Dupont Company Profile

DuPont is one of the largest chemical companies in the world. The company was founded in 1802 and is headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, United States. DuPont is involved in a range of different industry areas, including high-performance materials, synthetic fibres, electronics, speciality chemicals, agriculture and biotechnology. Many of these industry areas are problematic, such as its agriculture division, Dupont Pioneer, makes and sells hybrid seed and genetically modified seed. DuPont, alongside General Motors, invented CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and in the 1980s was the largest CFC producer in the world with a 25 percent market share.

You can find Corporate Watch articles on DuPont and our 2002 Company Profile in the right hand column of this page.

Click here for details of DuPont’s latest profits and other financial results from the Bloomberg website.

There is also lots of useful information on DuPont‘s website:

  • Click here to find out what products the company is selling.
  • Click here to find out who’s on DuPont’s board of directors.
  • Click here to download DuPont’s latest annual report and accounts.

For a more critical perspective on DuPont‘s work try Powerbase or ETC Group.

If you want to do some digging into DuPont yourself, have a look at our Investigating Companies: A Do-It-Yourself Handbook.

If you would like your website added to this list, or have any other links or suggestions for this page, please get in touch.

DuPont: Who, Where, How Much?

A Corporate Profile

By Corporate Watch UK

Completed November 2002


Who, Where, How much?

 


 

Head Office

 

1007 Market St., Wilmington, Delaware, USA

E-mail:info@dupont.com
Phone: (24-hour Corporate Information Centre)

1-800-441-7515 (US callers only)

1-302-774-1000 (from anywhere in the world)

Website: www.dupont.com

Addresses of DuPont offices and factories worldwide can be found at: http://www.dupont.com/corp/overview/worldwide/index.html

A list of the company’s major plants and the main products produced there can also be found on pages 50-51 of the company’s annual Data Book: http://www.dupont.com/corp/news/publications/dupfinancial/01databk.pdf

Company Structure/Ownership

 

DuPont is a publicly owned company.

According to the company’s Annual Report (2001), DuPont is divided into 22 strategic business units. A list of the company’s business units can be found at http://www.dupont.com/corp/overview/ventures/index.html. Within the strategic business units, a wide range of products are manufactured for distribution and sale to many different markets. These include the transportation, textile, construction, motor vehicle, agricultural, home furnishings, medical, packaging, electronics and the nutrition and health markets. The company operates through five “market- and technology-focused growth platforms”: DuPont Electronic & Communication Technologies; DuPont Performance Materials; DuPont Coatings & Color Technologies; DuPont Safety & Protection; and DuPont Agriculture & Nutrition. A sixth grouping – Textiles and Interiors – looks likely to be spun off as a separate company. [36] A further breakdown of these business groupings including details of the company’s joint projects can be found at: http://www.dupont.com/corp/overview/ventures/index.html

Even more detailed information, including the products each industry group produces can be found in the company’s 2001 Data Book at: http://www.dupont.com/corp/news/publications/dupfinancial/01databk.pdf

Employees: 79,000. Approximately half work outside the United States[37]. They had 93,000 employees in 2001, however numerous jobs have been lost over the past year due to restructuring and sell offs.[38] In recent years DuPont has increasingly been trying to cut its costs by outsourcing its staff. For example, the company outsourced its computer and information technology functions in 1997, signing a 10-year, $4 billion agreement with Computer Sciences Corp. and Andersen Consulting, now known as Accenture. About 3,100 DuPont workers became employees of those two firms.[39]

Global Distribution: Operating in 70 countries worldwide with a total of 135 manufacturing and processing facilities.

Research & Development: More than 40 research and development and customer service labs in the United States, and more than 35 labs in 11 other countries.[40]

Fortune 500: 70th largest U.S. industrial/service corporation.[41]

Share Value

See: http://www.dupont.com/

Major Shareholders [42]
3.81 36,347,254

Top Institutional Holders Shares %Out* Value** Reported
Wilmington Trust Company 37,848,682 $1,556,337,803 31-Mar-02
State Street Corporation 3.66 $1,494,599,084 31-Mar-02
Barclays Bank Plc 34,209,553 3.44 $1,406,696,819 31-Mar-02
AXA Financial, Inc. 22,718,894 2.29 $934,200,921 31-Mar-02
FMR Corporation 20,280,665 2.04 $833,940,944 31-Mar-02
Taunus Corporation 19,169,821 1.93 $788,263,039 31-Mar-02
Wellington Management Company 18,929,985 1.91 $778,400,983 31-Mar-02
Vanguard Group, Inc. (The) 16,944,887 1.71 $696,773,753 30-Jun-02
Morgan Stanley 15,854,609 1.6 $651,941,522 31-Mar-02
Mellon Bank, N.A. 14,582,154 1.47 $599,618,172 30-Jun-02

 

 

 

Top Mutual Fund Holders Shares %Out* Value** Reported
Vanguard Index 500 Fund 8,476,960 0.85 $348,572,595 31-Dec-01
Fidelity Magellan Fund Inc 7,100,000 0.71 $291,952,000 31-Mar-02
Putnam Fund For Growth and Income 6,033,817 0.61 $248,110,555 31-Oct-01
College Retirement Equities Fund-Stock Account 5,571,013 0.56 $229,080,054 31-Dec-01
Vanguard/Wellington Fund Inc. 4,500,000 0.45 $185,040,000 30-Nov-01
Mercury Basic Value Fund 3,900,000 0.39 $160,368,000 1-Dec-01
Merrill Lynch Basic Value Fund 3,900,000 0.39 $160,368,000 31-Dec-01
Morgan Stanley Dividend Growth Securities 3,850,000 0.39 $158,312,000 28-Feb-02
BB Amerika Invest 3,500,000 0.35 $143,920,000 31-Mar-02
Vanguard Institutional Index Fund 3,429,929 0.35 $141,038,680 31-Dec-01

 

*Institutional holdings as a percentage of the current shares outstanding.

**Hypothetical value based on price of $41.12 as of 23-Aug-02. Position may have increased or decreased since the report date.

Back to top

Annual Turnover

 

In 2001 the company’s turnover was $24,7 billion.[43] Performance coatings and polymers accounted for 21% of 2001 revenues; speciality fibres, 16%; agriculture & nutrition, 16%; speciality polymers, 14%; pigments and chemicals, 13%; nylon, 10%; polyester, 6%; pharmaceuticals, 3% and other, 1%.[44]

A further breakdown of the company’s profits by sector can be found at: http://profiles.wisi.com/profiles/scripts/corpinfo2.asp?cusip=263534109 and in the company’s annual Data Book: http://www.dupont.com/corp/news/publications/dupfinancial/01databk.pdf

Net income
In 2001 net income was $4.3 billion.[45]

 

Board of Directors

 

Charles O. Holliday, Jr.
Chairman of the Board (since 1999) and Chief Executive Officer (since 1998)

In 2001 his total salary was $1.1 million.[46] He has been with DuPont for 30 years and is also on the board of Analog Devices, Inc and Catalyst. ‘Chad’ sits on the Chancellor’s Advisory Council for Enhancement at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and is a senior member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers. In September 2002 he was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council.[47]

Alain J.P. Belda
A director since January 2000, Mr Belda is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alcoa Inc., the world’s largest producer of primary aluminium and fabricated aluminium. He is also sits on the boards of Citigroup Inc. and Cooper Industries.[48]

Richard H. (Dick) Brown
Dick is Chairman of the Board and CEO of EDS, the leading global services company. He was formely CEOof Cable & Wireless PLC, president and CEO of H&R Block, Inc. and vice chairman of Ameritech Corporation. Mr. Brown sits on the boards of Vivendi Universal and Home Depot. He is also on the Southern Methodist University board of trustees and has been a member of the Ohio University Foundation board of trustees. He is a member of the Business Roundtable, The Business Council, the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade and Policy Negotiations, the U.S.-Japan Business Council, the French-American Business Council and the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.[49]

Curtis J. Crawford
A director since 1998, Mr. Crawford is also chairman of the board of ON Semiconductor Company and a director of ITT industries. He is a trustee of DePaul University.[50]

Louisa C. Duemling
A director since 1982, Mrs. Duemling sits on the board of governors of the Nature Conservancy and the board of trustees of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.[51]

Edward B. du Pont
A director since 1978, Mr du Pont serves as a director of Wilmington Trust Corporation. He is also a trustee of Christiana Care Corporation and the University of Delaware, president and trustee of Eleutherian Mills-Hagley Foundation, and a vice president and trustee of Longwood Foundation, Inc.[52]

Deborah C. Hopkins
A director since 2000, Ms Hopkins was previously Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Lucent Technologies. Before that, she was senior vice president and chief financial officer at Boeing. She is also a board member of the Foundation for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and the Private Export Funding Corporation.[53]

Lois D. Juliber
A director since 1995, Ms. Juliber is Chief Operating Officer of Colgate-Palmolive Company. She is on the board of trustees of Wellesley College and the Brookdale Foundation.[54]

Göran Lindahl
Under Secretary-General and Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General and Chairman of the Alliance for Global Sustainability. Mr Lindahl was previously president, CEO and executive vice president of ABB Ltd., a globalised technology and engineering company. He sits on the board of LM Ericsson AB, and the World Childhood Foundation.[55]

Masahisa Naitoh
A director since January 2000, Mr Naitoh is Vice Chairman of ITOCHU Corporation, an international trading company based in Tokyo, Japan. Mr. Naitoh has held a number of senior policy positions in the Japanese government’s Ministry of Trade and Industry. He is also a director of Molex Incorporated and a member of the board of advisors of the Center for International Political Economy in New York.[56]

William K Reilly
A director since 1993, Mr. Reilly is President and CEO of Aqua International Partners, L.P., which finances water supply and wastewater treatment in developing countries. He was previously administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the Payne visiting professor at the Institute for International Studies at Stanford University. He has also been president of the World Wildlife Fund and The Conservation Foundation. Mr Reilly is a director of Conoco Inc., Evergreen Holdings, Inc., and Royal Caribbean International. He is trustee of The American Academy in Rome, The National Geographic Society, Presidio Trust and the World Wildlife Fund. He also serves on the board of Yale University Corporation.[57]

H. Rodney Sharp III
A director since 1981, Mr Sharp is President of the Board of Trustees of the Longwood Foundation, Inc., and sits on the board of the Wilmington Trust Corporation. He is a trustee of St. Augustine’s College (Raleigh, North Carolina) and a trustee and director of the Christiana Care Corporation. He is also a director and the treasurer of Planned Parenthood of Delaware.[58]

Charles M. Vest
A director since 1993, Mr. Vest is President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a former provost, vice president of Academic Affairs and dean of Engineering at the University of Michigan. He also sits on the board of the International Business Machines Corporation and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. A member of the National Academy of Engineering and the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology, he is also vice chair of the Council on Competitiveness.[59]

Further information regarding the company’s directors and executives can be found on the company’s website at: http://www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/index.html and http://www.dupont.com/corp/overview/executives/index.html respectively.

