10 Dark Secrets Brands Don’t Want You To Know

10 Dark Secrets Brands Don’t Want You to Know 10 DuPont In 1951 DuPont, an industrial chemical company, purchased a little known compound called Perfluorooctanoic [per-floro-okta-no-wick] Acid, or PFOA for short

At this point, DuPont was producing around 900 tons of Teflon, the non-stick coating, every year Their new acquisition of PFOA helped improve the manufacturing process, which meant more Teflon and more money The only problem is that PFOA is a horribly toxic chemical that causes cancer in animals and does not break down in the environment DuPont agreed to phase it out by 2015, when asked by the Environmental Protection Agency This came on the back of the EPA fining DuPont $16

5 million for concealing information about health effects One citation came in 1981 when DuPont found that pregnant members of staff were having babies with birth defects, such as facial deformities DuPont also realized in 1991 that it had contaminated the water supply of 12,000 people In 2015 DuPont lost a case to woman who claimed they had caused her kidney cancer PFOA is now detectable in 98% of the US population and has been found everywhere, from household dust to popcorn

There are currently 3,400 cases awaiting court 9 IBM IBM’s role in the Holocaust and its 12 year collaboration with Hitler’s Third Reich remained unknown until a 2001 book published by historian Edwin Black While we know that everything from Fanta to Volkswagen was invented in Nazi Germany, IBM – an American company – sank to even darker depths The IBM Hollerith machine, which tabulated punch cards, turned out to be central to the systematic killing of Jews in Europe

The machines tracked census information to identify the locations of populations across Europe, then – when captured – they were used to track movements on trains to and from ghettos and concentration camps The number tattooed onto Auschwitz prisoners was their IBM punch card identification The CEO of IBM at the time met with Hitler and the vast process could not have been maintained without support from the American offices Two class-action lawsuits were brought against IBM by Holocaust survivors in the early noughties, but both were dropped due to legal technicalities 8

Kids Wish Network Labeled America’s Worst Charity by the ‘Center for Investigative Reporting’, the Kids Wish Network seems to be less about helping and more about hoarding Out of the $141 million dollars they had raised, just $35 million went to making children’s dreams come true – less than 2 and a half percent So where did this money go? Well $116 million was spent on ‘fundraising solicitors’, which are run as for-profit corporations Money also went to the founder and president – a salary of $130,000 a year and $4

8 million to companies he controlled They also avoiding telling the IRS about financial transactions made to associates of the charity The Kids Wish Network was founded in Florida in 1997 and originally called the “Fulfill a Wish Foundation”, which sounds an awful lot like the “Make a Wish Foundation” They thought so too and didn’t want to be associated with this venture so sued Fulfill a Wish to make them change their name 7

Bayer Bayer, the German pharmaceutical giant, has been behind a number of world changing drugs: aspirin, heroin, antibiotics and birth control But, as we’ll see, it hasn’t just been curing diseases; it’s also knowingly caused them In the 1980s they had developed drugs to help blood clotting in haemophiliacs The medicine involved an injection with concentrate made from donated pools of blood plasma The catch was that the blood had been taken prior to HIV testing

Over 8,000 haemophiliacs developed AIDS in the USA as a result In response, Bayer developed a safer medicine in 1984, but continued to knowingly sell the old medicine overseas – making millions – in order to get rid of their large stock Over 100 people were infected in Hong Kong and Taiwan, and the drug was also sold in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and Argentina In 1997 Bayer paid out $660 million in order to settle cases with over 6,000 people 6

ExxonMobil People like oil companies even less than Big Pharma, so it’s no surprise they’re on this list But just how bad can they get? Well, how about detention, torture and killings? By running a natural gas extraction facility in Aceh [ah-cheh], Indonesia, ExxonMobil put themselves in the middle of a conflict between the local Acehnese’ wish for independence and the militaristic government But of course, ExxonMobil were on the government’s side In 1998 they were accused of supplying bulldozers and machinery to dig mass graves In order to ‘protect’ themselves from the local campaigners, ExxonMobil started paying soldiers to work as their private security

