Within recent years, the public has become increasingly aware of the food we eat, and in particular, how it is being produced and what is being put into it. With each report and study that surfaces, we find that even those foods that portray themselves as being natural and healthy are full of toxins, genetically modified ingredients, disease, and are being produced in filth, often incorporating inhumane practices. This week we take a further look into the small handful of corporations that own the majority of the items we find on our grocery store shelves with our top ten countdown of the worst food companies.
Transcript of the video:
#10: The Campbell’s Soup Company.
The Campbell’s Soup Company makes the list of worst food companies due to its track record for dishonesty. In 2011, the soup conglomerate settled out of a lawsuit for its 25% less sodium label when in fact their soups contain just as much salt as regular products. In 2013 they were sued over their heart-healthy label for ignoring sodium content, and in the same year they were also sued for labeling their foods as “natural” when it contains genetically modified corn. The company tried to argue that the suit should be dismissed because the claims were preempted by prior federal approval, however the judge rejected their bid to dismiss the lawsuit stating he was “not impressed” by their argument.
It has since been reported that the company has taken a new stance on the GMO issue by supporting legislation for its disclosure, and will now label foods that contain GMO ingredients.
Like Campbell’s, Kellogg’s is not known for its honesty. As of January of 2016, the company settled on a dispute in which it was sued for claiming that its Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal improved the attentiveness, memory, and other cognitive functions in children, though the claims were not supported by any sort of competent clinical evidence. In 2014 it was reported by the Oregonian that the Kellogg’s Company spent over $1 million on pro-GMO propaganda in California, Oregon, and Washington in an effort to defeat labeling laws. The company has since switched to 100% GMO corn that also contains traces of glyphosate and BT toxins.
#8: General Mills.
Another supporter of GMO’s and active lobbyer against labeling laws, General Mills has received widespread criticism for its use of genetically modified ingredients in nearly all its foods. Like almost all the companies on this week’s list, General Mills has faced lawsuits for advertising their products as all-natural when they contain GMOs.
Until recently, the company had also been using butylated hydroxytoluene, a proven toxin, but most importantly, General Mills still uses an additive and flavor enhancer called Trisodium Phosphate, or TSP, which was also an ingredient used in industrial cleaners. The EPA eventually declared TSP unsafe for human exposure, and yet it is still found in General Mills foods. The company’s argument for the use of this toxin is that they only incorporate a very small amount into their products.
#7: Mondelėz International, formerly Kraft Foods.
As well as hiding the presence of GMO’s in their foods and actively fighting regulations that would require labeling, the Kraft Foods Company had, for years, been putting the artificial coloring agent, Yellow No. 6, in their Mac N’ Cheese recipe. Yellow No. 6 has been linked to hyperactivity, asthma, skin conditions, and cancer. In 2013, Kraft announced they would be removing the coloring agent, however in the meantime thousands of citizens have already consumed their products. The company also had to recall 6.5 million boxes of Mac N’ Cheese in mid-2015 due to metal fragments that made their way into some, and it has just recently been announced that a lawsuit has been brought against them for using cellulose, a filler made from wood chips, in their Grated Parmesan which is being advertised as 100% cheese.
While nearly everyone is aware now that sodas are not healthy, most attribute it to the high sugar content, however in the case of Coca-Cola, there are also over half a dozen chemical additives that are detrimental to one’s health. Among those chemicals are Sodium Cyclamate, a synthetic sugar substitute that was originally banned in 1969, then reinstated a decade later for no apparent reason at all. Acesulfame Potassium, which is 200 time sweeter than sugar, highly addictive, and harmful to the cardiovascular and nervous system. And aspartame, another sugar substitute that has been connected to brain tumors, Multiple Sclerosis, epilepsy, Graves’ disease, chronic fatigue, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, mental deficiency, and tuberculosis. According to one study, another compound that is added to Coca-Cola, Sodium Benzoate, damages human DNA.
Like Coca-Cola, Pepsi not only contains exuberant amounts of sugar (more so than previously believed), but a chemical compound known as 4-methylimidazole, or 4-mel, which has been linked to cancer. 4-mel is prepared with either Methylglyoxal, ammonia, and formaldehyde, or with hydroxyacetone, ammonia, and formamide. The company is also a major opponent of GMO labeling laws, and has invested millions in celebrity endorsements and advertising aimed at eliminating any connections between its product and cancer, diabetes, or obesity.
Next on our list is the Nestle Company, who sparked protests last year for its bottling operations in drought-stricken California. While it has since announced it will use less water at its California plants, citizens of Elora, Canada are now concerned about the company’s recent plans to pump 1.6 million liters of water out of a local well. The real reason Nestle made our list, however, is due to the fact it is one of three companies that uses GMOs in their infant formula, as well as the industrial poison, melamine. This same chemical was reported to have caused sickness in at least 50,000 Chinese infants in 2008.
In 2015, the company, which also owns Purina brand dog food, faced a lawsuit when around 3,000 dogs became ill, some of which died. Apparently, the company uses a chemical called propylene glycol, a known animal toxin and component of antifreeze which they claim is FDA-approved, and used in human foods such as salad dressing and cake mix.
#3: ConAgra Foods.
As with those on our list before, ConAgra Foods advertises their products as being all natural, and as can be easily surmised, they often use genetically modified ingredients. However, what has placed this food conglomerate as number three on our list is that while they claim to “make the food we love,” they have been found guilty of violating health codes due to bacterial contaminations at their food processing facilities which endangered consumers, and in some cases, led to deaths. It was also discovered in 2002 that ConAgra had been poisoning people with E. coli tainted beef for almost two years. The USDA was found to be complicit in covering the situation up.
#2: Foster Farms.
It is known widely that poultry producers such as Foster Farms inject their chickens with antibiotics, and while this practice has long been criticized, it wasn’t until 2015 that Foster Farms finally yielded and announced they would curb their antibiotic use. Aside from this common issue, however, the company was also connected to an outbreak of salmonella in 2014, forcing them to recall 170 different chicken products that came from their Fresno California facility. In 2015, numerous reports started to circulate after a video shot by an animal-rights group surfaced showing Foster Farms workers punching chickens, ripping out their feathers while they were still alive, and slamming them upside down into metal shackles. Five employees were suspended.
#1: Tyson Foods.
Tyson Foods makes number one on our list not only for incorporating deceitful practices, but for its long track-record for cruelty to animals. In 2008 it was discovered that Tyson injected its chicken eggs with antibiotics, and then labeled them as “raised without antibiotics” due to the fact it was not injected in the chickens after hatching, though it was still put in their feed. It wasn’t until 2015 that Tyson finally announced it would be phasing antibiotics out.
In 2004 and 2005 PETA conducted an undercover investigation at a slaughterhouse in Alabama, and again in 2007. Workers at the slaughterhouse were found guilty of torturing the animals, and committing disgusting acts which included urinating in the live hang area and the conveyor belt that moves the birds. In 2013, a graphic video surfaced showing the abuse in an Oklahoma hog farm that was contracted with Tyson Farms, and in 2015 an additional video surfaced showing more abuse at yet another chicken farm under contract with the company.
This concludes the Anonymous Top Ten Countdown of the worst food companies. Join us again next week for another edition. We are Anonymous. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.
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