Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Problem with Big Business

I really want this blog to be informative, but entertaining. However, I've had issues with looking at the funny side of things lately. I seem to be stuck in this very non-humorous rut and am taking everything WAY too seriously. My feathers get ruffled easily and my husband asks me every day if I think I'm pregnant... which would be a serious achievement considering all the natural steps we've been taking to prevent pregnancy at this particular moment. So, this is what is eating me alive. Big Business. Now, I know that we live in a land full of opportunity and capitalism, which I think it perfectly fine. But what I find horrendous is that in this Land of the Free, we are also able to harm others in order to make money. I have lots of cases in point:

Makes Mom Happy told us all about the evils of Medela and how they egregiously violate the WHO's breastfeeding code. They happily pay the fines because they know they can make more money by making an open breastpump that cannot be used for more than one mother.

Lansinoh is owned by Pigeon, another violator who promotes their products as being equal or better than the breast. Apparently the nursing rate in China is drastically falling due to all of the advertising efforts of Pigeon.

MamaNotes just wrote about 10 recalls for baby items. I found the whole list and was astounded that there weren't just 10, there were hundreds of recalled baby products (and I was too furious to even look at the toy list.) The purpose of the recalls was anything from "excessive lead" to fall hazards, laceration hazards, strangling and choking hazards, and other horrendous outcomes.

And most recently I found out that something as innocuous and lovely as new carpet is full of toxic VOCs which can harm your body. They can emit toxic off-gasses for an average of ten years!

Then you have the whole H1N1 vaccination debate (or vaccinations, in general). Did you read where you could take your child to have the H1N1 vaccine tested on them and receive a $40 gift card in return? Are you kidding me?? Dr Momma at Peaceful Parenting listed the article on her website. So, you have to imagine that in order to receive this gift card, you have to waive all rights to a lawsuit in the event that the thermerisol or other ingredients in this vaccine harm or kill your kid. But it's $40, right?? By the way, did you know that there are still pending cases in court from the horrible side effects (paralysis and death among other things) from the H1N1 vaccine from the 1970s? Did you know that Novartis has already got a stockpile of funds designated for lawsuits stemming from anticipated deaths and other catastrophic reactions to their H1N1 vaccine? And did you know that the manufacturers of the H1N1 vaccine aren't even going to take it??!?! Why should we?

I watched a funny video posted by one of my former students, a chiropractic intern. It was amusing, but thoughtful as well. Why are all food products required to list their ingredients, but nothing else is? Would you buy that toy if it listed one of its ingredients as lead? Would you buy that flooring if you knew it had VOCs in it? No! And perhaps that is why they don't list them.

Warning- I am stepping onto my soapbox.

How have we gotten to a place in this country where money is more valuable than life? Research and development costs are cut in order to advertise items on TV, and then the consumers become the buyers and the researchers. We have to call the manufacturers to tell them that their "safe" products (from cribs, swings, high chairs, co sleepers, carseats) are not safe, and in fact have injured, maimed, or killed our kids. We suffer the ill effects of toxins in our home's paint and carpet. Quality control is being sacrificed by sending these products to a faraway land for production and then the manufacturers don't oversee it properly. And then WE purchase those items because they are cheaper. Well, of course they are cheaper! Those folks are being paid $2 per day and have no health insurance and no 401K, so of course the products are less expensive. Not only are we sacrificing our families, we are sacrificing the lives of others whom we have never even met! We are in a terrible state when there is an inverse relationship between income and morals. It sort of makes me insane. I'm trying to do my part by carrying products that are environmentally and socially responsible in my little store. And by boycotting large stores who only carry cheap items made in countries on the other side of the world. If I can purchase an item that is $50 more expensive, but support fair trade and ethically treats its employees, I will gladly eat beans and rice for a week. It's about priorities. As a nation, we need to get ours straight.

Okay. I'm done now.


  1. *round of applause* YAY!!! Great Post!!!

  2. Wow! I love your passion. I've not done research on H1N1 other than to know that no one in my home will receive that vaccine.I am shocked, however, to see that the human race has indeed already survived an outbreak of this strand of the flu in the 70's! Don't you love how they make it seem that we're all gonna die. I know no flu is a good flu and people die every year from the flu. It's nothing to take lightly but I just don't see how this flu can be so much worse. Oh well...enjoyed your post, I've missed it!

  3. Wow, I had no idea about some of that stuff. Way to do your research. And thank you SO much for sharing. Funny or informative, I love your blog. :-)