 

Subsidiary and affiliated companies

 

DuPont is a massive conglomerate with subsidiaries in a variety of different areas. A list of subsidiaries and affiliated companies world-wide can be found on the companies web-site at: http://www.dupont.com/corp/overview/subsidiaries/index.html

Notable subsidiaries in the Agriculture and Nutrition section of the company are:

Pioneer Hi-Bred International
Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. prides itself on being ‘the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics to farmers world-wide’.[60] Since its merger with Pioneer Hi-Bred in 1999, DuPont is the world’s largest seed company, with sales in excess of $1.9 billion in 2000.[61] It is a major producer of GM seed. Upon the merger of the two companies, Charles Holliday, the DuPont CEO, predicted that “This will be the most powerful agricultural technology force in the world”[62] Pioneer Hi-Bred has numerous subsidiaries operating throughout the world, mainly operating under the Pioneer name.[63] A list of its various offices around the world can be found at: http://www.pioneer.com/pioneer_worldwide/worldwide.htm

Head Office:
Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc.

400 Locust Street, Suite 800,

PO Box 14453,

Des Moines, IA 50306-3453,

Tel: 515 248-4800

Fax: 515 248-4999

Email: Web.Editore@pioneer.com

UK Headquarters:
Pioneer Hi-Bred Northern Europe GmbH

“The Barn”, Blisworth Hill Farm

Blisworth

Northampton,

Northants

NN7 3DB

Tel: (01604) 858008

Fax: (01604) 858221

URL: http://www.phibred.co.uk/
email: ukenquiries@pioneer.com

Protein Technologies International Inc (PTI)
DuPont acquired PTI in 1997 for approximately $1.5 billion as part of its strategy for growth in the bio-industrial, pharmaceutical, feed and food industries.[64] PTI is self-reputedly ‘a world-wide leader in the research, manufacturing and marketing of high-quality, soy-based ingredients and ingredient systems.’[65] PTI produce a wide range of soya products, including soya polymers and coatings, soya fibre, and Solae soya protein which is found in variety of consumer products produced by other companies (see Products/Projects).

DuPont Yun Meng Protein Co.
Du Pont came to an agreement with the Yun Meng County government in June 2001 to acquire the Hubei Longyun Protein Food Group’s soy protein facility in Wuhan, China. The estimated total investment is about $20 million and is part of their strategy to expand its soya protein business in Asia. The DuPont Yun Meng Protein Co. also plans to develop products and technologies for the export market. The purchase of the company is clearly an attempt by DuPont to capitalise on the growing food ingredients market, particularly the ‘healthy’ food market which is a high growth area.[66]

A list of various other DuPont subsidiaries that are involved in agriculture and/or genetic modification can be found at: http://www.genewatch.org/GeneSrch/Companies/DuPont.htm

 

Marketing Agreements/Joint Ventures

 

Monsanto
In April 2002 DuPont and Monsanto announced that they had decided to live in sync by sharing their proprietary agricultural biotechnologies with each other. The announcement marked the end of a series of outstanding patent lawsuits that have festered for years.[67]

General Mills, Inc.
In January 2000, DuPont’s Protein Technologies International (PTI) and General Mills announced plans to collaborate in the developing and marketing of soya foods. General Mills is a leading consumer foods marketer and has sales exceeding $6 billion (General Mills also has joint ventures with Nestlé and with PepsiCo.).[68]

A list of some of the company’s other joint ventures, particularly relating to the fields of GM crops and agriculture, can be found at: http://www.groundup.org/dupont/ae.htm

A full list of the company’s joint ventures for each of its business units can be found by clicking on the relevant links at: http://www.dupont.com/corp/overview/ventures/index.html

Back to top


References
[36] Yahoo! (2002) Profile: E.I. DuPont de Nemours (NYSE:DD), http://biz.yahoo.com/p/d/dd.html, viewed 21/10/02; E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company: Company capsule, Hoovers Online, http://www.hoovers.com/co/capsule/7/0,2163,10487,00.html, viewed 23/10/02.

[37] DuPont Overview: Company at a Glance, http://www.dupont.com/corp/overview/glance/index.html, viewed 21/10/02.

[38] DuPont (2001) Tekgraf Centiv? and DuPont? Tyvek® Form Strategic Marketing Alliance, http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT3XD5U4LPC&live=true&tagid=ZZZAU2EX70C , viewed 21/10/02; Agulnick, S. (2002) DuPont may cut further: Spin-off of fibers unit likely to bring layoffs, 24/2/02, www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/local/2002/02/24dupontmaycutfur.html , viewed 21/10/02

[39] Ibid.

[40] DuPont (2002) DuPont Overview: Company at a Glance, www.dupont.com/corp/overview/glance/index.html , viewed 2/11/02.

[41] The 2002 Fortune 500: America’s Largest Corporations, www.hoovers.com/cgi-bin/offsite?site=HBN&url=http://www.fortune.com/lists/F500/index.html, viewed 2/11/02

[42]Yahoo (2002) Ownership Information – E.I. DuPont de Nemours (NYSE:DD), http://biz.yahoo.com/hd/d/dd.html , viewed 2/11/02.

[43] DuPont (2002) DuPont Overview: Company at a Glance, http://www.dupont.com/corp/overview/glance/index.html, viewed 2/11/02

[44] Wright Investors’ Service (2002) Company Research Report: E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co,http://profiles.wisi.com/profiles/scripts/corpinfo2.asp?cusip=263534109“> http://profiles.wisi.com/profiles/scripts/corpinfo2.asp?cusip=263534109, viewed 2/11/02

[45] DuPont (2002) DuPont Overview: Company at a Glance, www.dupont.com/corp/overview/glance/index.html, viewed 2/11/02

[46] Multex Investor (2002) Stocks: Company Information: Officers & Directors: Compensation: E.I. DuPont de Nemours (NYSE), http://yahoo.marketguide.com/MGI/compens.asp?target=%2Fstocks%2Fcompanyinformation%2Fofficersanddirectors%2Fcompens&Ticker=DD&rt=compens&rn=2815N#Offr_73453, viewed 2/11/02.

[47] DuPont (2002) Charles O. Holliday: Chairman and CEO, http://www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/holliday.html , viewed 2/11/02.

[48] DuPont (2002) Alain J. P. Belda: Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Alcoa, www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/belda.html, viewed 2/11/02

[49] DuPont (2002) Richard H. (Dick) Brown: Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of EDS, www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/dbrown.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[50] DuPont (2002) Curtis J. Crawford President and Chief Executive Officer, Zilog, Inc, www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/crawford.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[51] DuPont (2002) Louisa C. Duemling, www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/duemling.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[52] DuPont (2002) Edward B. du Pont, www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/dupont.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[53] DuPont (2002) Deborah C. Hopkins, www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/hopkins.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[54] DuPont (2002) Lois D. Juliber: Chief Operating Officer, Colgate-Palmolive Co, www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/juliber.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[55] DuPont (2002) Göran Lindahl: Under Secretary-General and Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General and Chairman, Alliance for Global Sustainability, www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/lindahl.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[56] DuPont (2002) Masahisa Naitoh: Vice Chairman, ITOCHU Corporation, www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/naitoh.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[57] DuPont (2002) William K. Reilly: President and CEO, Aqua International Partners LP, http://www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/reilly.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[58] DuPont (2002) H. Rodney Sharp III www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/sharp.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[59] DuPont (2002) Charles M. Vest: President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, http://www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/vest.html , viewed 2/11/02.

[60] DuPont (2002) About Pioneer, www.pioneer.com/pioneer_info/index.htm, viewed 2/11/02

[61] ETC Group (2002) DuPont and Monsanto – “Living in Sinergy”? www.rafi.org/documents/nr2002apr9.pdf, viewed 22/10/02.

[62] A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[63] Ibid.

[64]DuPont: PTI Company History, http://www.protein.com/PTIWeb.nsf/pages/Company_History, viewed 2/11/02

[65] DuPont: About PTI, http://www.protein.com/PTIWeb.nsf/pages/About_PTI, viewed 2/11/02.

[66] DuPont (2001) DuPont Acquires Soy Protein Facility in China, Daily News, http://www.dupont.com/corp/news/daily/2001/dn06_13_01a.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[67] ETC Group (2002) DuPont and Monsanto – “Living in Sinergy”? 9/5/02, www.rafi.org/documents/nr2002apr9.pdf , viewed 22/10/02

[68] DuPont (2000) DuPont and General Mills Announce Collaboration to Develop and Market Soy Foods, http://www.dupont.com/corp/news/releases/2000/nr01_13_00.html, viewed 2/11/02.

DuPont: Corporate Crimes

Overview

 

DuPont’s website paints a picture of a generous company striving for social and environmental justice. To quote the company’s CEO Charles Holliday Jnr.:

“We will never compromise our core values – safety and environmental excellence, integrity, high ethical standards and treating people fairly and with respect. They are our foundation. We must continually strive to find ways to enhance them.”[1]

However critics of the company see them in a somewhat different light:

“The business of Du Pont has been dangerous from the start”
Philip Mattera, World Class Business, 1992[2]

“The company has consistently treated the long-term interests of humanity as largely irrelevant” Curtis Moore, Former Counsel to the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works,[3]

There is hardly a single chemical toxin in which DuPont has not played a major role in developing. “The company pioneered the production of sulphur dioxide, leaded petrol, CFC’s and recently deep well injection of hazardous waste. The company then used dubious science, political manipulation and cover up to avoid restrictions on their use.” [4] During its 200 years of existence, DuPont has committed a staggering amount of corporate crimes (far too many to mention here). The following section contains just a selection of these.

