aborted human fetuses in its food.”
Products include: Perrier, Häagen-Dazs, Gerber, Powerbar, DiGiorno Pizza, Butterfinger, Kit Kat, Alpo, Frisky
Contains aborted human fetuses? Hilary Green, head of R&D communications: “Nestlé does not use aborted human fetuses in its food products.”
Products include: Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Tropicana Orange Juice, Doritos, Quaker Oatmeal, Mountain Dew, Fritos, Gatorade
Contains aborted human fetuses? In a letter to “Children of God for Life,” PepsiCo consumer relations representative Margaret Corsi writes: “These claims are meant to suggest that human fetal tissue is somehow used in our research. That is both inaccurate and something we would never do or even consider. It also is inaccurate to suggest that tissue or cells somehow are being used as product ingredients. That’s dangerous, unethical and against the law.”
Companies That Might Use Aborted Human Fetuses in Their Food Products
Products include: WHOPPER®, WHOPPER JR.®, Chicken Tenders, BK® Chicken Fries, Bacon & Cheddar BK TOPPERS™ Burger
Contains aborted human fetuses? Possibly. Burger King has not responded to our request for comment at this time.
Products include: Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Bisquick, Fruit by the Foot, Bugles, Chex Mix, Hamburger Helper
Contains aborted human fetuses? Possibly. General Mills has not responded to our request for comment at this time.
Products include: A-1 Steak Sauce, Boca Burgers, Capri Sun, Crystal Light, Jell-O, Lunchables, Oreos, Teddy Grahams, Wheat Thins
Contains aborted human fetuses? Possibly. Kraft has not responded to our request for comment at this time.
Products include: Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Sprite, Zico
Contains aborted human fetuses? Possibly. Coca-Cola has not responded to our request for comment at this time.
Products include: Dave’s Hot ‘n Juicy 1/4 lb. Single, Bacon Deluxe Single, Bacon Deluxe Double, Frosty
Contains aborted human fetuses? Possibly. Wendy’s has not responded to our request for comment at this time.
An ingredient used in Coca-Cola and Pepsi is a cancer risk and should be banned, an influential lobby group has claimed.
The concerns relate to an artificial brown colouring agent that the researchers say could be causing thousands of cancers.
‘The caramel colouring used in Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and other foods is contaminated with two cancer-causing chemicals and should be banned,’ said the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a health lobby group based in Washington, DC.
‘In contrast to the caramel one might make at home by melting sugar in a saucepan, the artificial brown colouring in colas and some other products is made by reacting sugars with ammonia and sulphites under high pressure and temperatures.
‘Chemical reactions result in the formation of two substances known as 2-MI and 4-MI which in government-conducted studies caused lung, liver, or thyroid cancer or leukemia in laboratory mice or rats.’
America’s National Toxicology Program says that there is ‘clear evidence’ that both 2-MI and 4-MI are animal carcinogens, and therefore likely to pose a risk to humans.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis, found significant levels of 4-MI in five brands of cola.
The executive director of the CSPI, Michael F Jacobson, has petitioned America’s food regulator, the Food & Drug Administration, to take action.He said: ‘Carcinogenic colourings have no place in the food supply, especially considering that their only function is a cosmetic one.’
Mr Jacobson said the name ‘caramel colouring’ does not accurately describe the additives, explaining: ‘It’s a concentrated dark brown mixture of chemicals that do not appear in nature.”
He added that while regular caramel could not be described as healthy, ‘at least it is not tainted with carcinogens’.
U.S. regulations distinguish between four types of caramel colouring, two of which are produced with ammonia and two without it. The CSPI wants the two made with ammonia to be banned and has received backing from five prominent cancer experts, including several who have worked at the National Toxicology Program.
The type used in colas and other dark soft drinks is known as Caramel IV, or ammonia sulphite process caramel. Caramel III, which is produced with ammonia but not sulphites, is sometimes used in beer, soy sauce, and other foods.
The CSPI admitted that any risk associated with consumption of the chemicals would be extremely small. It said the ten teaspoons of sugar found in a can of regular cola would be more of a health problem.
However, it argued the levels of 4-MI in the tested colas still may be causing thousands of cancers in the U.S. population alone.
Earlier this week, it was claimed that Coca-Cola’s secret recipe had been leaked. It was even suggested it might be possible to recreate the taste and look on the kitchen table.
The leak claims were denied by the company, where a spokesman said: ‘Many third parties have tried to crack our secret formula. Try as they might, they’ve been unsuccessful because there is only one “Real Thing”.’
Coca-Cola and Pepsi did not respond to a request for a response to the CSPI claims.
This morning Coca-Cola rejected the CSPI’s concerns.
A spokesman said: ‘Our beverages are completely safe. CSPI’s statement irresponsibly insinuates that the caramel used in our beverages is unsafe and
maliciously raises cancer concerns among consumers.
‘This does a disservice to the very public for which CSPI purports to serve.
‘Studies show that the caramel we use does not cause cancer.’
The company said its drinks do not contain 2-MEI. It said they do contain 4-MEI in trace amounts.
