# Ethics and profits

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In England it was common to pick up homeless kids and force them to work cleaning chimneys. Many died as a result.

So it just has to do with the atmosphere at the time.

baywax
Gold Member
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7624498.stm

How could those people risk toddlers' lives for making profits?
Apparently they've risked their own lives as well.

Nearly 13,000 children in China have been hospitalised due to tainted Chinese milk powder, officials say.
China's health ministry said 104 out of 12,892 babies showed serious symptoms.
Four infants have died after drinking the milk of the Sanlu Group containing the industrial chemical melamine, which could cause urinary problems.
Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, a toddler has been diagnosed with a kidney stone after drinking the powder - the first such case outside mainland China.
A number of Asian and African countries have now banned Chinese dairy imports following the scandal.
Chinese police have arrested 18 people in connection with the scandal.
You have to know we'll never see these perps again.

On the other hand, the richest of them will get away scott free.

China has been exporting lead painted toys for our toddlers as well. It smacks of a subtle way to bring down the health of a rival nation or two. In fact, if you think about it, corporations have been employing this tactic for a long time. Just who they are loyal to is another question, other than the almighty.... buck.

They must have had a lot of melamine left over after the poison dog food scandal.

They were putting the same stuff in wheat gluten that was sent to America a while back. It ended up in dog food.

They must have had a lot of melamine left over after the poison dog food scandal.

They were putting the same stuff in wheat gluten that was sent to America a while back. It ended up in dog food.
They?
I don't think these people are related to the other ones.

And, I would not say that China is doing this. But I guess in the end, Chinese government is to blame (not China and its people). They never really considered the dog scandal seriously and now it killed infants (not Chinese infants but only *infants*)

China has been exporting lead painted toys for our toddlers as well.
I wonder if Chinese government has those intentions.
Human loss != nation loss

lisab
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
They never really considered the dog scandal seriously and now it killed infants (not Chinese infants but only *infants*)
rootX, I'm confused by your post. What do you mean by killing "only *infants*" ?

rootX, I'm confused by your post. What do you mean by killing "only *infants*" ?

I was replying particularly to this:

China has been exporting lead painted toys for our toddlers as well.
IMO Majority Chinese/Americans think Chinese human loss is China's loss and American human loss is America's loss and it doesn't look right to me. Particularly infants are not Chinese or Americans - they hardly know either culture/language...

P.S. I was just thinking of global human loss when corporations fail to recognize the risk to humans while making profits. And governments fail to stop those corporations.

rootX, I'm confused by your post. What do you mean by killing "only *infants*" ?

More recently Chinese dairies have been diluting milk with water and adding melamine.
It has been also added to baby formula, supposedly sold only in China. It causes kidney failure.

Melamine gives a false reading on standard protein tests that are used to measure protein levels in food products.

Last year melamine was found in American dog food that used imported Chinese wheat gluten as a component. The result in dogs was also kidney failure.

The lead in imported Chinese toy has been an ongoing issue for several years.

tgt
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7624498.stm

How could those people risk toddlers' lives for making profits?
If you and your ancestors have lived like those of the Chinese then it wouldn't be much of a shock. China has been a very poor country with huge population.

baywax
Gold Member
The lead in imported Chinese toy has been an ongoing issue for several years.
And so and so fiddled while Rome burned.

When it comes to big business, no one has ethics. Many people can put a price on a human life. I think Ford actually published a document back in the 70s when it was producing the Pinto, stating that a human life to them was worth $7 million or something like that. It was cheaper to let their cars kill people then it was to fix their mistakes. And so and so fiddled while Rome burned. Actually it was the Consumer Protection Agency who fiddled. russ_watters Mentor When it comes to big business, no one has ethics. Many people can put a price on a human life. I think Ford actually published a document back in the 70s when it was producing the Pinto, stating that a human life to them was worth$7 million or something like that. It was cheaper to let their cars kill people then it was to fix their mistakes.
But that's just it: it wasn't cheaper to let the Pinto kill people than it was to fix it. The problem here isn't just greed, it is shortsighted greed. In the case of this tainted food, the odds of getting caught were probably pretty high, so the risk/reward calculus just isn't there.