Back to top

Arms manufacturing

 

DuPont began life as a gunpowder company and has made an incredible amount of money from arms manufacturing over the course of its existence (see History). The company has made major contributions to the development of plastic and other forms of explosives, gun and rocket propellants, chemical warfare and the atomic bomb.[5] The 1996 International Defence Directory cites DuPont as providing synthetic plastics, rubber and textiles to the defence industry.[6] According to the Ethical Matters magazine website, DuPont was one of the companies that manufactured the defoliant Agent Orange that devastated human health and the environment in Vietnam. The company also ran chemical warfare plants for the US government.[7]

Back to top

Control of the food chain

 

Attempting to monopolise food production
Now the largest seed company in the world, DuPont is exerting increasingly more control over the human food chain. The company supplies seeds, agricultural inputs and also owns food-processing technologies. Recently Dupont and Monsanto decided to live in sync by sharing their proprietary agricultural biotechnologies with one another. The decision was met with alarm by the ETC Group, which believes that the quasi-merger will result in less choice for farmers, at the same or higher prices. Hope Shand, Research Director at the ETC, expressed concern that the companies “are being allowed to create global technology cartels that run below the radar screens of anti-trust regulators.”[8]

In 2000, the Foundation on Economic Trends and the National Family Farm Coalition filed a lawsuit against DuPont and other GM seed producers, on behalf of both U.S. and international farmers who purchased genetically modified (GM) corn and/or soybeans, as well as farmers engaged in farming non-GM crops in the 1999-2000 growing season. They allege that the company was involved in a global cartel engaged in biotech product price-fixing. According to the plaintiffs’ complaint, a 1996 internal Monsanto document known as the “Maize Protection Business Plan” describes how Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Chemical, Novartis and AstraZeneca amongst others, formed a global cartel to monopolise and restrain trade in the GM seed market, effectively precluding additional competitors from entering the marketplace. [9]

Biopiracy and patenting
DuPont owns over 20,000 worldwide patents and over 14,000 worldwide patent applications. In 2001, it was granted almost 500 U.S. patents and over 1,800 international patents.[10] The company has been branded by Greenpeace as the “World-wide leader in biopiracy of plant genetic resources”. ‘Biopiracy’ is the term used to describe the patenting of genes, by private companies, that were originally selected for by indigenous people, using traditional breeding methods. Many developing countries regard this as the theft of their genetic resources, and biopiracy has become an extremely contentious issue in recent years. Greenpeace has accused DuPont of using ‘tricky patents’ (i.e. passing off items as their ‘inventions’ when they quite clearly aren’t) in an attempt to gain control over the most important food crops. They observe that DuPont has “a natural interest both in owning and exploiting plant genetic material, mostly derived from developing countries, and in replacing farmers’ own local varieties with few patented crops – and their often associated inputs.”[11]

A number of cases of DuPont abusing patent law have come to light recently. These include a patent application accepted by the European Patent Office in August 2000 (Patent EP 744888). This covers all maize plants containing over 50% oil, including those produced by traditional breeding methods. The patent also covers any use of these maize varieties, including cultivation, harvesting, and processing, whether for food, animal fodder or industrial use. By obtaining this patent DuPont has managed to pass off any such varieties of maize as its invention. This is despite the fact that such varieties already exist in Latin America, having been obtained through traditional breeding techniques. According to the Mexico based International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT), “this patent may considerably impede the development of maize varieties in Latin America.” Dr Sukestoshi Taba from CIMMYT states that the patent could “seriously discourage further research on maize oil content if it is not challenged.”[12]

According to Greenpeace, the maize patent application is just one example of a systematic strategy that DuPont is using to gain control of the most important food crops. Other ‘tricky patents’ that DuPont has filed based on fake ‘inventions’ include:

  • Describing special plant ingredients (e.g. protein or oil) and claiming all genetic resources with these characteristics.
  • Changing certain details in hybrid breeding processes and claiming all resulting seeds and plants.
  • Using cell culture techniques to reproduce plant genetic material and claiming all genetic resources with given characteristics.
  • Isolating genes in genome databanks and claiming gene sequences as their inventions.
  • Transferring foreign genes into existing varieties, then claiming all plants and seeds with the inserted genes.[13]

Dupont has also faced heavy criticism for it patenting of the oncomouse – a mouse genetically engineered to carry a cancer-causing gene.[14]

Back to top

Genetically modified (GM) crops
DuPont is shifting a substantial portion of its research and production capacity into what is feared to be a dangerous new form of pollution – the release of genetically engineered organisms into the environment. According to A SEED, the company is currently playing a double tune: at the market level it is attempting to capture crop markets lost by GM crop companies due to lack of consumer confidence, whilst simultaneously moving heavily into GM seeds.[15]

One of the main arguments of GM-proponents is that GM crops are no different to crossbred varieties, which we have had for thousands of years. However, there are some distinct processes, now known as genetic engineering, which, unlike the creation of hybrids and other crossbred varieties, cannot be carried out by farmers. For example, farmers can not exchange genes between different species. On its website DuPont attempts to confuse the issue by suggesting that Pioneer Hi-Bred has been supplying farmers with genetically engineered maize since the 1970s. (http://heritage.dupont.com/touchpoints/tp_1999/overview.shtml) This appears like a deliberate attempt to convince the public that genetic engineering is the same as crossbreeding and therefore to be accepted, and it is a confusion we could do without.

DuPont has been criticised for its use of terminator technology. Terminator has been widely condemned as an immoral technology that threatens global food security, especially for the 1.4 billion people who depend on farm-saved seed. According to Julie Delahanty of the ETC Group, companies such as DuPont are trying to gain market acceptance for seed sterility as a biosafety tool. This will give them “carte blanche to use it as a monopoly tool for maximising seed industry profits” she argues.[16]

In 1999 Deutsche Bank analysts pointed out that for DuPont “there is more to biotechnology than just ag-biotechnology used for crops to feed humans and/or animals.” The analysts also predicted that “GMO cotton and other fiber crops, which will not enter the food chain, will not draw the attention or focus that corn and soybeans have.” DuPont aims to get 25 percent of its raw materials from biomaterials by 2010, a large portion through the next generation of GMO crops. [17]

Functional Foods
DuPont has been criticised for its marketing of highly processed food products as ‘healthy’.

“Functional foods are about marketing, not health” asserts Professor Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition and food studies at New York University “My concern is that functional foods will distract people from eating healthy diets and encourage companies to market absurd products as health foods because they contain one or another single nutrient.”[18]

Back to top

Working conditions

 

Union Busting
Historically, DuPont was strongly anti-union. In the 1930s, the company crushed any attempts at worker unionisation. Later, DuPont created a series of company-dominated employee-associations.[19] However, the company now claims to have improved its record dramatically.[20]

Health and Safety
DuPont has a miserable environmental health and safety record and, in the past, has frequently run afoul of occupational safety and health laws.[21] In 1987, the New Jersey Supreme Court found that DuPont had deliberately concealed medical records identifying that several workers were suffering illnesses related to asbestos exposure. The same year, DuPont’s then subsidiary Consolidation Coal was cited for ‘reckless disregard’ in reporting worker injuries. Consolidation Coal was also among a group of coal companies fined for falsifying air samples provided to federal inspectors testing for conditions that could cause black lung disease.[22]

In 1999 the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) fined DuPont $70,000 for Health and Safety record keeping violations at its Seaford DE plant in the US. The company was also ordered to implement a series of Health and Safety improvements. Health and Safety records at the site were investigated in response to a complaint filed by an employee, whose cumulative trauma injury was not acknowledged by the company as work-related. It was found that the company failed to record 117 occupational injury and illness cases during 1997 and 1998 that should have been recorded and that certain cases of injury and illness were recorded incorrectly. [23]

Using prison labour
According to Transnational Obsevatory, DuPont is one of the companies in the US that use prison labour.[24]

Ripping off pensioners
DuPont has been recently been criticised for redesigning its U.S. health-care plan. This has dramatically increased the premiums for the company’s approximately 61,000 retirees and surviving spouses aged 65 and older.[25]

Genetic Screening
In the early 1980s, DuPont was reported to have tested thousands of US workers to determine if any of their genes made them vulnerable to certain chemicals in the workplace.[26] The company also apparently gave blood tests to all black job applicants to determine which were carriers of sickle-cell anaemia.[27]

Back to top

Moving production to the developing world

 

DuPont has been criticised in the Multinational Monitor magazine for moving parts of its production to developing countries such as India, where labour is cheaper and environmental laws less strict.[28] The company has also been heavily criticised in the magazine for ignoring the rights of indigenous people in the areas in which it operates.[29] According to the company’s 2001 SEC filing, it has major plants in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Brazil, China and Argentina.[30]

Supporting oppressive regimes
According to the company’s website dated January 9th 2002, DuPont owns subsidiaries in Bosnia, China, Columbia, Croatia, Egypt, Indonesia, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Yugoslavia. These countries are all classified by Ethical Consumer magazine as oppressive regimes. Their classification is based on a ranking system devised by the Observer newspaper, and is based on a range of indicators such as ‘use of torture, political prisoners, denial of religious freedoms and extra-judicial killings.’[31]

DuPont’s expansion into Turkey has been partially financed by the IFC (the International Finance Corporation – a branch of the World Bank). The IFC provided a loan $22.5million for the Dusa 2 Nylon expansion project, the primary sponsors of which are DuPont and the Sabanci group of Turkey.[32]

DuPont’s nylon plant in Goa
DuPont was voted one of the Worst Companies of 1995 by Multinational Monitor because of its activities in Goa, India. In 1985 DuPont formed a partnership with the Indian company Thapar to build a $217 million factory to make nylon 6,6 (a tyre ingredient) in the uplands of Goa. This venture set out on the wrong foot as far as community relations were concerned. The investors managed to get the State Economic Development Corporation to take over the factory site from a co-operative and then lease it to Thapar-DuPont Ltd. (TDL) in exchange for a State stake in the enterprise.[33]

Since industrial chemical concerns had been heightened in India since Union Carbide’s Bhopal disaster, TDL took out a full page advertisement in a local newspaper, proclaiming: “We will not handle, use, sell, transport, or dispose of a product unless we can do it in an environmentally sound manner.” What the advertisement neglected to say was that DuPont’s contract with TDL exempted it from liability for environmental claims or a Bhopal-style industrial accident.[34]

Activists from the environmental group the Goa Foundation managed to intercept an electronic message from DuPont to Goan project manager Sam Singh. The message acknowledged that the company had not taken appropriate measures to ensure four critical types of pollution control for the plant: groundwater protection, waste water treatment, solid waste recycling and air pollution control. Indian activists also acquired information concerning the hazardous chemicals that TDL was planning to use at the Goa facility and decided that they did not want the company as a neighbour. They first stormed the construction site in October 1994. Despite police repression, the protests continued into January 1995, when protesters refused to allow a bus load of US DuPont officials onto the factory site. Police responded by opening fire, killing 25 year-old Nilesh Naik. Naik’s funeral was held at the factory site. Before his funeral pyre was lit, somebody blew up the factory’s electricity generator.[35]

Finally getting the message, TDL began negotiating to reopen the factory elsewhere. In June 1995, it signed a memorandum of understanding with the state of Tamil Nadu to relocate the factory near Madras. S.N. Krishnan, the plant director, told the Indian paper Frontline that in the new plant 95% of the effluents would be recycled for use by the plant (compared to 70% at the Goan plant). Opposition in Tamil Nadu focussed on environmental concerns as well as the incentives that the State offered the company. These included: 150 acres of land, electricity at one-third of the usual industrial rate, a commitment of one million gallons of water a day and other subsidies and tax concessions.[36] In 1999 DuPont decided to cease Nylon production in India altogether, citing financial concerns as the reason for the decision.[37]

Back to top

Endangering the public’s health

 

Numerous DuPont products and the pollution caused by their production have been implicated in a range of different health problems, including cancer and birth defects (see also Pollution).

DuPont has faced criticism for endangering the health of both its employees and the public (see also Working Conditions).

