Update on 10 May 2013:
The assertion that access to public water should not be a public right was implied, not actually stated by now Chairman of the Board Peter Brabeck. I unwittingly copied this headline from a separate article that contained the embedded video. Please forgive my oversight.
The video was actually filmed in 2005, when Mr. Brabeck was still CEO of Nestlé. But, it resurfaced recently and was left undated, leading me to believe that it was made more recently. Again, forgive my oversight.
I am happy to witness the many discussions that have taken place around this 2005 video made with Brabeck and whether or not corporations should be allowed to monopolize water supplies. I wonder if Brabeck has reviewed his stance on genetically engineered foods since that time.
I found an article containing more on the story of Peter Brabeck. It turns out, he is involved with more than just the Nestlé corporation. Andrew Gavin Marshall calls him a, “Friendly neighborhood global oligarch.”
Nestlé has aroused controversy for its relations with labour, exploiting farmers, pollution, and human rights violations, among many other things. Nestlé has been implicated in the kidnapping and murder of a union activist and employee of the company’s subsidiary in Colombia, with a judge demanding the prosecutor to “investigate leading managers of Nestle-Cicolac to clarify their likely involvementand/or planning of the murder of union leader Luciano Enrique Romero Molina.” In 2012, a Colombian trade union and a human rights group filed charges against Nestlé for negligence over the murder of their former employee Romero.
More recently, Nestlé has been found liable over spying on NGOs, with the company hiring a private security company to infiltrate an anti-globalization group, and while a judge ordered the company to pay compensation, a Nestlé spokesperson stated that, “incitement to infiltration is against Nestlé’s corporate business principles.” Just like child slavery, presumably. But not to worry, the spokesman said, “we will take appropriate action.”
Peter Brabeck, who it should be noted, also sits on the boards of Exxon, L’Oréal, and the banking giant Credit Suisse, warned in 2009 that the global economic crisis would be “very deep” and that, “this crisis will go on for a long period.” On top of that, the food crisis would be “getting worse” over time, hitting poor people the hardest. However, propping up the financial sector through massive bailouts was, in his view, “absolutely essential.” But not to worry, as banks are bailed out by governments, who hand the bill to the population, which pays for the crisis through reduced standards of living and exploitation (which we call “austerity” and “structural reform” measures), Nestlé has been able to adapt to a new market of impoverished people, selling cheaper products to more people who now have less money. And better yet, it’s been making massive profits. And remember, according to Brabeck, isn’t that all that really matters?
This is the world according to corporations. Unfortunately, while it creates enormous wealth, it is also leading to the inevitable extinction of our species, and possibly all life on earth. But that’s not a concern of corporations, so it doesn’t concern those who run corporations, who make the important decisions, and pressure and purchase our politicians.
Mr. Brabeck speaks for the 1% when he asserts in this propagandist spiel that, “Man is now in the position of being able to provide some balance to Nature.”
Is everything that comes from Nature good, he asks. Although evidence shows that, “Organic is best,” this very wealthy businessman would have us believe that, “Organic is not best.”
“After 15 years of eating GM food products in the USA, not one single illness has occurred from eating them to date,” he asserts.
“And in spite of this, we’re all so uneasy about it in Europe… that something might happen to us.”
“It’s hypocrisy more than anything else,” he concludes.
I have presented several studies here definitively concluding that pesticides, herbicides, growth hormones, overused antibiotics and genetically engineered foods do cause harm to humans, livestock, honeybees, wildlife, etc.. Europeans have good reason to be “uneasy” about “GM food products”.
Water should be classified as a “foodstuff” because water is an important “raw material” that should be privatized for the marketplace, Brabeck continues.
Nestlé foods employs 275,000 people who might otherwise not have a job. Mr. Brabeck has been hired to look after the interest of his companies’ share holders, therefore he has no interest in ensuring “public rights”.
He argues that nature needs human intervention in order to work properly. But, there are thousands of years of proof that Nature functions well without human help. Many, scattered, pre-historic, megalithic monuments were built so solidly that they will no-doubt outlive the Nestlé foods’ post-modern, steel- framed headquarters. Can this modern building track the movements of the heavens, like Stonehenge or Machu Pichu do?
Modern architecture has not been built to last. Post-modernism only exposes the cracks of modernity. This decade, modernity reeks of built-in obsolescence. Nature needs no intervention. Monopolizing the Earth’s natural resources for profit over people must not be tolerated.
Brabeck believes that we now have everything we want, we live longer and have access to more money than ever before. Do we actually live longer than we ever have? Are we now healthier than we’ve ever been as a species? Health in the USA looks, frankly dismal at present. Again, he is only speaking for a very few.
As Nature is the great equalizer, I certainly hope that a sinkhole doesn’t swallow the Nestlé headquarters, although I doubt that even a natural catastrophe of that magnitude would sway Mr. Brabeck from his “survival of the fittest” notions of personal superiority.
I wonder how much this man is paid per year to play his role as CEO of one of the largest food manufacturers? He says that it’s his responsibility is to, “Maintain and ensure the successful and profitable future of his enterprise.”
He also says that the long-term survival of his company must come before finding “solutions” to “problems that exist in the world“.
For Brabeck, it’s all about the bottom line. His business stands to make a huge profit from ownership of one/some of Earth’s aquifers. Nestlé could then hoard tons of clean water, bottle it in plastic and sell it back to the parched masses. Business would be booming. And, although the manufacturing plants would be mostly automated, many more people could be employed at just above minimum wage to provide the labor.
Water should never be privatized. It’s time to stop supporting megalomaniacal CEOs of corporations which seek complete control over Earth’s resources only to benefit a very rich few, while the rest of us suffer from shortages, mainly the poorest.