1)Monsanto Company. The Missouri based agricultural company has been named world’s most unethical company. The company leads the world’s production of genetically modified foods. Monsanto is infamous for unfairly suing farmers who try to grow foods both ethically and organically. If the lawsuit is not ruled in Monsanto’s favour, they still achieve their desired results as the small-scale farms become bankrupt due to legal costs. The company is also the creator of the highly poisonous herbicide named Roundup ( a weed killer).
This weed killer is both damaging to ecology as well as humans. A 2008 scientific study found Roundup can cause the death of unborn children.
2) Chevron The oil and gas company has been criticised for a variety of environmental and human rights abuses. Chevron has been accused of dumping 18 billion gallons of toxic waste into the Ecuadorian Amazon. Amazonian activists have claimed Chevron ran a campaign of intimidation against them to halt a pollution trial focused on the company.
The oil giant has also been involved in human rights abuses with a group of Nigerian protestors campaigning against the company. Two of the protestors were shot by the Nigerian Army who had been transported to the scene by Chevron.
3) Freeport – McMoran The cooper and gold company has been accused on infringing upon the land of West Papuans and oppressing their rights. In 1998, a lawsuit was brought against the company accusing Freeport of human rights abuses in West Papua. These abuses included; house arrest, death threats, psychological harassment and surveillance monitoring by the security forces who were employed by Freeport. The lawsuits failed because the district court ruled the alleged abuses were not a violation of the ‘law of nations’. The unethical companies mining procedures still continue today, unopposed by laws and officials.
4) Phillip Morris Cigarette manufacturer, Philip Morris is the 5th most unethical company due to it’s marketing strategies. In the past the company has targeted children and exploited their vulnerability to addictive habits. The company has also employed underage girls to handout free Marlboro cigarettes to children at clubs and concerts. On top of this unethical marketing, the company issued a report in the Czech Republic saying that premature smokers deaths have ‘positive effects’ because they save governments money.
5) Ryanair The budget Irish airline is always charging customers hidden costs. The company reportedly does not even allow employees to charge their mobile phones so Ryanair can save electricity costs. Passengers who forget to bring their boarding passes to the airport automatically face a charge of £40 whilst customers wanting to complain via telephone have to pay 5p/min. Passengers who need assistance with booking a flight pay a fee of £1 per minute to call a customer service assistant.
6) Syngenta The Swiss agricultural and chemical company profits from marketing genetically engineered agriculture. The companies objective is to dominate the seed market so that all farmers have to rely on Syngenta’s seed sales. In 2008, the company was fined by the Environmental Protection Agency for violating federal regulations in some of their facilities and for failing to keep protective equipment away from contaminated areas. A former employee at Syngenta was awarded $2 million in a lawsuit after she was unfairly fired for reporting discriminative behaviour in the workplace.
7) Grupo Mexico In 2009, the Mexican mining enterprise ordered private security forces and police to forcibly evict mine workers at the Pasta de Conchos in Mexico after Grupo Mexico had sold the mine to the company, Transportes Signum. Grupo Mexico is also known to violate health and safety laws and in 2007 miners at a mine in Northern Mexico went on strike in protest of these violations. The company continues to ignore the demands of the miners and the strike still continues today.
8) Total The unethical French oil and gas corporation, Total has a large oil pipeline in Myanmar, built by slave labour. The Burma UK Campaign has criticised the company for playing a crucial role in funding the Burmese military junta. The junta receive between $200 million to $450 million a year from the oil whilst the people of Burma receive nothing but aggravation. The profit made from the pipeline has been spent on funding the juntas military with 10 MIG jets being purchased from Russia. Security forces employed to protect the pipeline have been known to commit horrific human rights abuses.