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Transnational Corporations


Transnational Corporations The spiders and their webs Amit Sengupta PHM-India Third People s Health Assembly Cape Town, 6th July-11th July, 2012 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Transnational Corporations

Transnational Corporations The spiders and their
webs Amit Sengupta PHM-India Third Peoples
Health Assembly Cape Town, 6th July-11th July,
  • Power of TNCs.
  • Of the 100 largest economies in the world, 51
    are corporations
  • The top 200s combined sales are 18 times the
    size of the combined annual income of the
    poorest 1.2 billion people
  • Sales of the Top 200 are equivalent of 28 of
    world economic activity, but only employ 0.8 of
    the worlds workforce

  • TNCs global tentacles
  • They seek markets wherever they may be,
    whatever may be the cost
  • They, today, locate operations in different
    parts of the world to benefit from reduced
    wages, lower standards of work conditions, less
    stringent environment protection laws
  • They are today able to bargain the best
    conditions for themselves low wages, poor
    regulation as they shift from place to place
  • They are today a major cause of loss of
    livelihoods and loss of control over natural

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  • Tobacco.
  • Philip Morris targeted WHO as part of a
    massive and far-reaching campaign to subvert
    tobacco control activities around the world
  • Philip Morris sued the Uruguayan govt. for its
    regulation that requires tobacco companies to
    cover 80 per cent of their cigarette packs with
    pictorial warning labels
  • Phillip Morris is using provisions in the
    Australia-Hong Kong Biliateral Investment
    treaty (BIT) to demand compensation for
    Australia's Plain cigarette packaging
    anti- smoking legislation

  • Processed Food..
  • Nestle, World's largest and most diversified
    food company in the world, with around 2,50,000
    employees worldwide, 500 factories in 100
    countries and offering over 8,000 products
  • In 2004, monitoring results from 69
    countries showed up over 2,000 violations of the
    baby food marketing code, and Nestlé was
    responsible for more violations than any other
  • It resort to double standards -- advertises the
    same product differently in countries of the
    North and the South. 
  • in India, Nestle uses a surrogate front
    organisation the Nestle Nutrition Institute to
    sponsor conferences of doctors in Emerging
    Trends in Pediatric Nutrition.

  • Pharma .
  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) will pay 3 billion in
    fines and plead guilty to criminal charges that
    it unlawfully promoted its anti- depressant 
    medicines Paxil and Wellbutrin and failed to
    report safety data about Avandia  its diabetes
  • GSK unlawfully marketed Paxil to treat
    depression in patients under 18 despite the fact
    that the drug was unapproved for pediatric use
  • GSK paid millions of dollars to doctors to
    speak at and attend meetings which it sponsored

  • Can TNCs be controlled?
  • Social Responsibility approach
  • Persuasion ..
  • Social Accountability approach
  • Independent accounting
  • Economic threat approach
  • Profits threatened with boycotts.
  • Punitive approach
  • Sanctions, divestment.

Thalidomide 1960s
Bhopal 1984
And many more . And many more to follow?
With adequate profit, capital is very bold. A
certain 10 will ensure its employment anywhere
20 certain will produce eagerness 50, positive
audacity 100 will make it ready to trample on
all human laws 300, and there is not a crime at
which it will scruple, nor a risk it will not
run, even to the chance of its owner being