Thursday, July 05, 2007

The High Cost of Low Price

-Anita Gates, NY Times -Andrew O'Hehir, -Ebert & Roeper

Confessions of a Wal-Mart Hit Man

Extended Bonus Scenes From
Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
a Robert Greenwald Film

YouTube link, and Quicktime download, MPEG4 download
buy the documentary for $12.95
Read the transcript.

Wal-Mart Gets Stronger While America Gets Weaker

Wal-Mart is the number one importer of Chinese goods, and drives American companies to shut down plants and move manufacturing to China.

Meanwhile, they're on their way to becoming the largest seller of organic goods, many of which are produced in countries such as China, where the standards for organic farming are, at the very best, dubious.

Wal-Mart has been bombarded with accusations of selling substandard organic food, produced at factory farms. The accusations are well-founded, and the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has called on consumers to boycott Wal-Mart for degrading the organic standards. According to OCA, despite their requests to Wal-Mart to stop, the mega-store chain is:

Selling Horizon and Aurora Organic milk that comes from intensive confinement factory farm dairies
Importing cheap organic foods and ingredients from China and Brazil
Posting signs in its stores that mislead consumers into believing that non-organic items are actually organic

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

After watching the important video above, I encourage you to find out more about Wal-Mart's predatory business practices in Robert Greenwald's excellent documentary, Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Prices. The film exposes the many social and financial problems created every time a Wal-Mart store opens in your area.

While many consider Wal-Mart a bargain, Penn State University researchers estimate some 20,000 American families have dropped below the poverty level due to the astounding growth of Wal-Mart in the 1990's. What's more, in counties where Wal-Mart stores are located, more than 15 percent of families depend on food stamps, compared to the national norm of 8 percent.

Wal-Mart also promotes a substandard and distorted image of organic foods. Since many of their supposedly organic food products are imported from China to make them cheaper, the standards under which they are being grown are dubious at best and non-existent at worst. Wal-Mart also has a history of deceptively labeling conventionally produced products as organic.

Sometimes they obey the letter but not the spirit of the law, as in the case of selling milk produced by factory-farmed herds that are technically "organic" because the cows are occasionally fed grass.

But sometimes Wal-Mart simply outright violates the law.

Consumer fraud investigators in Wisconsin found, after a three-month investigation into Wal-Mart's practices, that they had labeled many conventional food products as organic. The USDA has also identified similar incidents of fraudulent labeling in five states, including Minnesota and Texas.

The true costs of Wal-Mart simply aren't worth the apparent savings.

Related Articles:

Another Reason Not to Buy Food From Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart Promotes a Distorted View of Organic Foods

More Organic Food Deception by Wal-Mart

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