What was known as “Exxon’s Army” resulted in a lawsuit filed by 11 civilians who claim Exxon were paying the Indonesian military $6 million a year to conduct torture and extrajudicial killings The case is still in progress 5 Walmart Did you know that 111 Walmart employees were killed in a fire in unsafe conditions in 2012? Maybe you knew that Walmart employs underage people? Or that Walmart pays off officials to keep all of this secret? Well, it’s all true, with the caveat that these ‘employees’ actually work in overseas factories where over 50% of Walmart stock comes from The factory that burned down was in Bangladesh and children that provide labor actually make up the majority of international workers

In Thailand it was reported by the Guardian in 2014 that slaves were forced to work for years under threat of extreme violence The production of Walmart’s shrimp was at the center of the debacle, with the investigation describing “large numbers of men bought and sold like animals and held against their will on fishing boats” Those who managed to escape the boats told of 20-hour shifts and execution style killings Bear that in mind next time you’re making some gumbo 4

Coca-Cola It’s no secret that sugary drinks are bad for you, but what Coca-Cola does keep quiet are the shady practices behind the production of the world’s favorite soft drink Investigative journalist Michael Blanding uncovered the “water wars” raging in India between local communities and Coca-Cola bottling plants, as well as a contamination of Indian Coke by pesticides Blanding talks of at least three towns where water reserves have dried up shortly after Coca-Cola plants have opened – water that is not only used for drinking, but also for raising food crops Successful campaigning managed to get a plant in Kerala closed down in an unprecedented event Today, Coca-Cola claims to be harvesting rainwater instead of depleting reserves, but Blanding says droughts make this impractical, so it amounts to lip service

Coca-Cola’s position in India is strong and doesn’t look to be changing any time soon 3 Nestlé A report authored in 1974 by Mike Muller was called ‘The Baby Killer’ and spoke of the horrors infants were experiencing in the less economically developed countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America Babies were dying of malnutrition and diseases that were entirely avoidable Why? Their mothers were using infant formula rather than breast milk, and Nestlé was behind this

The report talked of sales reps who were dressed up as nurses and sent into maternity wards to give out free baby formula The International Baby Food Action Network claimed that the formula interfered with lactating, so when mothers left hospital they could no longer breastfeed Nestlé then started charging for the formula, but mothers couldn’t afford it and so their children went hungry Furthermore, the formula had to be mixed with water and served in a feeding bottle, both of which could be easily contaminated and cause deadly infections As a result of these deaths, a global movement boycotting Nestlé took hold and the company’s image has never really recovered

2 Chiquita Chiquita haven’t always been about a happy Latina lady balancing a bowl of fruit on her head; before 1984 they were the rather more stately-sounding United Fruit Company, and you’re about to find out why they may have wanted a re-brand For a start, in 1928 the so-called ‘Banana Massacre’ saw striking United Fruit Company workers being slaughtered by the Colombian Army, allegedly operating under orders from United Fruit Up to 3,000 people may have been killed Then, over a dispute about land in Guatemala, the UFC asked the CIA to intervene, which they handled with flying colors

By staging a coup, they installed a dictator, which led to a bloody civil war that began in 1960 and lasted 36 years In 1974 the UFC chairman Eli Black dealt with the company’s moral shortcomings by smashing a window on his 44th floor office with his briefcase and jumping to his death By the way, they may have changed their name, but as recently as 2004 they were fined $25 million for funding terrorist organizations in Colombia 1 Monsanto Monsanto have been voted Most Evil Corporation and are often decried because of their use of GMO crops

But to be honest, GMO is just a technology, and one that could be used for good Monsanto has done much worse things that supposedly playing god The first strike? The manufacture of Agent Orange for use by the US military in the Vietnam War The chemical was dropped from planes and designed to ‘defoliate’, or burn, all crops and vegetation that worked to the benefit of the opposition But it burned a lot more than just that, with millions of Vietnamese people suffering from exposure to the chemical

Strike two? Since then they’ve managed to make seeds that produce their own pesticides and don’t reproduce, forcing farmers to rebuy crops year after year from them The farmers can’t even buy from elsewhere because Monsanto artificially controls all prices in the seed market The third and final strike? They managed to get the US government to pass the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’, which absolves them of any liability for environment or human damage Oh by the way, remember Bayer? Well in 2016, they bought Monsanto Got any dark secrets of your own? Share them in the comments below and maybe you can start an evil corporation together

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