According to the Working Group on the Community’s Right to Know, a 1998 analysis of ten DuPont chemical plants shows that up to seven million people in surrounding communities are at risk from potential worst-case chemical accidents. The analysis of the plants’ hazards addressed three chemicals commonly associated with chemical accidents -chlorine, ammonia, and hydrofluoric acid.[38]

Irresponsible waste disposal

DuPont has an appalling record of irresponsible waste disposal although it is impossible to quantify how many people’s lives have been adversely affected by the company’s dash for profits at any cost.

In 1990 it was revealed that a former DuPont landfill site, in Newport, New Castle County, Delaware had contaminated the groundwater both on and off the site, with heavy metals, including barium, cadmium, and zinc, as well as trichloroethylene and tetrachloroethylene. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the pollution potentially threatened the water supply of 131,000 people.[39]

DuPont is one of the companies that operates in what has become known as “Chemical Valley” in Sarnia, Ontario. Chemicals discharged into the St. Clair River from this site include mercury, chlorinated organics, volatile hydrocarbons, PCBs and lead. The high levels of birth defects and cancer among indigenous residents on Walpoe Island have been attributed to pollution from the site.[40]

In 1998 DuPont was ordered by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to carry out a $65 million clean up of its Necco Park landfill site near Niagara Falls. This was necessary due to concerns regarding hazardous liquid seepage from the site.[41]

Back to top

Pesticide production
Some of the chemicals used in pesticides produced and marketed by DuPont have been linked to brain damage and disruption of the hormone system. [42] The company has also faced a string of lawsuits in recent years, brought by parents whose children were born without eyes. These defects are alleged to have occurred due to the children’s mothers being exposed to the fungicide Benlate whilst pregnant (See Benlate).[43]

In 1994 DuPont agreed to phase out its toxic herbicide Cyanazine by 1999, when the US EPA discovered that it and other related herbicides were contaminating drinking water in parts of the US.[44] DuPont’s Sulfonylurea (SU) Herbicides, which it bills as environmentally sound and cost-effective, have also been found to be toxic according to studies by the US EPA and the National Coalition against the Misuse of Pesticides. These chemicals may also contaminate surface and ground waters, due to their high solubility in water and low soil absorption.[45]

DuPont has been criticised for exporting pesticides to developing countries, such as DDT, aldrin, clordane, and clorobenzolate, that have been banned in the US. However, even pesticides that are considered scientifically ‘safe’ can be dangerous in these areas. Due high illiteracy levels, farmers may ignore, or not understand, warning labels or instructions for proper use. Pesticides applied in too large doses, or to the wrong crops result in lethal consequences.[46] DuPont was recently fined $1.89 million by the US EPA for shipping pesticides on 380 occasions, without adequate labelling specifying that protective eyewear should be used when handling the product.[47]

Lead paint
The company is one of several facing dozens of lawsuits seeking recovery of lead paint damage and cleanup costs. State, county and local governments in New Jersey and Rhode Island in the US argue that lead paint manufacturers should have known and warned of health dangers.[48]

Formaldehyde
DuPont is a major producer of formaldehyde. This chemical is a known carcinogen and is also implicated in other health problems such as respiratory illness. Despite this, DuPont has vigorously fought efforts to get the chemical banned, using spurious science and disinformation. It is one of the companies that provided funding for the Formaldehyde Institute, a corporate front group set up to defend the chemical (see Influencing Research and Education).[49]

Dioxins
DuPont and other chemical companies have been accused of trying to suppress evidence regarding the severe toxicity of dioxins, hardly surprising given the quantities of these carcinogens they churn out every year. [50] Recently, residents in Mississippi, in the US, threatened a $3 billion lawsuit against DuPont, claiming damage from dioxin pollution. The pollution was left in wastes similar to those found piled near DuPont’s Edge Moor titanium dioxide plant in Delaware in 2001, for which the US EPA is forcing DuPont to pay approximately $12.4 million in remediation costs.[51]

Back to top

Pollution

(see also Endangering the public’s health)

DuPont has an appalling pollution record and is responsible for the production of a wide range of polluting chemicals. In 1999 DuPont was listed by the US Public Interest Research Groups as one of the ‘Dirty Five’ – the five biggest polluters in the US – that together spent $6,523,677 over the period 1991-1998 in lobbying Congress, the House of Representatives and Superfund-related committees in order to prevent stricter legislation (see Influence).

In 1996 DuPont’s proposal to dispose of 85 tons of toxic pollutants a year into the Guadalupe River in Texas prompted a local shrimper, Dianne Wilson, to go on hunger strike for 31 days. The proposal related to a DuPont facility, which already disposed of 20 million gallons of wastewater a day, mainly through seven underground injection wells. Ms Wilson argued that “DuPont’s decision to begin toxic discharge into the Guadalupe River threatens an already sick bay. There is no need for this. Zero discharge is possible right now. All I am asking is that DuPont do a feasibility study to find out what it would take to achieve zero wastewater discharge from its Victoria plant.” DuPont however refused to accede to Wilson’s demands. This is despite the fact that independent research has demonstrated that virtually any petrochemical plant can go to zero water discharge with an additional capital investment of about 2 percent. [52]

In March 1991, the area around DuPont’s Quimica Fluor plant in Matamoros, Mexico, was judged so toxic that the Mexican President ordered 30,000 people to give up their homes in order to create a two mile buffer zone around the site. The company paid $2.16 million to nearby farmers whose crops were damaged by toxic releases.[53]

Oil exploration
Although DuPont has now sold its oil subsidiary Conoco, in the past this company was responsible for its fair share of environmental devastation and had an appalling Health and Safety record.[54] Since DuPont today still remains heavily dependent on the oil industry to provide it with the raw materials of its business, the company must shoulder its share of the blame for the atrocities committed by its suppliers.

Global warming and carbon trading
Through its production of energy intensive petrochemical-based synthetic fibres, DuPont is a major contributor to global warming.[55] The company produces large quantities of the greenhouse gases CO2, N2O (which has 310 times the warming effect of CO2), HFCs and PFCs[56]. DuPont is also reported to have provided funding for the Global Climate Coalition, a global fossil-fuel lobby set up by Burson-Marsteller in 1989 in an attempt to discredit scientific evidence for global warming.[57]

More recently, DuPont has been making a small fortune at the taxpayers expense through the new UK emissions trading scheme. This year the company looks set to walk away with £26.7 million of taxpayers’ money by bidding in emissions targets that have already been met as a result of regulatory requirements. According to the ENDS Report, the company looks set to meet its emissions target without lifting a finger and stands to make millions more by selling emissions credits of “dubious integrity”.[58]

Back to top

3 case studies:

The following three examples show just how far DuPont is prepared to go to keep its toxic products on the market, regardless of their detrimental effects on human health and the environment.

· Tetraethyl lead
In the 1920s DuPont and General Motors developed tetraethyl lead, also known as ethyl, to help car engines run more smoothly (see History and Strategy). The product has been labelled by the World Health Organisation as “the mistake of the 20th Century”.[59] The lead ingredient of leaded petrol, TEL is said to account for 80-90% of all environmental lead contamination and is known to retard the mental development of children, cause hypertension in adults and impair coordination.[60] According to Curtis Moore, former counsel to US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, leaded gasoline “has irrevocably damaged the intelligence of two generations of American children and is responsible for 50,000 deaths a year by heart attack and stroke”.[61]

The chemical was discovered to be dangerous to human health quite early on. In 1924, reports broke out that 80 percent of workers involved in the production of TEL at DuPont and Standard Oil plants had been killed or severely poisoned. When TEL was pulled off the market, DuPont ran a series of advertisements in Life magazine, and managed to reverse the decision after a hearing in which it called TEL an “apparent Gift of God”. To entrench its market position, DuPont introduced a new car engine that ran only on leaded petrol. The product was finally banned half a century later, after scientists conclusively proved its detrimental affects. In December 1988, the US Department of Justice sought to collect $9.2 million from DP for illegally blending excessively high levels of lead into gasoline between 1983-1985.[62]

Once banned in the US in the 1980s, DuPont exported TEL to other countries where it was not banned. With Pemex, the Mexican Oil Company, it exported TEL to Latin America. DuPont finally sold its 40% shares in the production plant in Coatzalcoalcos, Mexico in 1992. According to the Council on Economic Priorities 1993 report on DuPont, the company has “aggressively promoted the use of leaded gasoline”.[63]

· Ozone depletants (CFCs, HCFCs)
“The parallel’s between DuPont’s handling of CFCs and Ethyl are striking. Both were invented by the same team in the same lab at roughly the same time…the DuPont company adopted similar strategies to maintain sales of these environmentally hazardous products. In both cases, DuPont answered critics’ concerns about health and environmental hazards with bold faced denials.”

Curtis Moore, Multinational Monitor, 3/1990[64]

CFCs were developed and patented by DuPont in the 1930s. In 1993, the company supplied 25% of the global CFC market and almost 50% of the US market. When ozone depletion was identified in 1974, DuPont was prominent in downplaying the scientific findings and in “orchestrating a political campaign to forestall regulation.”[65] At the same time the company was investing in researching alternatives. To strengthen the commercial sector drive for a non-regulatory approach, DuPont used its network to establish the Alliance for Responsible CFC Policy.[66] However, as the threat of federal legislation died down with the Reagan Administration, DuPont put a stop to its $3-4 million research programme for alternatives.[67]

In 1988, when pressure against the use of CFCs again began to mount, DuPont pledged to cease CFC production by 2000. As part of its solution strategy, the company put forward two of its products – Hydrochloroflourocarbons (HCFCs) and Hydroflourocarbons (HFCs) as substitutes for CFCs. At the time, neither of these chemicals were regulated by the Montreal Protocol or the US Environmental Protection Agency. HCFCs, however, have proven to be ozone depleters and greenhouse gases, while HFCs are potent greenhouse gases. As HCFCs and HFCs began to be criticised for their environmental effects, DuPont once again launched a multi-pronged strategy to ensure weak regulation and a distant phase-out.[68]

According to a 1996 Third World Network (TWN) report, DuPont will continue to manufacture CFCs in the US and other industrialised countries for export to the less-industrialised world until 2010. The company will also continue the use of HCFCs in industrialised countries until 2030, with no termination date set for less industrialised countries. The company is still also involved in the production of HFCs. [69] According to Jack Doyle from TWN “DuPont is probably most culpable for stringing out the CFC era for its own business reasons and for delaying a shift to safe alternatives.”[70]

Back to top

· Benlate
On April 19th 2001 DuPont announced that by the end of the year it would stop selling the fungicide Benlate, after 33 years on the market. The company cited the high legal cost of defending the product as the reason for its decision. Litigation and settlement charges relating to the compound have cost the company approximately $1 billion over the last ten years. DuPont has set aside additional money to cover future losses and litigation expenses, bringing the total financial cost to $1.3 billion dollars.[71]

