Monday, February 25, 2008

The Malboro Man in McWorld

Globally, the “McWorld” has expanded outside the U.S. from 3,000 restaurants a decade ago to about 15,000 today in 117 countries as an avant-garde of the US foreign domination, causing the enormous impacts on teenage obesity, diabetes type II disease, and other cultural degradation.
Few meat-loving denizens of the McWorld know that a majority of the cattle in the US were fed with millions of dead cats, dogs, horses, and chickens purchased from the animal shelters and other sources (the FDA regulations allow it).

The following is a list of accident reports on the website of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 25 percent of the nation’s 150,000 meatpacking workers are injured or killed on the job each year.
It’s like an almost incarnation of what Upton Sinclair described in his novel, Jungle, that the meatpacking industry is the most dangerous work place in the United States.

You are most likely to eat shit when you enjoy a Happy Meal at McDonald’s.

Employee’s Arm amputated while cleaning meat grinder.
Legs amputated by meat blender blades
Middle finger severed by meat saw.
Finger amputated in Chitlin machine.
Arms severed by knife of meat slicing machine.
Finger amputated in sausage extruder.
Eye injured when struck by hanging hook.
Arm amputated when caught in meat tenderizer.
Cornea lacerated by bacon hook.
Finger amputated by sausage packing machine.

Employee Falls into active meat blending machine.
Committed suicide by jumping into a meat blender.
Killed when arm caught in meat grinder.
Killed when crushed by descending lid of machine.
Hospitalized for neck laceration from flying blade.
Stabs self with 8-inch butcher knife and dies.
Injures backside jumping from platform.
Burned in tallow fire.
Crushed and killed by a blender.
Killed in fall from handrail into blender.
Decapitated by chain of hide-puller machine.
Killed when head crushed in hide-fleshing machine.
Caught and killed by gut-cooker machine.
Killed by stun gun.
Killed when he stabs his heart while boning a hog.
The Marlboro Man: a Merchant of Death
July 28, 2001

“The premature death by tobacco smoking has the positive effects on the countries where we make, sell, and export cigarettes.” Philip Morris Cos.

In the corporate culture, the profit motive easily overrides any other factors, like moral or social responsibility as the corporate citizen, in the process of business activities, and there is no exception for Philip Morris, giant tobacco company that boasts with the profit of $8.5 billion annually.
According to Wall Street Journal, the company told Czech government that smoking is good for the country, because in 1999 Czech government has saved about $30 million on health care, housing, and pensions due to the early deaths of many smokers in the country.

A few years ago, the company commissioned the study by research company Arthur D Little International, in which concluded that the budgetary benefits to the Czech government from duties and taxes paid by smokers, importers and cigarette companies outweighed the costs of health care significantly, in addition to the positive effects of premature deaths by smokers—savings on hospital care, housing and pension for the elderly.
The company said that the government gained over $146 million from the tobacco industry in 1999.
In another words, they said that smoking brings good things to the government ledger, an increase in revenue and a decrease in spending, the win-win situation.

In the United States, the tobacco industry suffered massive financial hemorrhage through the class action law-suits by the smokers and many State Governments won the court battles against the tobacco industry that was forced to pay billions of dollars to cover the health care costs of dying smokers.
However, in a deal the tobacco industry concluded with 40 State-attorneys general in 1997, the merchants of death were able to snatch out, among other things, the international legislative package that denied the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate tobacco export.
In order to counterbalance the financial loss in the domestic market, the cigarette companies embarked in aggressive marketing strategy heavily on foreign consumers who lack the knowledge of deadly consequence of smoking.
Riding on the wave of open market policy by the IMF and World Bank, the Philip Morris has expanded their market share to almost near monopoly on the manufacture, distribution and sales of cigarette in Czech Republic.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco will kill some 10 million people per year by 2025—7 million of them in economically poor countries.
Philip Morris and R. J. Reynolds are laying groundwork for this health disaster by aggressively increasing their advertising, promotion, and influence-peddling in key international market, selling about two-thirds of their cigarettes overseas and making nearly half their profit on the foreign markets.
For example, in Africa tobacco is as much an economic and environmental issue as a health issue. Tobacco transnationals have ensured access by offering African governments shares in their companies, providing senior management positions to people closely associated with officials in power, donating to projects supported by leading political figures, giving hand-outs to influential people, and winning support through economies which have become dependent on tobacco.

In South Korea where the government has monopolized the cigarette business for more than half century, foreign cigarettes maintain almost 20 percent market share since it has opened its market to the foreign tobaccos in 1988, and from then on Korean teen smoking rates jumped from 19 percent to 30 percent in a single year.
In their market strategies, the Marlboro Man introduced a host of slick advertisements—free cigarette giveaways, sponsorships of rock concerts and sports events, promotional T-shirts—that make smoking cool and very American as in dying hair and wearing funky attires.
The Korean smokers are dazzled with the portrait of Marlboro Man, a rugged cowboy whose life is already imprinted deeply in their mind through hundreds of the Hollywood movies, and they are lured into enslavement to the new flavor of nicotine addiction that brings disease and early death.

Now the South Korean government in dire straits financially allows foreign tobacco companies to produce cigarettes through the privatization of the state-run Korea Tobacco and Ginseng Corporation.
As in Czech Republic, the US tobacco industry would eventually gobble up the entire market of Korean smokers whose culture recognizes smoking in sync with dignity, seniority, and status symbol, not with health hazard and premature death. When the health care costs of dying smokers are passed to the community, the Marlboro Man is always happy to remind Koreans that smoking is not a health threat but a boon to their economy because the early deaths by smokers save the country on patient care, housing, and pension funds.
For the merchants of death, profit over people is the be-all and end-all that account for the corporate culture in the U.S.

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