It said: ‘These extrapolations by CSPI to human health and cancer are totally unfounded.’
These corporations, if they were individual human beings, would be locked up for life. Instead, they continue raking in the big bucks. Human rights abuses, murder, war, eco disasters, and animal exploitation keep these evil companies raking in the green. Prepare to be disgusted.
Several big oil companies make this list, but Chevron deserves a special place in Hell. Between 1972 to 1993, Chevron (then Texaco) discharged 18 billion gallons of toxic water into the rain forests of Ecuador without any remediation, destroying the livelihoods of local farmers and sickening indigenous populations. Chevron has also done plenty of polluting right here in the U.S.: In 1998, Richmond, California sued Chevron for illegally bypassing waste water treatments and contaminating local water supplies, ditto in New Hampshire in 2003. Chevron was responsible for the death of several Nigerians who protested the company’s polluting, exploiting presence in the Nigerian Delta. Chevron paid the local militia, known for its human rights abuses, to squash the protests, and even supplied them with choppers and boats. The military opened fire on the protesters, then burned their villages to the ground.
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend — unless she lives in the Ivory Coast. “Blood” or “conflict” diamonds are the name given to minerals purchased from insurgencies in war-torn countries. Prior to 2000 when the U.N. finally took a stand against the practice, DeBeers was knowingly funding violent guerrilla movements in Angola, Sierra Nevada, and the Congo with its diamond purchases. In Botswana, DeBeers has been blamed for the “clearing” of land to be mined for diamonds — including the forcible removal of indigenous peoples who had lived there for thousands of years. The government allegedly cut off the tribe’s water supplies, threatened, tortured and even hanged resisters.
Even if you don’t care about the horrendous animal abuse that has been documented in Tyson’s factory farms, you have to flinch at Tyson’s appalling environmental abuses and workers’ rights violations, as well as the fact that on several occasions, Tyson has allowed e coli tainted beef to enter the food supply. A recent study showed that Tyson’s chickens were the most salmonella-and-campylobactor filled poultry of all the major suppliers. As if that wasn’t gross enough, Tyson has been sued repeatedly for illegally dumping untreated wastewater into Tulsa’s water supply; after they were sued the first time, they simply paid the fine and continued the practice. Tyson has made people seriously ill with the ammonia from their factory farms. Tyson is infamous for knowingly hiring illegal immigrants and has even been accused of human trafficking to supply themselves with cheap labor. Smith and Wesson
As the largest manufacturer of handguns (and sub machine guns) in the U.S., Smith and Wesson is indirectly responsible for uncountable shooting deaths — not just by the police and government agencies to which these guns are issued, but by criminals and by “accident.” In a study of the top ten guns involved in crime in the U.S., the first was the Smith & Wesson .38 Special. Numbers 6 and 7 were also Smith and Wessons. Statistically, studies have shown that guns are used more often in crime than in self-defense. Of course, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” And frequently, they use Smith and Wesson guns to do so.
Phillip Morris is the largest manufacturer of cigarettes in the U.S. Cigarettes are known to cause cancer in smokers, as well as birth defects in unborn children if the mother smokes while pregnant. Cigarette smoke contains 43 known carcinogens and over 4,000 chemicals, including carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, nicotine, ammonia and arsenic. Nicotine, the primary psychoactive chemical in tobacco, has been shown to be psychologically addictive. Smoking raises blood pressure, affects the central nervous system, and constricts the blood vessels. Discarded cigarette butts are a major pollutant as smokers routinely toss their slow-to-degrade filters on the ground. Many of these filters make their way into salt or fresh water bodies, where their chemicals leech out into the water. Then again, cigarettes make you look cool.
Any corporation that has Dick Cheney as a CEO has got to be evil. Haliburton, a huge “oilfield services” company, profited big time from the U.S.’s invasion of Iraq when Cheney called in his boys to quell burning oil wells — and to “help” the Iraq oil ministry pump and distribute oil. Haliburton has also been implicated in countless oil spills, including the BP disaster of 2010.
America’s favorite soft drink, deadly? Well, even if you choose to overlook the childhood obesity epidemic and how soft drinks market to children to get them to buy something really, really bad for them, Coca Cola corporation has wrought devastation in India, where its factories use up to one million liters of water per day, leaving tens of thousands of nearby residents dry during the drought months. Then the factories dispose of the wastewater improperly, contaminating whatever water is left. A lawsuit in 2001 accused Coca Cola of hiring paramilitaries in Columbia which suppressed unionization in the cola plant there through intimidation, torture and murder.
Big Pharma gets rich when you get sick. Pfizer, the largest pharmaceutical corporation in the U.S., pleaded guilty in 2009 to the largest health care fraud in U.S. history, receiving the largest criminal penalty ever for illegally marketing four of its drugs. It was Pfizer’s fourth such case. As if Pfizer’s massive use of animal experimentation wasn’t heart wrenching enough, Pfizer decided to use Nigerian children as guinea pigs. In 1996, Pfizer traveled to Kano, Nigeria to try out an experimental antibiotic on third-world diseases such as measles, cholera, and bacterial meningitis. They gave trovafloxacin to approximately 200 children. Dozens of them died in the experiment, while many others developed mental and physical deformities. According to the EPA, Pfizer can also proudly claim to be among the top ten companies in America causing the most air pollution.