DuPont’s problems with the fungicide began in 1992 when it recalled its Benlate 50DF fungicide, in response to complaints from more than 2,100 US growers that the chemical had ruined their crops and land. The fungicide is believed to have been contaminated with a herbicide. By November of that year the company had paid more than $510 million in damages. The company then abruptly stopped payments however, claiming that its own tests showed that Benlate could not have caused the damage. As a result, more than 400 lawsuits were filed against the company in 21 states. Since then the company has been reprimanded five times by US for abusive litigation tactics and misconduct, including concealing evidence that supported the growers’ claims. DuPont was accused of shredding documents, destroying dead and dying plants, mislabelling documents and producing illegible records in an effort to withhold the results.[72]

In one of the cases US District Court Judge J. Robert Elliot fined DuPont $115 million. In his decision Elliot wrote that “Put in layperson’s terms DuPont cheated…and it cheated deliberately and with purpose.”[73] In August 2001, a Florida jury found the company liable under Florida’s racketeering statute (this allows plaintiffs to recover treble damages where they can prove a continuing pattern of fraud) and for product defect involving alleged crop damage. Plaintiffs are seeking to have judgement entered for about $88.5 million. As of 2001, DuPont plans to appeal.[74]

Twenty-eight cases are also pending against DuPont in the State Court in Broward County, Florida. These cases were brought by Ecuadorian shrimp farmers, who allege that Benlate run-off from banana plantations poisoned their shrimp farms. The company lost two cases to the shrimp farmers in the autumn of 2000 and in early 2001, and was ordered to pay $10.2 million and $12.3 million respectively. The company has appealed both cases. DuPont contends that the injuries alleged are attributable to a virus, Taura Syndrome Virus, and in no way involved Benlate. The untried cases are on hold awaiting resolution by the appellate court of the case tried in 2000.[75]

There are also concerns about the impact of Benlate on human health. The company has faced a string of lawsuits in recent years, brought by parents whose children were born without eyes. These defects are alleged to have occurred due to the children’s mothers being exposed to the fungicide Benlate whilst pregnant.[76] Reports in the UK from the Pesticides Trust indicate that the fungicide can cause eye birth defects at high dose exposure.[77]

The whole Benlate affair is a constant headache to DuPont, with approximately 110 cases pending and no end in site. Nevertheless the company still purports that “Benlate did not cause the damages alleged in these cases” and “denies the allegations of fraud and misconduct.”[78]

Back to top


References
[1] DuPont (2002) Charles O. Holliday: Chairman and CEO, http://www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/holliday.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[2] Mattera, P. (1992) World Class Business, cited in A SEED (1999) DuPont Profile, http://www.groundup.org/dupont/dp1.htm, viewed 31/3/02

[3] Multinational Monitor, 3 (1990), cited in A SEED (1999) DuPont Profile, http://www.groundup.org/dupont/dp1.htm, viewed 31/3/02

[4] DuPont “The Miracles of Science?” DuPont moves to control and manipulate seed, http://www.primalseeds.org/dupont.htm, viewed 22/10/02.

[5] Hayes, P. (1987) Industry and Ideology: JG Farben in the Nazi Era, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

[6] Ethical Consumer, 58: research suppl. p. 24-25

[7] More About DuPont, Ethical Matters Magazine, http://www.getethical.com/matters/az.html, viewed 22/10/02

[8] ETC Group (2002) DuPont and Monsanto – “Living in Sinergy”? 9/5/02, http://www.rafi.org/documents/nr2002apr9.pdf, viewed 22/10/02.

[9] Cray, C. (2000) Monsanto Sued, Multinational Monitor 21:(1 & 2) http://www.essential.org/monitor/mm2000/mm0001.03a.html, viewed 22/10/02

[10] DuPont (2002) US SEC form 10-K, for the year ending 31st December 2001, available at: http://ccbn.tenkwizard.com/filing.php?repo=tenk&ipage=1683309&doc=1&pg=zsnHzMzPxtHOz8zKzcnNx8/P&TK=DD&CK=0000030554&FG=3&BK=FFFFFF&SC=ON&TC=FFFFFF&TC1=FFFFFF&TC2=FFFFFF&LK=003366&AL=003366&VL=003366 , viewed 22/10/02

[11] Greenpeace (2001) Stop Biopiracy and Tricky Patents, www.greenpeace.org/~geneng/reports/pat/FAO.pdf viewed
31/3/02; Greenpeace (2000) Patents on Life granted by EPO: An overview of recent cases, www.greenpeace.org/~geneng/reports/pat/PATENTnov4.PDF viewed 31/3/02.

[12] Ibid.

[13] Ibid.

[14] RAFI (2000) The mouse that roared on animal farm: Canadian courts rule that mammals can be a patented invention, 10/8/02,

[15] A SEED (1999) DuPont Profile, http://www.groundup.org/dupont/dp1.htm, viewed 31/3/02.

[16] ETC Group (2002) Sterile Harvest: New Crop of Terminator Patents Threatens Food Sovereignty, News release, 31/1/02,

[17] Cray, C (2000) The View from Wall Street, Multinational Monitor, 21:(1 & 2) http://www.essential.org/monitor/mm2000/mm0001.07.html, viewed 22/10/02.

[18] Janoff, B. (2000) Foods for Thought, Progressive Grocer, January 2000, p. 62.

[19] Mattera, P. (1992) World Class Business, cited in A SEED (1999) DuPont Profile, www.groundup.org/dupont/dp1.htm , viewed 31/3/02.

[20] A SEED (1999) DuPont Profile, http://www.groundup.org/dupont/dp1.htm, viewed 31/3/02.

[21] Mohikber, R. & Wheat, A. (1995) DuPont’s Goa Constrictor, Shameless: 1995’s 10 Worst Corporations, http://www.ratical.org/corporations/mm10worst95.html#n9 viewed 31/3/02

[22] A SEED (1999) DuPont Profile, http://www.groundup.org/dupont/dp1.htm, viewed 31/3/02.

[23] OSHA (1999) DuPont company agrees to pay $70,000 OSHA penalty and initiates safety and health improvements at Seaford plant, Region 3 News Release: III-99-02-23-013-DE, 23/2/99, http://www.osha.gov/media/oshnews/feb99/dupont19990223.html, viewed 22/10/02.

[24] Transnational Observatory (2002) Prison labour, http://www.transnationale.org/anglais/dossiers/finance/emploi_2.htm, viewed 5/11/02.

[25] Milford, M. (2002) DuPont raises health premiums: Retirees, employees both will pay more, 17/10/02 . http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/local/2002/10/17dupontraiseshea.html, viewed 21/10/02.

[26] Sexton, S. (1993) The Reproductive Hazards of Industrial Chemicals: The Politics of Protection, The Corner House, http://www.thecornerhouse.org.uk/document/reprohaz.html, viewed 6/11/02.

[27] Mattera, P. (1992) World Class Business, cited in A SEED (1999) DuPont Profile, www.groundup.org/dupont/dp1.htm, viewed 31/3/02.

[28] Bruno, K. (1995) Gujarat’s Industrial Sacrifice Zones, Multinational Monitor, 16:(7 & 8). http://www.essential.org/monitor/hyper/mm0795.06.html, viewed 22/10/02.

[29] Mohikber, R. & Wheat, A. (1995) DuPont’s Goa Constrictor, Shameless: 1995’s 10 Worst Corporations, http://www.ratical.org/corporations/mm10worst95.html#n9 viewed 31/3/02.

[30] DuPont (2002) US SEC form 10-K, for the year ending 31st December 2001, available at:

http://ccbn.tenkwizard.com/filing.php?repo=tenk&ipage=1683309&doc=1&pg=zsnHzMzPxtHOz8zKzcnNx8/P&TK=DD&CK=0000030554&FG=3&BK=FFFFFF&SC=ON&TC=FFFFFF&TC1=FFFFFF&TC2=FFFFFF&LK=003366&AL=003366&VL=003366 , viewed 22/10/02.

[31]Harrison, R. (2001) Oppressive Regimes? Ethical Consumer: 69:19.

[32] http://www.essential.org/monitor/mm2001/01september/sep01corp1s2.html
[33] Mohikber, R. & Wheat, A. (1995) DuPont’s Goa Constrictor, Shameless: 1995’s 10 Worst Corporations, http://www.ratical.org/corporations/mm10worst95.html#n9 viewed 31/3/02.

[34] Ibid.

[35] Ibid.

[36] ibid.

[37] domain-b (1999) DuPont prunes nylon projects in Asia-Pacific, www.domain-b.com/companies/companies_d/dupont/19990918dupont.html , viewed 6/11/02.

[38] Working Group on the Community Right to Know, May 1998, cited in A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[39] EPA (1990) E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., Inc. (Newport pigment plant landfill), Newport, Delaware: Federal Register Notice, 21/2/90

[40] Lilliston, B. (1992) Island of Poison, Multinational Monitor http://www.essential.org/monitor/hyper/issues/1992/09/mm0992_05.html , viewed 22/10/02.

[41] EPA (1998) EPA selects $65 million cleanup for chemical contamination at Necco Park in Niagara and orders DuPont to perform the remedy for release, 30/9/98, http://www.epa.gov/region2/epd/98136.htm, viewed 22/10/02.

[42] FOE press release (26/3/02) Pesticide Safety Advice for Children to be Withdrawn, http://www.foe.co.uk/pubsinfo/infoteam/pressrel/2002/20020326141308.html, Viewed 27/3/02

[43] Agulnick, S. (2001) First crop damage charges, then claims of birth defects, http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/business/2001/04/22benlatehealth.html, Viewed 3/5/02

[44] Fagin, D., Lavelle, M. & The Center For Public Integrity (1999) Toxic Deception: How the chemical industry manipulates science, bends the law and endangers your health, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine.

[45] A SEED (1999) DuPont Profile, http://www.groundup.org/dupont/dp1.htm, viewed 31/3/02

[46] Sparks, S (1988) Pesticides in Mexico, Multinational Monitor, 9(10) http://www.essential.org/monitor/hyper/issues/1988/10/mm1088_06.html
[47] A SEED (1999) DuPont Profile, http://www.groundup.org/dupont/dp1.htm, viewed 31/3/02; Mohikber, R. (1998) DuPont Pesticides in the Eye, Names in the News, Multinational Monitor, 19 (8), http://www.essential.org/monitor/mm1998/98may/names.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[48] Montgomery, J. (2002) Toxic woes bring a cleaner company, 30/06/2002, www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/business/2002/06/30toxicwoesbringa.html, viewed 21/10/02

[49] Fagin, D., Lavelle, M. & The Center For Public Integrity (1999) Toxic Deception: How the chemical industry manipulates science, bends the law and endangers your health, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine, p. 41.

