Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

ResponsibleShopper.org: What Do You Know About the Companies in Your Medicine Cabinet?

New “Big Pharma” Section Added to Green America’s Web Site for Concerned Consumers; GlaxoSmithKline, Merck Rated Highest, While Novartis, Abbott, Pfizer and Sanofi Aventis Bring Up Rear.

June 6, 2009

Washington, DC: Are the corporations in your medicine cabinet good companies or bad companies? That is the question that is tackled the newly added “Big Pharma” section of Green America’s consumer watchdog Web site, ResponsibleShopper.org.

Looking at environmental, human rights, labor, ethics & governance, and health & safety issues, the ResponsibleShopper.org ranks GlaxoSmithKline the best, Merck second best and tied for last place: Novartis, Abbott, Pfizer and Sanofi Aventis. Companies in the industry received low marks overall for corporate responsibility.

Green America Responsible Shopper Coordinator Victoria Kreha said: “It’s a big step forward for ResponsibleShoppper.org to add ‘Big Pharma’ to the range of industries we profile on our corporate watchdog Web site. You may already know about how the brand-name pharmaceutical giants are notorious for fighting against generic manufacture of their prescription medications – keeping their profits high, and cheaper versions of their drugs off the market. But did you also know that major pharmaceutical companies have been increasingly outsourcing their clinical trials to private contractors in developing countries? And that critics have charged that families aren't always properly informed about possible side effects of experimental drugs, leading to severe permanent health problems – from kidney, liver, and heart damage to neurological injuries and even death?”

Green America Corporate Responsibility Programs Director Todd Larsen, said: “The addition of the ‘Big Pharma’ section reflects the Number 1 goal for Green America’s ResponsibleShopper.org: to be the Web’s most powerful one-stop information resource for concerned consumers. The result is that ResponsibleShopper.org now provides you with the real story about abuses by well-known companies, gives you actions to promote corporate responsibility, and helps you green your life and world.”

At ResponsibleShopper.org, you can find the answers to the following:

  • Which company was sued by its own shareholders in 2008 for a drop in stock value attributed to the company's failure to disclose harmful psychiatric side effects in a proposed weight-loss drug?
  • Which company settled a lawsuit with the Nigerian government this year, in connection to allegations of performing an illegal drug test that killed or injured 96 children during a meningitis epidemic?
  • Which company was sued last December by more than 2,000 residents of Merced, California who claim a local drug manufacturing plant contaminated their drinking water with the cancer-causing chemical Chromium 6?

Kreha added: “Of course, it's not all bad news when it comes to Big Pharma. At ResponsibleShopper.org you can also find out which drug companies have ‘greened’ their automobile fleets, donated medicines to underserved populations, or received a perfect score from the Human Rights Campaign. As with all of the industries profiled on Responsible Shopper, we rank the Big Phrama companies all on one page, where an easy-to-read chart compares their performance in categories like environment, labor, human rights, health & safety, and ethics & governance.”

 

ABOUT RESPONSIBLE SHOPPER
ResponsibleShopper informs concerned consumers about problem corporate practices, action campaigns and ways to live greener in relation to more than 150 major consumer companies. In a major enhancement of the Web site, ResponsibleShopper.org now ranks companies in 27 industry categories from best to worst based on research focusing on such key issues as human rights, social justice, environmental sustainability and more.

In addition, to attention getting companies like WalMart and Exxon, major consumer companies ranked by the new ResponsibleShopper.org site include such brand-name corporations as McDonalds, Toyota, Coca Cola, Disney, Hanes, and General Electric.

Companies are listed and ranked on ResponsibleShopper.org in the following categories: agribusiness; appliances; athletic wear; automobile; banking/financial; beauty and body care; beverage/water; big box retailer; booksellers; chemicals; cleaning products; clothing; coffee; computer/electronics; department stores; electric utilities; electronics; fast food; food; gas/oil; home improvement/building; Internet; mass media (TV, radio, film); supermarkets; tires; tobacco; and toys/games.

 

ABOUT GREEN AMERICA
Green America is a nonprofit membership organization founded in 1982 that was named "Co-op America" until January 1, 2009. Green America’s mission is to harness economic power—the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace—to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society.

 

CONTACT: Leslie Anderson, (703) 276-3256 or landerson@hastingsgroup.com.

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