Another oil company that makes the list, ExxonMobil is perhaps best known for the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill which resulted in 11 million gallons of oil contaminating Prince William Sound. But they have also been responsible for a huge oil spill in Brooklyn and for aiding in the decline of Russia’s critically endangered grey whale because of drilling in its habitat. The Political Economy Research Institute ranks ExxonMobil sixth among corporations emitting airborne pollutants in the United States. ExxonMobil counters not by cleaning up its act, but by funding scientific studies which refute global warming. ExxonMobil was targeted by human rights activists in 2001 when a lawsuit alleged that ExxonMobil hired Indonesian military who raped, tortured and murdered while serving as security at their plant in Aceh.
Caterpillar sells all kind of tractors, trucks and machinery — including many of the vehicles, ships and submarines used by the U.S. military. Caterpillar also supplies the Israeli army with bulldozers which are used to demolish Palestinian homes — sometimes with the people still inside. In 2003 a Caterpillar bulldozer ran over and killed Rachel Corrie, an American protesting in Gaza who stood in front of the tractor to prevent the destruction of a Palestinian home.
Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey
“The Cruelest Show on Earth” is famous for its abuse of wild animals. In July 2004, Clyde, a young lion traveling with Ringling, died in a poorly ventilated boxcar while the circus crossed the Mojave Desert in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Circus elephants are routinely confined for days at a time and beaten with bullhooks and electric prods, and when they’ve had enough, they lash out. In one famous case in 1994, an elephant named Tyke killed her trainer and injured 12 spectators before being gunned down on the streets of Honolulu. Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Baily Circus also has an impressive dead human headcount because of a fire under the big top in 1944 which killed a hundred spectators — the canvas was illegally non-flame-retardant.
Big Agra makes the list with Monsanto, pushers of genetically modified foods, bovine growth hormones, and poison. Monsanto’s list of evils includes creating the “terminator” seed which creates plants which never fruit or flower so that farmers must purchase them anew yearly, lobbying to have “hormone-free” labels removed from the labels of milk and infant milk replacer (through bovine growth hormone is believed to be a cancer-accelerator) as well as a wide range of environmental and human health violations associated with use of Monsanto’s poisons — most notably “Agent Orange.” Between 1965 and 1972, Monsanto illegally dumped thousands of tons of highly toxic waste in UK landfills. According to the Environment Agency the chemicals were polluting groundwater and air 30 years after they were dumped. Alabama sued Monsanto for 40 years of dumping mercury and PCB into local creeks. Plus, Monsanto is infamous for sticking it to the very farmers it claims to be helping, such as when it sued and jailed a farmer for saving seed from one season’s crop to plant the next.
Sticky-sweet image aside, Nestle’s crimes against man and nature include massive deforestation in Borneo — the habitat of the critically endangered orangutan — to grow palm oil, and buying milk from farms illegally-seized by a despot in Zimbabwe. Nestle drew fire from environmentalists for its ridiculous claims that bottled water is “eco-friendly” when the exact opposite is true. Nestle attracted worldwide boycott efforts for urging mothers in third-world countries to use their infant milk replacer instead of breastfeeding, without warning them of the possible negative effects. Supposedly, Nestle hired women to dress as nurses to hand out free infant formula, which was frequently mixed with contaminated water, or the children starved when the formula ran out and their mothers could not afford more and their breast milk had already dried up from disuse. Nestle, of course, denies contributing to the death of thousands of infants.
Who can forget 2010’s oil rig explosion in the Gulf Coast which killed 11 workers and thousands of birds, sea turtles, dolphins and other animals, effectively destroying the fishing and tourism industry in the region? This was not BP’s first crime against nature. In fact, between January 1997 and March 1998, BP was responsible for a whopping 104 oil spills. Thirteen rig workers will killed in 1965 during one explosion; 15 in a 2005 explosion. Also in 2005, a BP ferry carrying oil workers crashed, killing 16. In 1991, the EPA cited BP as the most polluting company in the U.S.. In 1999, BP was charged with illegal toxic dumping in Alaska, then in 2010 for leaking highly dangerous poisons into the air in Texas. In July 2006, Colombian farmers won a settlement from BP after they accused the company of benefiting from a regime of terror carried out by Colombian government paramilitaries protecting the Ocensa pipeline. Clearly, there is no way BP will ever “make it right.”
This privatized military company is often hired by the U.S. government to protect American interests overseas — and so the government can claim no responsibility for Dyncorp’s actions. Dyncorp is best known for its brutality in impoverished countries, for trafficking in child sex slaves, for slaughtering civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for training rebels in Haiti. Among some stiff competition, mercenary Dyncorp may be the deadliest and most evil corporation in the United States.
And…..Let’s not forget Bayer.…passing HIV infected medicine to people. Hey…just know about!