Corporations

Oil Companies Spy on Environmentalists

Since 1995, a private intelligence firm with close links to the British government's MI6 spy agency has been working for Shell and BP oil, collecting information on green activists. The firm's agent, who posed as a left-wing sympathiser and film maker, was asked to betray plans of Greenpeace's activities against oil giants. He also tried to dupe Anita Roddick's Body Shop group to pass on information about its opposition to Shell's oil drilling in Nigeria.

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Trouble Brews for Starbucks CEO

Demonstrators are targeting the Starbucks coffee company for misleading the public about its "Fair Trade" coffee. Starbucks CEO Orin Smith has admitted that sales of Fair Trade coffee make up less than one-tenth of one percent of the company's revenues. Demonstrators also criticize Smith's support for coffee growers that operate "sweatshop plantations" in places like Viet Nam.

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Monsanto Launches Weekly Electronic Newsletter

Monsanto has launched The Advantage, a weekly electronic newsletter with news summaries regarding what it calls "a world of biotechnology benefits." Headlines for the week of May 30 included "Bush Proclaims National Biotechology Week," "Professor Cites Benefits of Biotechnology," "Enhanced Grape Could Mean Better, Cheaper Wine," and "Study Shows GM Plants Do Not Crowd Out Other Plants." Their website had a few bugs when we visited, but hopefully they'll fix those as easily as they've fixed the EPA.

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Chemical Industry Discusses PR Damage Control

Environmental activist Dave DeRosa snuck into the March 22, 2001 meeting of the Vinyl Formulators Environmental Forum and caught industry representatives discussing ways to limit bad publicity connected with Bill Moyers exposT of the chemical industry.

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Chemical Industry Archives

The Environmental Working Group has created an extensive, keyword-searchable archive of 37,000 pages of internal chemical industry documents, detailing what industry insiders knew but didn't tell us about topics such as arsenic, the dangers of hairspray and the active ingredient in Scotchgard, or about the severe contamination of a chemical company town in Alabama. Visit this site to find out how the chemical industry spins, distorts, and twists the facts to suit its purposes -- and to prevent the public from finding out how dangerous their products really are.

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Chemical Industry Attacks Bill Moyers Exposé, "Trade Secrets"

Veteran journalist Bill Moyers exposed decades of corruption of science and politics by companies, trade associations and PR firms defending the chemical industry in his March 26 documentary, Trade Secrets. In the week leading up to the actual broadcast, the chemical industry launched its own attack on Moyers, claiming that his documentary was unfair and biased.

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Database Reveals Many Scientists' Links to Industry

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has posted on the Internet a database of more than 1,100 professors and scientists who consult for or have other affiliations with chemical, gas, oil, food, drug, and other companies. The web site also provides partial information about nonprofit and professional organizations that receive industry funding. The well-documented database is part of CSPI's Integrity in Science project and is designed for activists, journalists, policy makers, and others who are concerned about potential conflicts of interest.

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Price Fixer to the World Seeks New Image

Archer Daniels Midland Company, seeking a more wholesome image, replaced its longtime slogan "Supermarket to the World" with the touchingly eco-friendly tag "The Nature of What's to Come." ADM has reason to be concerned about its public profile; the feds have convicted the agri-business giant of multiple counts of price-fixing, multiple states have taken it to court for pollution-related issues, and political reformers say ADM has reaped massive government pork from heavy soft money donations.

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Satanic Spin: Amway vs. Procter & Gamble

Amway representatives spread rumors that Procter and Gamble's "man-in-the-moon" logo is a Satanic symbol. That's according to a new P&G lawsuit against the Michigan-based household goods distributor. This is just the latest tiff between the two giant corporations; as far back as the 1980's, Amway distributors were publicizing a link between the Devil and their corporate rival, leading Procter and Gamble to drop the logo.

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