[50] ECES (2001) Beyond Closed Doors: New report details how chemical industry works to hide truth about severe toxicity of dioxins, 4/3/01, Pollution: Dioxin (including Agent Orange), http://eces.org/ec/pollution/dioxin.shtml, viewed 28/10/02; Fagin, D., Lavelle, M. & The Center For Public Integrity (1999) Toxic Deception: How the chemical industry manipulates science, bends the law and endangers your health, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine

[51] Montgomery, J. (2002) Toxic woes bring a cleaner company, 30/06/2002, www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/business/2002/06/30toxicwoesbringa.html,

viewed 21/10/02; DuPont (2002) US SEC form 10-K, for the year ending 31st December 2001, available at: http://ccbn.tenkwizard.com/filing.php?repo=tenk&ipage=1683309&doc=1&pg=zsnHzMzPxtHOz8zKzcnNx8/P&TK=DD&CK=0000030554&FG=3&BK=FFFFFF&SC=ON&TC=FFFFFF&TC1=FFFFFF&TC2=FFFFFF&LK=003366&AL=003366&VL=003366, viewed 22/10/02.

[52] Multinational Monitor (1996) Hunger Striking DuPont, July/August 1996, http://www.essential.org/monitor/hyper/mm0796.03.html, viewed 22/10/02.

[53] TWN (1996) Greenwash: The Reality Behind Corporate Environmentalism, cited in A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[54] Multinational Monitor (1991) Of Oil and Exploitation in Ecuador, Mulinational Monitor, 1, http://www.essential.org/monitor/hyper/issues/1991/01/mm0191_07.html, viewed 22/10/02; Daly, N. (1995) Book Review of Losing Ground by Mark Dowie, Multinational Monitor, (May) http://www.essential.org/monitor/hyper/mm0595, viewed 22/10/02; Carbon Kingpins: The Changing Face of the Greenhouse Gas Industries, Multinational Monitor, 20 (6) http://www.essential.org/monitor/mm1999/99june/carbon.html viewed 31/3/02; Mokhiber,R (1995) Names in the News, Multinational Monitor http://www.essential.org/monitor/hyper/issues/1995/05/mm0595_11.html, viewed 22/10/02.

[55] Primal Seeds, DuPont “The Miracles of Science?”: DuPont moves to control and manipulate seed, http://www.primalseeds.org/dupont.htm, viewed 22/10/02.

[56] DuPont (2002) Annual Report 2001, available at: http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/nys/dd/reports/ar2001.pdf, viewed 23/10/02; DuPont (2002) Data Book 2001, http://www.dupont.com/corp/news/publications/dupfinancial/01databk.pdf, viewed 2/11/02.

[57] A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[58] ENDS (2002) “Hot air” blows gaping hole in emissions trading scheme, ENDS Report 326:25-29.

[59] Shy, C. (1990) World Health Statistics Quarterly, 43(3), cited in A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[60] Washington Post, 20/12/88, cited in A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm , viewed 2/11/02.

[61] Multinational Monitor, March 1990, cited in A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm , viewed 2/11/02.

[62] A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[63] Ibid.

[64] Cited in A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[65] A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[66] Greenpeace (1997) DuPont: a case study in the 3D corporate strategy, http://archive.greenpeace.org/~ozone/greenfreeze/moral97/6dupont.html, viewed 2/11/02

[67] Heerings, H. & Zeldenrust, I. The Elusive Saviours: Transnational Corporations and Sustainable Development, CONTRAST Advies, available at: http://www.xs4all.nl/~contrast/elusive/book.html, viewed 22/10/02; A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[68] A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[69] DuPont (2002) Annual Report 2001, available at: http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_files/nys/dd/reports/ar2001.pdf, viewed 23/10/02

[70] A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02; Heerings, H. & Zeldenrust, I. The Elusive Saviours: Transnational Corporations and Sustainable Development, CONTRAST Advies, available at: http://www.xs4all.nl/~contrast/elusive/book.html, viewed 22/10/02

[71] Reuters (2001) DuPont halts sale of fungicide Benlate, April 19th, 2001, cited at www.mindfully.org/Pesticide/DuPont-Withdraws-Benlate.htm, viewed 22/10/02.

[72] Geyelin, M. (2001) DuPont ordered to pay damages of $78.3 million in Benlate case, Wall Street Journal, 13/8/01.

[73] Fagin, D., Lavelle, M. & The Center For Public Integrity (1999) Toxic Deception: How the chemical industry manipulates science, bends the law and endangers your health, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine.

[74] Geyelin, M. (2001) DuPont ordered to pay damages of $78.3 million in Benlate case, Wall Street Journal, 13/8/01; DuPont (2002) US SEC form 10-K, for the year ending 31/12/01, available at: http://ccbn.tenkwizard.com/filing.php?repo=tenk&ipage=1683309&doc=1&pg=zsnHzMzPxtHOz8zKzcnNx8/P&TK=DD&CK=0000030554&FG=3&BK=FFFFFF&SC=ON&TC=FFFFFF&TC1=FFFFFF&TC2=FFFFFF&LK=003366&AL=003366&VL=003366, viewed 22/10/02.

[75] Reuters (2001) DuPont halts sale of fungicide Benlate, April 19th, 2001, cited at www.mindfully.org/Pesticide/DuPont-Withdraws-Benlate.htm, viewed 22/10/02; DuPont (2002) US SEC form 10-K, for the year ending 31/12/01, available at: http://ccbn.tenkwizard.com/filing.php?repo=tenk&ipage=1683309&doc=1&pg=zsnHzMzPxtHOz8zKzcnNx8/P&TK=DD&CK=0000030554&FG=3&BK=FFFFFF&SC=ON&TC=FFFFFF&TC1=FFFFFF&TC2=FFFFFF&LK=003366&AL=003366&VL=003366, viewed 22/10/02.

[76] Agulnick, S. (2001) First crop damage charges, then claims of birth defects, http://www.delawareonline.com/newsjournal/business/2001/04/22benlatehealth.html, Viewed 3/5/02

[77] A SEED (1999) DuPont Profile, http://www.groundup.org/dupont/dp1.htm, viewed 31/3/02

[78] DuPont (2002) US SEC form 10-K, for the year ending 31/12/01, available at: http://ccbn.tenkwizard.com/filing.php?repo=tenk&ipage=1683309&doc=1&pg=zsnHzMzPxtHOz8zKzcnNx8/P&TK=DD&CK=0000030554&FG=3&BK=FFFFFF&SC=ON&TC=FFFFFF&TC1=FFFFFF&TC2=FFFFFF&LK=003366&AL=003366&VL=003366, viewed 22/10/02.

DuPont: Influence / Lobbying

Lobbying Activities

 

DuPont is part of a powerful industry lobby that has stubbornly delayed or obstructed progressive legislation. Jack Doyle describes the company’s strategy as follows: “DuPont typically looks for what it can live with, generally embracing the broad concepts that make the headlines while doggedly fighting over details and technical issues that the public rarely hears about. Those details, however, usually determine how effective new laws and regulations will be.” According to Doyle, the company has exerted substantial influence over key pieces of environmental protection legislation in the US, such as the Clean Water Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Oil Spill Prevention Act.[69]

The company has been named among a number of companies attempting to weaken US laws designed to hold polluters responsible. Of particular focus is the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, also known as the Superfund. According to PIRG, DuPont and others “have lobbied Congress to roll back the polluter pays principle and weaken cleanup standards at the nation’s worst waste sites.” PIRG also accuse the company and its industry associates of fighting “efforts to expand the public’s right to know about toxic chemicals used in the workplace, consumer products and communities.”[70]

Buying Influence
As well as influencing government through lobbyists, DuPont also buys influence with cold hard cash. In 1999 DuPont was listed by PIRG as one of the ‘Dirty Five’ – the five biggest polluters in the US – that together spent $6,523,677 over the period 1991-1998 in lobbying Congress, the House of Representatives and Superfund-related committees in order to prevent stricter legislation.[71]

Another way that DuPont attempts to influence government officials and to build close relationships with them is by laying on expenses paid trips for them. This is also a favoured tactic of some of the industry lobby groups that DuPont funds such as CropLife America, Grocery Manufacturers America and the American Chemistry Council.[72]

Lobby Groups
DuPont is a member of quite an enormous number of lobby groups. Many of these organisations donate huge amounts of money to governments in the hopes of weakening or eliminating existing environmental laws and passing legislation to further their goals of profit at any cost.[73] DuPont was one of the original members of the Business Council for Sustainable Development (now the World Business Council for Sustainable Development of which DuPont is still a member), the lobby group responsible for wrecking the 1992 UNCED conference in Rio.[74]

Other lobby groups of which the company is a member of include:

 

  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) – This organisation claims to be the world’s premier business lobby group. The ICC has lobbied tirelessly for trade deregulation, striving for a world free of annoying barriers to trade such as human rights and environmental legislation.[75]

 

  • World Economic Forum bills itself as “the foremost global partnership of business, political, intellectual and other leaders of society.” It has 968 member organisations, including the largest and most powerful multinational corporations in the world.[76]

 

  • CropLife America (formerly the American Crop Protection Association) – This group claims to represent the developers, manufacturers, formulators and distributors of plant science solutions for agriculture and pest management in the United States. According to the organisation’s website, its member companies produce, sell and distribute virtually all the crop protection and biotechnology products used by American farmers.[77] The group has a biotechnology committee which acts as the legislative, regulatory and public affairs voice for the plant biotechnology industry.[78] The committee’s list of member companies reads like a Who’s Who of agri-biotech baddies and can be found at: http://www.croplifeamerica.org/public/issues/biotech/committee.html. More information on this organisation’s sinister activities can be found at http://www.ewg.org/dirtymoney/acpa.html

 

  • American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) – This organisation, founded in the early 1970s, boasts of helping to pass hundreds of state laws every year -from tax cuts to loosened environmental regulations. According to ALEC, its mission is to promote free markets, small government, states’ rights, and privatisation.[79]

 

  • Chlorine Chemistry Council (CCC)[80] – Formed by the Chemical Manufacturers Association in 1993, the CCC hired the aggressive public relations firm Mongoven, Biscoe and Duchin (MBD) to target environmental groups. Co-founder of the firm John Mongoven’s long-term strategy in countering those warning of the dangers of disrupter chemicals, says Montague of Rachel’s Weekly, is to characterise the “phase out chlorine” position as “a rejection of accepted scientific method,” as a violation of the chlorine industry’s constitutional right to “have the liberty to do what they choose,” and thus a threat to fundamental American values.[81]

 

  • US Council for International Business (USCIB) – This group was one of the most influential industry lobby groups that lobbied for the infamous Multilateral Agreement on Investment (MAI).[82] The group was founded in 1945 ‘to promote an open system of world trade, investment and finance’[83]. The USCIB is the US affiliate of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE), and most significantly, chairs the expert group of the OECD’s Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC).[84]

 

