[ beyond mcdonald's ]
The Pharmaceutical Industry in the McSpotlight

When a huge retailer comes to a small town, local stores close down. Customers are drawn to superstores like Tesco, Walmart, Asda et al. by their aggressive marketing techniques, their loss-leading promotions and by the impression of convenience. The money that goes to these large retailers gets sucked out of the local economy, going instead to a distant central office, making the local economy unstable and dependent on forces outside it's control.

For example, 95% of Tesco's stock comes from central warehouses which are supplied by large-scale producers. Over 44,000 food shops, mainly small grocers and coops closed between 1976 and 1989, and while Tesco increased its share of the food market by more than 100%, the number of people it employed increased by less than 70%. [Corporate Watch 'What's Wrong With Tesco]

In Gig Harbor USA, the vast majority of citizens were adamantly opposed to the coming of Wal-Mart. Their petition drive included over 11,000 signatures from people in town and the surrounding areas. The population of Gig Harbor itself is just over 4,000. Even the local weekly newspaper has taken a firm stance against Wal-Mart coming to their town. None of this seems to mean much to Wal-Mart. The corporate giant has pegged the Gig Harbor area as ripe for one of its stores (most certainly hoping to draw many customers from nearby Tacoma).

And so the people of Gig Harbor are left with two choices: to acquiesce, capitulate, give in, and allow Wal-Mart to rumble in with their 148,000-square foot complex and do what it will to the local economy and community fabric... or to go into battle against the biggest, richest, most powerful retailer in the world.

The Pharmaceutical (or drugs) industry is a good example of an industry using immoral or irresponsible marketing. They are commonly criticised for markings dangerous products, or marketing products in a way that has been criticised as being detrimental to physical heath. The same companies are also found to be involved in activities which pollute and damage the environment. All these companies also use animals to test their products, however, they still sell many products after it has been shown that they may be dangerous.

Credits and References: Most of the information on this page was taken from the 'Ethical Consumer Guide to Everyday Shopping'.


Pharmaceutical companies in the McSpotlight:

Jonhson & Johnson
SmithKline Beecham

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The Beyond McDonald's pages provide information about the unethical practices of many other companies and industries. On McSpotlight you can find out What's Wrong With Multinationals, join the debate and get involved with campaigns.

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