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Defending dangerous industry practices

Bergslagstroll

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Industries have during the 20:th centuries been very successfully in defending their dangerous industry practices and profit for a long time before you finally got government regulation. Take for example the lead industries that could for a very long time continue their practice with lead in petrol and in USA even in paint for peoples houses. Or how tobacco companies for a long time denied the dangers with smoking even if their own research showed the dangers.


Also it is if often the ones with no blame or least blame and also least power to change the situation that have to pay the biggest price. Take for example children living in houses painted with lead in the USA. That lead was banned before they their even born but their houses is still full of lead. That at the same time they can't choose their they live or how much money their parents have to fix the problem, because they are just children that can't choose who their parents are. That at the same time either the government or the industries responsibility ar willing to pay the cost for children no longer being exposed to lead.


You can also look how the fossil fuel industry spend huge amount on lobbying, PR and political funding.
Oil and gas industry has pumped millions into Republican campaigns | US news | The Guardian

Fossil fuel firms are still bankrolling climate denial lobby groups | Environment | The Guardian

While as early as 1981 e world, ExxonMobil, suspected fossil fuels might be involved in climate change.
Did oil giant ExxonMobil know about climate change in 1981? | Climate Change | Environment | The Independent
 

joG

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Industries have during the 20:th centuries been very successfully in defending their dangerous industry practices and profit for a long time before you finally got government regulation. Take for example the lead industries that could for a very long time continue their practice with lead in petrol and in USA even in paint for peoples houses. Or how tobacco companies for a long time denied the dangers with smoking even if their own research showed the dangers.


Also it is if often the ones with no blame or least blame and also least power to change the situation that have to pay the biggest price. Take for example children living in houses painted with lead in the USA. That lead was banned before they their even born but their houses is still full of lead. That at the same time they can't choose their they live or how much money their parents have to fix the problem, because they are just children that can't choose who their parents are. That at the same time either the government or the industries responsibility ar willing to pay the cost for children no longer being exposed to lead.


You can also look how the fossil fuel industry spend huge amount on lobbying, PR and political funding.
Oil and gas industry has pumped millions into Republican campaigns | US news | The Guardian

Fossil fuel firms are still bankrolling climate denial lobby groups | Environment | The Guardian

While as early as 1981 e world, ExxonMobil, suspected fossil fuels might be involved in climate change.
Did oil giant ExxonMobil know about climate change in 1981? | Climate Change | Environment | The Independent

Everyone knew that cigarette smoking was bad for your health and killed. The government allowed it to go on and people went on smoking in spite of the general knowledge. The same has been true for lead. It has been well known for many decades that lead is seriously bad for you. Nonetheless people have used the stuff painting their houses and all. You cannot seriously say that that is a problem of industry. the Companies only supply, what populations pay for. In this or the cigarette case the population knew. Punishing industries was and would be a problem. It would be a travesty of our legal system.
 

Bergslagstroll

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Everyone knew that cigarette smoking was bad for your health and killed. The government allowed it to go on and people went on smoking in spite of the general knowledge. The same has been true for lead. It has been well known for many decades that lead is seriously bad for you. Nonetheless people have used the stuff painting their houses and all. You cannot seriously say that that is a problem of industry. the Companies only supply, what populations pay for. In this or the cigarette case the population knew. Punishing industries was and would be a problem. It would be a travesty of our legal system.

First of all it's not only consenting adults that are affected but also for example children. Then it comes to lead paint I guess there are also both landlords and house sellers that either don't know, don't tell or even lie regarding the existence of lead paint in their house. Also in some cases you have no choice at all take for example that everyone was affected by lead in petrol. Also we as consumer buy hundreds of different products each years so if it was only the consumers responsibility to find out about the dangers, then every consumers have to spend enormous amount of time doing research.

This especially since companies does everything to muddy the water. For example if you watch the video you can see how lead paint companies gave coloring books to children to make their parents feel safe using lead paint. Or take how cigarette companies launched light cigarettes to make the smokers feel more safe even if the health risk was the same.

Or take for example how Clair Cameron Patterson lost funding and got discretized because of his research that showed the dangers with lead in petrol.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clair_Cameron_Patterson

Then you also have the fake Climate gate scandal their climate researchers wrongly was accused of faking their data.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_email_controversy

Trust and decency is also issues because many honest people can have a hard time believing that companies is lying to them and sell product that is dangerous. Then is the huge problem that the money spend on consumer journalism is almost nothing compared to the huge sum companies spend on marketing, PR, lobbying and pro business research.

Finally the money saved on using lead paint was extremely small compared to the huge cost for the individual and society. Also that cost was paid and still is paid over several generations.
 

joG

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First of all it's not only consenting adults that are affected but also for example children. Then it comes to lead paint I guess there are also both landlords and house sellers that either don't know, don't tell or even lie regarding the existence of lead paint in their house. Also in some cases you have no choice at all take for example that everyone was affected by lead in petrol. Also we as consumer buy hundreds of different products each years so if it was only the consumers responsibility to find out about the dangers, then every consumers have to spend enormous amount of time doing research.

This especially since companies does everything to muddy the water. For example if you watch the video you can see how lead paint companies gave coloring books to children to make their parents feel safe using lead paint. Or take how cigarette companies launched light cigarettes to make the smokers feel more safe even if the health risk was the same.