That said, there's a difference here: purposely selling food you know is poisonous is plain, ordinary murder. They are intentionally doing something they know or should know could cause deaths. The Pinto, on the other hand, was not purposely designed in a way that Ford knew would cause deaths. They found out later. There was certainly an ethical failure and an economic failure, but the conduct was not criminal. Indeed, in hindsight many years later, as the emotion of the issue fades, the issue actually gets less clear:
However, a 1991 law review paper by Gary Schwartz[9] argued that the case against the Pinto was less clear-cut than commonly supposed. Twenty-seven people died in Pinto fires. Given the Pinto's production figures (over 2 million built), this was no worse than typical for the time. Schwartz argued that the car was no more fire-prone than other cars of the time, that its fatality rates were lower than comparably sized imported automobiles, and that the supposed "smoking gun" document that plaintiffs claimed showed Ford's callousness in designing the Pinto was actually a document based on National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulations about the value of a human life rather than a document containing an assessment of Ford's potential tort liability.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Pinto#Safety_problems

Balancing safety and economics is not inherrently inethical. Indeed, such calculus is a critical part of good engineering.

When it comes to big business, no one has ethics.
I think everyone do that and it is not unethical.

But, those companies never considered that they are risking infants (which IMO have higher cost than adults)

baywax
Gold Member
But that's just it: it wasn't cheaper to let the Pinto kill people than it was to fix it. The problem here isn't just greed, it is shortsighted greed. In the case of this tainted food, the odds of getting caught were probably pretty high, so the risk/reward calculus just isn't there.

That said, there's a difference here: purposely selling food you know is poisonous is plain, ordinary murder. They are intentionally doing something they know or should know could cause deaths. The Pinto, on the other hand, was not purposely designed in a way that Ford knew would cause deaths. They found out later. There was certainly an ethical failure and an economic failure, but the conduct was not criminal. Indeed, in hindsight many years later, as the emotion of the issue fades, the issue actually gets less clear: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Pinto#Safety_problems

Balancing safety and economics is not inherrently inethical. Indeed, such calculus is a critical part of good engineering.
Case in point, the plastic bottle fiasco. So many mass produced products come in plastic or plastic lining... yes, Campbells soup cans. The plastics contain Bisphenol-A which is now causing many municipalities to ban their use or sale.

Polycarbonate, a type of plastic, meets at least two of these three criteria for harm. It contains an ingredient, Bisphenol-A (BPA), which has garnered a lot of attention lately because of its use in baby bottles and its potential to damage developing humans and animals. Studies have found that BPA can migrate out of the plastic into foods and beverages, and then into you.

The bonds that hold BPA molecules together in a polycarbonate can disintegrate over time, when heated, or exposed to acidic or basic substances. Because of this, the BPA is never really safely locked away.* It’s that freewheeling, loose BPA that attaches to the food or beverage in a polycarbonate container and then leaches into your body.

In the body, BPA acts as an endocrine disruptor—masquerading as a sex hormone. This is a particular problem for sexual development, which is dependent on precise hormone signaling: Grow now! Develop hair! Don’t have breasts—you’re a boy! Studies have shown that BPA can harm developing rodents, even in small amounts.

Don't corporations take precautions and do extensive studies on their packaging or their products? Obviously not. Or... they do and there is some conspiracy to completely suppress any signs of a healthy nation on this continent. Disgruntled Nazis? Who knows? You tell me.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7637001.stm

A Chinese sweet maker has stopped domestic sales of one of its best-known brands after it was found to contain the industrial chemical melamine.
It seems like a really big scandal!

and, it's strange that so many different corporations were using the same melamine method.

baywax
Gold Member
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7637001.stm

It seems like a really big scandal!

and, it's strange that so many different corporations were using the same melamine method.
Yes, white rabbits, the tasty mint candy have been pulled.

I don't know, I think I'll have to suspend all debates and campaigning until I can clear this one up. Where's my super hat and coat? What, you want my vice president to stand in for me? Uhhhhhhhhh, well.... she's indisposed right now.