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2002-01-03

Top Eleven Worst Corporations of 2001

Guests

Michael Ratner, lawyer, Center for Constitutional Rights.

Ninaj Raoul, Director, Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees.

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The Washington-based magazine the Multinational Monitor has just released its list of the ten worstcorporations of 2001. They are: Abbott Laboratories, Argenbright, Bayer, Coke, Enron, Exxon Mobil, Philip Morris,Sara lee, Southern Co. and Wal-Mart. The magazine-which was founded by Ralph Nader— accuses the corporations ofripping off the public, polluting the environment and abusing their workers.

One of the corporations that does not appear on this year’s list of 10 worst corporations is Monsanto. But an exposeon the company in the Washington Post from New Year’s Day begins:

“On the west side of Anniston, the poor side of Anniston, the people ate dirt. They called it "Alabama clay" andcooked it for extra flavor. They also grew berries in their gardens, raised hogs in their back yards, caught bass inthe murky streams where their children swam and played and were baptized. They didn’t know their dirt and yards andbass and kids —-along with the acrid air they breathed -— were all contaminated with chemicals. They didn’t know theylived in one of the most polluted patches of America."

“Now they know. They also know that for nearly 40 years, while producing the now-banned industrial coolants known asPCBs at a local factory, Monsanto Co. routinely discharged toxic waste into a west Anniston creek and dumped millionsof pounds of PCBs into oozing open-pit landfills. And thousands of pages of Monsanto documents — many emblazonedwith warnings such as "CONFIDENTIAL: Read and Destroy" — show that for decades, the corporate giant concealed whatit did and what it knew."

Guests:

  • Robert Weissman, Editor of the Multinational Monitor.
  • Michael Grunwald, reporter for the Washington Post.
  • David Baker, spokesperson for the citizens’ activist group Community Against Pollution based in Anniston,Alabama. He has had numerous health problems including rashes and learning disabilities as a likely result ofexposure to Monsanto PCB pollution. His younger brother died at age of 16 from probable PCB-related sickness.

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