  • Business Council on National Issues (Canada) – Founded in 1976 by the CEOs of US-based Imperial Oil and Noranda, the BNCI is Canada’s version of the European and US business roundtables.[85] Over the past two decades, the BCNI’s relationship with successive Canadian governments has become increasingly intimate. The lobby group worked strenuously for the passage of the 1988 Canadian-US Free Trade Agreement[86], and organised a costly campaign to secure the election of the current neoliberal government. The BCNI also strongly supported the MAI and is a member of the OECD’s official business advisory council, BIAC.[87]

 

  • The Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (US) – SOCMA claims to be the leading trade association representing the interests of more than 320 speciality-batch and custom chemical companies that encompass every segment of the industry?from small speciality producers to large multinational corporations. The organisation boasts that it influences proposed and pending regulations on Capitol Hill and inside regulatory agencies.[88]

 

  • Council on Competitiveness (US) – A lobby of industry and trade associations aimed at prioritisation of US competitiveness and trade in US and global policy.[89]

 

  • The Business Council (US)

 

  • The Business Roundtable (US)

 

  • EuropaBio (European Association of Bioindustries)

 

  • BIO (US based Biotechnology Industry Association)

 

  • Bretton Woods Committee – A grouping of highly influential business and political figures promoting US leadership in international financial institutions. Members include Robert McNamara, Henry Kissinger and a wide array of corporations.[90]

 

  • American Plastics Council

 

  • American Petroleum Institute

 

  • USA*Engage

 

  • Grocery Manufacturers of America

 

  • American Chemistry Council,[91]

 

  • Coalition for Vehicle Choice,[92]

 

  • National Association of Manufacturers,[93]

 

  • Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE).[94]

 

  • Indian Chemical Manufacturers Association.[95]

An excellent source of information on the sinister lobbying activities of some of the US lobby groups mentioned above is the Environmental Working Group’s ‘Dirty Money’ site: http://www.ewg.org/dirtymoney/badguys.html

Back to top

‘Independent’ Scientific Panels

 

In addition to straightforward industry lobby groups DuPont also funds supposedly independent scientific panels of spurious credentials. One example is the American Council on Science and Health (ACSH). Though billed to the public as an ‘independent’ and ‘blue ribbon’ scientific panel, the ACSH is far from a neutral organization. In addition to its funding from DuPont, the ACSH has also received funding from other chemical and vinyl manufacturers such as Dow Chemical, Exxon and Monsanto and routinely parrots the corporate line. When the ACSH was set up in 1978, it went straight to the Manufacturing Chemists Association for funding (now the American Chemistry Council), promising them that ACSH’s viewpoints are “more similar to those of business than dissimilar.”[96]

Influencing research and education

“When DuPont says what the science means, that is what the science is”
– DuPont CEO Mr Edgar Woolard speaking at a trial in which DuPont was fined $115 million for a “clear pattern of concealment and misrepresentation.”[97]

Due to widespread cuts in public funding, universities are becoming increasingly dependant on industry funding to finance their research. This is extremely worrying, given the numerous examples of industry conducting misleading research and misrepresenting results to serve its own agenda. The way that DuPont has reacted to concern over the safety of Benlate, Formaldehyde and CFCs (to name but a few examples) suggest that the company is prepared to go to extraordinary lengths to keep its products on the market, regardless of their detrimental effects on both human health and the environment (see Corporate Crimes).

Collaboration between industry and academia is certainly nothing new. For example, DuPont worked with University researchers to discover Nylon. In those early years of the chemical revolution, when relatively few profitable synthetic compounds were on the market, DuPont focussed its energies on discovering new ones and helped to finance academic researchers who were doing the same. Today, with so many profitable chemicals on the market, there is less incentive for the company to invest in research for innovative products that may turn out to be far less profitable. As Nicholas Ashford from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology argues, instead of researching safer and cheaper alternatives, the academic community focuses on saving the market for chemicals in use today, because that is where the money is.[98]

Common techniques used by industry to manipulate a study to make a dangerous chemical appear to be safe are to reduce the sample size, the dosage and the length of the study. Since public interest science has become under-funded, the net result of industry’s influence is that it is extremely difficult to get an alternative view from industry-backed science. Ashford argues that “the number of really independent, good academics is such a small number that industry is able to overwhelm the science And industry’s way of looking at the science is very unbalanced.”[99]

Funding ‘independent’ research groups
DuPont funds a number of supposedly ‘independent’ research groups. Scientists from these groups testify in government hearings and in courtrooms, giving an appearance of detachment that the company would never enjoy.

One of the scientists that DuPont funds is David B. Baker who is based at Heidelburg College in Tiffin, Ohio. Baker, who is one of the most prolific researchers on herbicides, has acknowledged that funding can sometimes affect the way he presents his data. Whilst Baker’s early papers (when he relied solely on government funding) tended to emphasise the seriousness of the problem of herbicide contamination of surface water, his more recent papers have very much played down the problem. As Richard Wiles of the Environmental Working Group puts it “the tone of his data, the interpretation of his data, has changed as his funding source has changed.”[100]

Science institutes that have received funding from DuPont include:

 

  • The Formaldehyde Institute – In 1978, DuPont was one of the companies that set up the Formaldehyde Institute to defend formaldehyde in the face of damning evidence that the product caused cancer and respiratory illness. The Institute was eventually forced to dissolve in 1993 because its liability insurance company had to pay out so much in claims that it raised the Institute’s premiums enormously.[101]
  • The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (HCRA) – This is an academic centre operating as part of the Harvard University School of Public Health. Heavily financed by corporate interests, the centre was founded in 1989 to “promote reasoned public responses to health, safety, and environmental hazards by taking a broader view.”[102] A full list of the organisation’s many corporate funders can be found at: www.hcra.harvard.edu/unrestricted.html
  • World Resources Institute (WRI) – This is an international research organisation focusing on the environment and policy. Areas of research interest include the climate, biodiversity, agriculture and forestry. The WRI recently collaborated with the World Business
  • Council for Sustainable Development (see Lobby Groups) to set up a controversial international protocol, independent of the UN Climate Change Convention, that will help industry to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions from business.[103]
  • The Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology (CIIT)[104]

Bullying Tactics

In addition to buying its way into scientific credibility, DuPont has also resorted to some rather nasty bullying tactics in its attempts to influence research on its products. For example, the University of Florida virtually abandoned its research into DuPont’s notorious fungicide Benlate after a ruthless campaign by the company. The university’s decision prompted one scientist to retire in disgust (see Corporate Crimes).[105]

Back to top

Links with government

Not surprisingly DuPont has strong links with government in the US. In September 2002, DuPont CEO and Chairman, Charles Holliday Jr. was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the National Infrastructure Advisory Council.[106] Another of the company’s directors, Richard H. Brown, is a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on Trade and Policy Negotiations and of the President’s National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee.[107] Also among DuPont’s directors is William K Reilly, formerly administrator of the United Stated Environmental Protection Agency.[108] Another of DuPont’s directors, Charles M. Vest is a member of the President’s Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology.[109]

The company also has links with government in other parts of the world. Another of DuPont’s board members is Masahisa Naitoh, who has held a number of senior policy positions in the Japanese government’s Ministry of Trade and Industry. [110]

At the UN level, another DuPont director, Göran Lindahl is Under Secretary-General and Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General.[111]

The Revolving Door
The ‘revolving door’ between top levels of government and industry is well documented. According to the Center For Public Integrity, in the US virtually all the major chemical manufacturers employ former toxics regulators. The impact of this exchange is “immeasurable but significant” argues Rick Hind from Greenpeace. “When a former assistant administrator comes back as an industry lobbyist, he has a psychological edge. It affects everything – how agency officials respect his schedule, his opinions, how they give him the benefit of the doubt.”[112]

Back to top

Public Relations

 

DuPont management has played a pioneering role in the development of so-called corporate environmentalism. Like other large polluters and political heavyweights, DuPont has yet to prove that it is truly an ecologically responsible corporation, rather than an adept public relations campaigner that knows how to capture the popular vote while continuing business as usual.[113]

DuPont has spent billions of pounds on advertising campaigns designed to make people forget that they manufacture chemicals. Although the company used to promise “Better chemicals for better living” in recent years it has changed its slogan to “The miracles of science.”[114] Through its involvement with bodies such as the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (see Lobby Groups), and through public relations campaigns, DuPont has sought to establish its reputation as a socially and environmentally responsible manufacturer. In recent years the company has been becoming increasingly sophisticated in its use of language, using emotive ‘green’ sounding phrases to describe its activities. One example is the company’s recent pledge to build “a growing partnership with nature” as it becomes more involved in genetic engineering and food production.[115] All the effort appears to have largely paid off – at least in the US – where the company was ranked as the most admired US chemical company in the 2002 Fortune survey of America’s most admired companies.[116]

According to Carmelo Ruiz from PR Watch, DuPont was represented by the notorious PR company Burson-Marsteller when it was involved in nuclear research. See our Burson-Marsteller profile for more information on this company’s activities.[117] Other PR companies used by DuPont include McCann Erickson who designed the company’s global “to do list for the planet” campaign in 1999. The company’s other clients include Exxon, General Motors and Nestlé.[118]

According to Mark Thomas, Gerald Lander was the PR man responsible for DuPont’s infamous onco-Mouse – this is a mouse that has been genetically engineered to develop cancer and was the first animal ever to be patented (see Corporate Crimes).[119]

DuPont has been criticised for its ‘greenwashing’ in schools. For example it produced a poster for schools titled “Less is More — Learning About Source Reduction,” but neglected to mention its own dumping problem.[120] The company has also taken to sponsoring museum exhibitions, such as a recent exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington in the US.[121]

DuPont is a member of the Responsible Care programme, launched by the Chemical Manufacturer Association in the 1980s in response to increasing pressure from the public for stricter regulation of the chemical industry. The Responsible Care program has been heavily criticised by the US Public Interest Research Groups who claim that “Responsible Care does not provide the public or workers with any reliable way to verify an individual company’s compliance with the program. Nor does it require that the company set measurable public goals to allow the public to gauge success.”[122]

Back to top

DuPont ‘philanthropy’

 

Like many other companies, DuPont donates to various charitable causes to promote a socially and environmentally responsible image of itself. In September, In 1997 Dupont donated land in the state of Maryland to the Conservation Fund, which regularly works with large corporations. When a reporter asked whether the Fund was ‘greenwashing’ DuPont’s dirty deeds elsewhere by celebrating the company at a news conference and party at the National Press Club, Conservation Fund spokesperson Jack Lynn snapped “I can’t believe how naive you are. That is the kind of question we used to get back in the 1970s.”[123]

In an attempt to further greenwash its image, DuPont is a member of the Wildlife Habitat Council, which describes itself as a non-profit, non-lobbying group of corporations, conservation organisations and individuals dedicated to protecting and enhancing wildlife habitat. Other corporate members of the council include Monsanto, Novartis and Dow. As part of one of the council’s programs, DuPont manages various wildlife sites. One of the sites, a wetland area, has twice won a Wildlife Habitat Council Habitat of the Year award. The site also serves as an environmental education centre for students.[124]

As part of the company’s PR effort it also funds supposedly ‘independent’ scientists, research institutes and scientific panels as well a host of industry lobby groups (see Lobbying Activities and Influencing Research and Education).

