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The following YouTube video by Jake Tran chronicles the scandals surrounding Nestle, the global food superconglomerate. Nestle’s alleged misdeeds range from bribing medical doctors, to contracting farms that use slave labor. These allegations may or may not be true, but they raise concerns about corporate brands and regulatory organizations. We should all scrutinize whether our food and medicines are safe and ethical.

The first controversy described in the video is Nestle’s invention of baby formula in the 1970’s. It was useful for mothers who couldn’t give breast milk for whatever reason, but Nestle wasn’t satisfied selling to just them. So they either paid doctors to recommend it to everyone, or used actors playing doctors and nurses in their advertisements. Nestle representatives were brought before the US Congress in 1978 to answer for infants’ malnutrition in developing countries. The World Health Organization proposed stricter regulations for marketing the formula, but not all countries follow them.

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The next issue brought up in the video is Nestle’s bottled water. A company can draw tap water from a reservoir, give it a fancy label, and sell it for an astounding markup. Nestle was sued for false advertising in 2012. Even worse, it was accused of diverting clean water in Pakistan, then reselling it to the locals at exorbitant prices.

The third scandal is a report in 2000. It said that Nestle sources coca crops from African farms that use forced child labor. “Blood chocolate,” in other words. Nestle then condemned the practice, and placed “fair trade” and “environmentally friendly” logos on its labels. But critics aren’t fully convinced Nestle has changed its ways.

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Nestle has detractors around the world, but is the world’s largest food company. It’s hard to fathom how many brands it owns, unless you look for its logo on different packages. Therefore, it has a vast war chest to buy propaganda, and that includes political lobbying. When addressing crime and corruption, the accused party should always be presumed innocent until proven guilty. That said, proof is readily available in the Internet Age, and trusting the mass media narrative is simply lazy.

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