Made in the USA- Moral JudgmentFor years, the United States has been dumping export materials and goods that have been banned or found to be hazardous to the health of the people the United States. In the case Made in the U.S.A. – Dumped in Brazil, Africa, Iraq…, the case informs about how the United States dumped fire-retardant children’s pajamas, baby pacifiers, chemicals, etc. in third world countries without their knowing of the danger they were exposing themselves to by accepting the export goods. The U.S. had this great idea to come up with a children’s pajama that would resist catching on fire. After careful examination by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission products and by products of the chemical in the material called Tris was found to cause kidney cancer in children. Then the US came out with baby pacifiers that were found to cause choking.
The pacifiers were exported overseas and 400 Iraqis died and 5,000 were hospitalized after eating the fungicide on the pacifiers. Then we have Winstrol, which was a male hormone product was banned after it was found to stunt the growth of American children. Lastly when the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the sale of Galant, which was to be used as a weed killer, found that this weed killer caused cancer the EPA banned the killer in the US, but the manufacturer of the product still continues to sell the same product in Mexico City. Although the U. S. has been allowing the business practice of dumping by products and products that have been banned by the US for human use on third world countries dumping is wrong and needs to stop immediately for the betterment of all human well-being.
The safety of children is very important, but does it have to cost the price of third world children to save the lives of the children in the United States? I think not. The United States had no right to dispose of the children’s pajamas without even talking to the other countries before exporting bad goods to them. The non-consequentialist theory best describes this judgment. Non-consequentialist theory is “right and wrong are determined by more than the likely consequences of an action” (Shaw 2008, 44). The wrong of the action is that children, precious children are being harmed by these pajamas. Then to pass them on to other children on other countries does not make the action right. It is still wrong. Just as the children of the United States are important so should the children of other countries as well. Third world countries have their own problems and the US giving them harmful contaminated pajamas does not make the state of the country any better.
Next, the U.S. manufactured 450,000 baby pacifiers and they were known to cause babies to choke to death. So what does the U.S. decide to do with these pacifiers? They decide to export the pacifiers overseas where these children were exposed to the fungicide and either died or had to be hospitalized due to the organic mercury that was on the pacifiers. “Four hundred Iraqis died in 1972 and five thousand were hospitalized after consuming the by-products (pacifiers) of eight thousand tons of wheat and barley coated with an organic mercury fungicide, whose use had been banned in the U.S.” (Dowie, 1979). This action is wrong.
This is showing that the U.S. kids are better than the children of other countries and this is not true. What makes the United States kids better than any other child in the world? The U.S. has no right to put certain children over others. If the shoe was on the other foot the U.S. would not allow other countries to dump products and by-products on them. It should be the United States’ moral obligation to see that all children are safe from harm or harmful things by banning the business practice of dumping hazardous products and by products to third world countries.
Winstrol, when it first came in existence in the United States was to be used as a “synthetic male hormone” but was found to stunt the growth of the children in the United States. After the product was banned in the U.S. it was then dumped to third world countries where that promoted the product as an appetite stimulant for children. In India thirty percent of the children are malnutrition and one-third of the children in the Philippines are considered malnutrition also. This product was advertised in these countries as a cure for children who are not able to get the nutrition from the foods they eat. The advertising for this product included phrases like “‘a delicious syrup flavor children love … a remarkable appetite stimulant and builds body tissue.'”(Tiranti, 1983), which if promoted in these countries where food is hard to get and children are dying each day.
The parents of the children in the third world countries would do anything they could to keep their children alive and healthy as possible. In the United States Winstrol was found to stunt growth and in the third world countries it was thought to be the cure for malnutrition children. What choice is better for children? The choices to stunt their growth or build up their appetite are both misleading. America misleads the third world countries to think and believe that a drug can cure hunger and that is wrong. What the third world countries children need are food and not a pill. This drug should not be used for that purpose and dumping the drug on countries who do not know is simply wrong. Through a consequentialist point of view, the consequence of this drug being promoted as a good product is wrong so the action of the U.S. dumping this product on others is wrong too.
Galant is a chemical used in a lot of products and by-products. Galant is used in everyday products such as baby blocks, nail polish, weed killer, kitchen cabinets, plywood, etc. Europe banned this chemical from products, but the United States did not. The US is always out for a profit, so if it can export these products to other countries and still make a profit then that is what the US will do. As more and more health agencies started to see that Galant was dangerous they stopped using the chemical. What makes Galant so dangerous is the dipyrone that is given off by the by products and products mentioned. This is the agent that is said to cause cancer. It is also linked to asthma and headaches too (Gardner, 2006).
“Michael Wilson at UC-Berkeley claim the United States risks becoming a “dumping ground” for toxic products as other nations clean up their acts. U.S. chemical laws are weak, he complains. Instead of forcing industry to prove a chemical is safe, the burden is generally on the EPA to prove it endangers people and places. And that legal standard of proof, he says, is too high” (Gardener, 2006).
The practice of the United States putting the burden of their mistakes on other countries is wrong and needs to be stopped. It is not the responsibility of other countries to dispose of the mess the U.S. makes. Galant, this cancer causing blood disorder product is a mistake and is not the responsibility of other countries to take the load for products that the
United States find to be dangerous to human health.
“Manufacturers that dump products abroad clearly are motivated by profit” (Shaw, 2008). The United States is all about profit and companies in the U.S. cannot stand to lose money. So if they can find another way to get a profit on a product that they have produced be it safe or unsafe they will do it. Now, should this profit be at the expense of human health and well being. This should not be the case at any time by any one country. The business practice of dumping products and by products in other countries is wrong and needs to change. The U.S. needs to find a better way to dispose of products that are found to be harmful the human health or consumption. The U.S. has no right to push banned products on third world countries.
The U.S. is no better than any other country when it comes to the welfare of its people and they need to think about that. If the products can harm the U.S. citizens what makes third world countries any different for them. The effect of dumping has started to come back and haunt the United States. The same chemicals that we banned in the United States to use on our crops are being used in third world countries and when we import products from these countries the chemicals are on the products and by products that they produced for us. This goes to prove that the U.S. is no better than any other country when it comes to finding products and by products not good for human use or consumption. The business practice of dumping is dangerous, dangerous to the U.S. and dangerous to other countries and it has to stop and stop now.
Dowie, M. (1979, Nov/ Dec). The Corporate Crime of the Century. Mother Jones. Retrieved May 16, 2008, from http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature/1979/11/dowie.html.
Gardner, S. (2006, November). US becoming a toxic dumping ground. Marketplace. Retrieved May 17, 2008, from http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2006/11/13/us_becoming_a_toxic_dumping_ground/Shaw, W.H. (2008). Business ethics (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth. Chapters 1 & 2.