Advertising Agencies

 

Advertising agencies in the UK that DuPont have used include:

Ewen Communications Ltd Kingston Upon Hull

137 Beverly Road,

Hull

HU3 1TS

Tel: (01482) 325 883

Fax: (01482) 214 879

Email: ewen@ewencom.com
Website: www.ewencom.com

The company lists ICI among its other clients.[125]

Room 29 Ltd

Sovereign House,

Cambridge Road,

Bedford

MK42 0LH

Tel: (01234) 268999

Fax: (10234) 268444

Email: info@room29.co.uk
Website: www.room29.co.uk

Other clients include labour abusers Fyffes Group Plc.[126]

Back to top


References
[69] Cited in A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[70] PIRG (1999) Super Polluters, cited in A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[71] Ibid.

[72] Fagin, D., Lavelle, M. & The Center For Public Integrity (1999) Toxic Deception: How the chemical industry manipulates science, bends the law and endangers your health, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine.

[73] EWG (2001) The Dirty PACs, www.ewg.org/dirtymoney/badguys.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[74] Heerings, H. & Zeldenrust, I. The Elusive Saviours: Transnational Corporations and Sustainable Development, CONTRAST Advies, available at: http://www.xs4all.nl/~contrast/elusive/book.html, viewed 22/10/02; A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[75] A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02

[76] Weissman, R. (2000) Melbourne Mobilization, Multinational Monitor, 21: 10 , http://www.essential.org/monitor/mm2000/00october/front1.html, viewed 22/10/02.

[77]CropLife America (2001) CropLife America launched, http://www.croplifeamerica.org/public/news/nrs/nr113001name.html, viewed 30/10/02

[78] CropLife America Biotechnology Committee, http://www.croplifeamerica.org/public/issues/biotech/committee.html , viewed 30/10/02.

[79] Transnational Observatory (2002) Prison labour, http://www.transnationale.org/anglais/dossiers/finance/emploi_2.htm , viewed 5/11/02.

[80] EWG (2001) PACs of Members of the Chlorine Chemistry Council, http://gsi.ewg.org/fp.acgi$listpacs?GROUP=G006, viewed 30/10/02.

[81] Cited in Chatterjee, P. (1996) Industry Addiction to Estrogen Mimickers & Endocrine Disrupters – Who is Sealing Our Future, CAQ Quarterly, Fall 1996, available at: http://lists.essential.org/1996/dioxin-l/msg00525.html, viewed 28/10/02.

[82] CEO (1998) Maigalomania! Citizens and the Environment Sacrificed to Corporate Investment Agenda, http://www.xs4all.nl/~ceo/mai/MAIGALOMANIA.txt, viewed 22/10/02

[83] USCIB web site, http://www.imex.com/uscib
[84] CEO (1998) Maigalomania! Citizens and the Environment Sacrificed to Corporate Investment Agenda, http://www.xs4all.nl/~ceo/mai/MAIGALOMANIA.txt, viewed 22/10/02

[85] Ibid.

[86] The FTA was the basis for the NAFTA agreement

[87] CEO (1998) Maigalomania! Citizens and the Environment Sacrificed to Corporate Investment Agenda, http://www.xs4all.nl/~ceo/mai/MAIGALOMANIA.txt, viewed 22/10/02

[88] SOCMA Member Companies, www.socma.com/Membership/MemberCompanies.htm, viewed 30/10/02; About SOCMA, www.socma.com/about/index.htm , viewed 30/10/02

[89] A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[90] Ibid.

[91] EWG (2001) The American Chemistry Council, www.ewg.org/dirtymoney/cma.html, viewed 30/10/02

[92]Coalition for Vehicle Choice (1997) National Members, www.vehiclechoice.org, viewed 30/10/02

[93]EWG (2001) PACs of Partial Members of the National Association of Manufacturers, http://gsi.ewg.org/fp.acgi$listpacs?GROUP=G011, viewed 30/10/02

[94] EWG (2001) Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment (RISE), www.ewg.org/dirtymoney/rise.html, viewed 30/10/02

[95] Associate Members, www.icmaindia.com/au03frm.html“> www.icmaindia.com/au03frm.html, viewed 30/10/02

[96] Minutes from the MCA board of directors meeting, March 16, 1978, cited in EWG (2001) The Vinyl Institute, www.ewg.org/dirtymoney/vinylinst.html“> www.ewg.org/dirtymoney/vinylinst.html, viewed 30/10/02

[97] Fagin, D., Lavelle, M. & The Center For Public Integrity (1999) Toxic Deception: How the chemical industry manipulates science, bends the law and endangers your health, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine.

[98] Ibid.

[99] Ibid.

[100] Ibid.

[101] Ibid.

[102] Clear (2000) Clear Profile: The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, http://www.clearproject.org/reports_hcra.html, viewed 30/10/02

[103] A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont, www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[104] Chatterjee, P. (1996) Industry Addiction to Estrogen Mimickers & Endocrine Disrupters – Who is Sealing Our Future, CAQ Quarterly, Fall 1996, available at: http://lists.essential.org/1996/dioxin-l/msg00525.html“> http://lists.essential.org/1996/dioxin-l/msg00525.html, viewed 28/10/02

[105] Fagin, D., Lavelle, M. & The Center For Public Integrity (1999) Toxic Deception: How the chemical industry manipulates science, bends the law and endangers your health, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine.

[106] DuPont (2002) Charles O. Holliday: Chairman and CEO, http://www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/holliday.html, viewed 2/11/02

[107] Richard H. (Dick) Brown: Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of EDS www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/dbrown.html
[108] DuPont (2002) William K. Reilly: President and CEO, Aqua International Partners LP,www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/reilly.html“> www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/reilly.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[109] DuPont (2002) Charles M. Vest: President, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/vest.html“> www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/vest.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[110] DuPont (2002) Masahisa Naitoh: Vice Chairman, ITOCHU Corporation,www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/naitoh.html“> www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/naitoh.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[111] DuPont (2002) Göran Lindahl: Under Secretary-General and Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General and Chairman, Alliance for Global Sustainability,www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/lindahl.html“> www.dupont.com/corp/overview/directors/lindahl.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[112] Fagin, D., Lavelle, M. & The Center For Public Integrity (1999) Toxic Deception: How the chemical industry manipulates science, bends the law and endangers your health, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine.

[113] A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont,www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm“> www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[114] Fagin, D., Lavelle, M. & The Center For Public Integrity (1999) Toxic Deception: How the chemical industry manipulates science, bends the law and endangers your health, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine; DuPont (2002) DuPont Overview: Company at a Glance,www.dupont.com/corp/overview/glance/index.html“> www.dupont.com/corp/overview/glance/index.html, viewed 2/11/02

[115] A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont,www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm“> www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[116] Fortune (2002) America’s most admired companies: 2002 all-stars,www.fortune.com/lists/mostadmired/indsnap_8.html“> www.fortune.com/lists/mostadmired/indsnap_8.html, viewed 2/11/02.

[117] Cited in A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont,www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm“> www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[118] A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont,www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm“> www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02.

[119] The Mark Thomas Comedy Product: Show 3, 4/2/98, www.fnord.demon.co.uk/mt/second/second3.html“> www.fnord.demon.co.uk/mt/second/second3.html, viewed 28/10/02

[120] Mokhiber, R. (1996) Names in the News, Multinational Monitor, 17:(5)www.essential.org/monitor/hyper/mm0596.09.html“> www.essential.org/monitor/hyper/mm0596.09.html, viewed 22/10/02.

[121] DuPont (2002) Celebratory Activities,www.dupont.com/corp/overview/anniversary/ann_news/nga_exhibit.html“> www.dupont.com/corp/overview/anniversary/ann_news/nga_exhibit.html, viewed 6/11/02.

[122] PIRG (1998) Trust Us, Don’t Track Us, cited in A SEED Europe (1999) DuPont, Corporate Genomics: Leading Corporate Engines of Genetic Engineering, Nov. 1999, available at:www.groundup.org/fwho.htm“> www.groundup.org/fwho.htm, viewed 1/11/02.

[123] Corporate Crime Reporter, 22/9/97, p. 7,www.essential.org/monitor/hyper/mm1297.04.html“> www.essential.org/monitor/hyper/mm1297.04.html, viewed 22/10/02.

[124] A SEED (1999) Corporate Genomics: DuPont,www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm“> www.groundup.org/fcorp.htm, viewed 2/11/02

[125] Brock, B. (2002) Advertisers Annual – The Blue Book, Hollis Publishing Ltd.

[126] Ibid.

Further Links, Contacts and Resources

The company’s website

The company’s website (www.dupont.com) provides a good general source of information on DuPont’s activities, although obviously the information it provides is quite selective.

Groups Campaigning on DuPont

 

Pesticides Action Network (PAN) UK
Webpage: www.pan-uk.org
Pesticide Action Network UK (PAN UK) is an organisation working to eliminate the use of and dependence on hazardous pesticides, while encouraging sustainable and ecological alternatives.

Communities Against Toxics
PO Box 29

Ellesmere Port

Cheshire

CH66 3TX

Tel/Fax: 0151 339 5473

Email: ralph@tcpublications.freeserve.co.uk

Communities Against Toxics (CATs) is an independent, community based grassroots environmental movement. It provides information and campaigns on incineration, toxic landfill, chemicals and health.

Intensive agriculture and genetically modified crops,
The ETC Group website (www.etcgroup.org) contains a wealth of information on agricultural intensification and GM crops.

Useful information about the chemical industry

An excellent (and highly alarming) book on the lengths that chemical companies are prepared to go to keep their toxic products on the market is:

Fagin, D., Lavelle, M. & The Center For Public Integrity (1999) Toxic Deception: How the chemical industry manipulates science, bends the law and endangers your health, Common Courage Press, Monroe, Maine.

(available from AK Press: www.akuk.com)

A useful list of Chemical Industry Trade and Research Associations from the US based Center for Public Integrity is at available at: www.publicintegrity.org/dtaweb/index.asp?L1=20&L2=33&L3=50&L4=60&L5=0

Find out how the chemical industry spins, distorts, and twists the facts to suit its purposes — and to prevent the public from finding out how dangerous their products really are, at the Environmental Working Group’s Chemical Industry Archive: www.chemicalindustryarchives.org/

A useful archive of news articles relating to chemical companies can be found on the Business and Human Rights website at: www.business-humanrights.org/Chemical.htm.


Research like this takes time and money. By supporting us with a monthly donation, you will help us keep doing it. Click here to make a regular contribution.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *