Top 10 Worst Corporations of 2001

WASHINGTON -- Abbott Laboratories, Argenbright, Bayer, Coke, Enron, Exxon Mobil, Philip Morris, Sara Lee, Southern Co. and Wal-Mart have been named the 10 worst corporations of 2001, in Multinational Monitor magazine's annual listing.

"These behemoths have ripped off the public, polluted the environment, abused their workers and debased our culture," said Robert Weissman, editor of Multinational Monitor. "They appear in our lives everyday, disguised as 'respectable members of the community.' They deserve public opprobrium, and, in many cases, government sanction."

Multinational Monitor is a Washington, D.C.-based monthly magazine that tracks the activities of multinational corporations. It was founded by Ralph Nader.

Abbott Laboratories made the 10 worst list for its TAP Pharmaceuticals, a joint venture with Japanese Takeda Pharmaceuticals. TAP was forced to pay $875 million to resolve criminal charges and civil liability in connection with allegations of major Medicare reimbursement fraud.

Argenbright, the security company, was named to the list for repeat violations of regulations for airport security. Argenbright's appalling record helped convince Congress to federalize U.S. airport security operations.

Bayer appears on the list for its overcharge of the government and public for the anti-anthrax drug Cipro, as well as dangerous peddling of antibiotics for poultry (contributing to antibiotic resistance among humans) and its harassment of a corporate accountability group.

Coca Cola was named among the 10 worst for its sponsorship of the first Harry Potter movie and possible sequels, using a children's favorite to hawks its unhealthy product, and for alleged complicity with death squads in Colombia targeting union leaders there.

Enron made the 10 worst list for costing many of its employees their life savings by refusing to let them dump Enron stock from their pension plans, as the company plunged toward bankruptcy.

ExxonMobil earned a spot on the list for leading the global warming denial campaign and blocking efforts at appropriate remedial action, plus a host of other reckless activities.

Philip Morris asserted its claim to be among the 10 worst by virtue of a "we've changed" marketing campaign -- revealed to be a hoax by a Czech study it commissioned alleging the cost savings from smoking-related premature death, as well as the company's ongoing efforts to addict millions of new smokers.

Sara Lee was named to the list because of a scandal involving its Ball Park Franks hot dogs. Contaminated hot dogs due to company negligence killed 21.

Southern Co., the largest electric utility in the United States, grabbed a place on the list for its efforts to defeat sensible air pollution regulations.

Wal-Mart secured its place among the 10 worst by mistreating workers domestically and abroad, and by contributing to the sprawl that blights the U.S. landscape.

Corporations on Multinational Monitor's 10 worst list appear alphabetically, and are not ranked internally.

For a complete copy of Multinational Monitor's article naming the 10 worst corporations of 2001, see

AMP Section Name:Globalization
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  • 185 Corruption

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