Or take for example how Clair Cameron Patterson lost funding and got discretized because of his research that showed the dangers with lead in petrol.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clair_Cameron_Patterson

Then you also have the fake Climate gate scandal their climate researchers wrongly was accused of faking their data.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_email_controversy

Trust and decency is also issues because many honest people can have a hard time believing that companies is lying to them and sell product that is dangerous. Then is the huge problem that the money spend on consumer journalism is almost nothing compared to the huge sum companies spend on marketing, PR, lobbying and pro business research.

Finally the money saved on using lead paint was extremely small compared to the huge cost for the individual and society. Also that cost was paid and still is paid over several generations.

As a surgeon friend once said, he liked patients that had smoked light cigarettes better. They tended to inhale more deeply and therefore he hadn't to cut as far in.
But seriously. As of the 1960es everyone with half a brain knew that cigarettes were deadly, if you were lucky. And they remained not only legal but freely available. IT is like alcohol that kills enormous numbers. Would you propose suing Seagram or whomever?
 

Bergslagstroll

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As a surgeon friend once said, he liked patients that had smoked light cigarettes better. They tended to inhale more deeply and therefore he hadn't to cut as far in.
But seriously. As of the 1960es everyone with half a brain knew that cigarettes were deadly, if you were lucky. And they remained not only legal but freely available. IT is like alcohol that kills enormous numbers. Would you propose suing Seagram or whomever?

The evidence for the health risk with smoking started to pile up as early as the 1930:s and in mid of 1950:s the tobacco companies in secret acknowledge the risk, but thanks to the great effort of the tobacco companies to muddy the water it wasn't before the 1980 it was a drop in consumtion.

In 1953, a great deal of attention was given to an experiment by Ernst Wynder, Evarts Graham and Adele Croninger, showing that tumours could be generated by painting cigarette smoke tars onto the shaved backs of mice.12 Life magazine devoted several pages to the story, and Time cited Graham's conclusion that the case against tobacco had now been proved ‘beyond any doubt’.13 Public confidence in tobacco was shaken, and stock prices of American cigarette manufacturers plummeted. Tobacco manufacturers saw this new ‘health scare’ as a mortal threat to their livelihood, and decided to organise a response. On December 14, 1953, at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, CEOs of the six largest tobacco manufacturers in the USA (all but Liggett) met to plan a response. The outcome was a far-reaching plan to refute the accumulating evidence, using adverts, ‘white papers’, press releases and corporate schmoozing with popular science writers and journalists. Support for (industry-friendly) science was a vital part of this enterprise: cigarette manufacturers called for ‘more research’ to resolve a purported ‘controversy’, and set out to reassure the public that the companies were taking charge. That campaign was by and large a success, judging from the fact that per capita consumption rebounded from its dip in 1953. Cigarette consumption in the USA would in fact continue to grow throughout the 1960s and 1970s, peaking at about 630 billion sticks in 1982 before starting to decline.

The history of the discovery of the cigarette?lung cancer link: evidentiary traditions, corporate denial, global toll -- Proctor 21 (2): 87 -- Tobacco Control

Also even if the tobacco companies did know about the health risk they didn't care that most people started smoking before 18 years of old then kids was still to young to fully comrpehened the dangers and life long effect of smoking. Instead tobacco companies countinue with kid friendly advertisment, like for example that the Joe the Camel adveritsment countinue until 1997.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Camel
 
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joG

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The evidence for the health risk with smoking started to pile up as early as the 1930:s and in mid of 1950:s the tobacco companies in secret acknowledge the risk, but thanks to the great effort of the tobacco companies to muddy the water it wasn't before the 1980 it was a drop in consumtion.



The history of the discovery of the cigarette?lung cancer link: evidentiary traditions, corporate denial, global toll -- Proctor 21 (2): 87 -- Tobacco Control

Also even if the tobacco companies did know about the health risk they didn't care that most people started smoking before 18 years of old then kids was still to young to fully comrpehened the dangers and life long effect of smoking. Instead tobacco companies countinue with kid friendly advertisment, like for example that the Joe the Camel adveritsment countinue until 1997.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Camel

It isn't a question of the companies' knowing. It is much more important that it was general knowledge beginning in the 1960s with government knowing at least as long.
 

Bergslagstroll

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It isn't a question of the companies' knowing. It is much more important that it was general knowledge beginning in the 1960s with government knowing at least as long.

The question is what does compaies do with the knowledge that their products are dangerous? In many cases like with the tobacco companies, they start massive campaigns to deny and underplay the risk of their products. Take for example the tobacco executive that in 1971 said that even if babies to mothers that smoke are smaller they are just as healthy and some mothers prefer smaller babies. Also then a more knowledgeable population and regulation led to less smokers in the west the tobacco companies just increased their business in other countries. Like for example in Indonesia, there tobacco companies have the "great" business idea to sell individual cigarettes right outside schools to kids. That at the same time tobacco companies fight laws to protect public health all over the world.

 
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joG

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The question is what does compaies do with the knowledge that their products are dangerous? In many cases like with the tobacco companies, they start massive campaigns to deny and underplay the risk of their products. Take for example the tobacco executive that in 1971 said that even if babies to mothers that smoke are smaller it's no health risk and some mothers prefer smaller babies. Also then a more knowledgeable population and regulation led to less smokers in the west the tobacco companies just increased their business in other countries. Like for example in Indonesia, there tobacco companies have the great business idea to sell individiual cigarettes right outside schools to kids. That at the same time tobacco companies fight laws to protect public health all over the world.


You mean, it is like abortion allowed, but mass murder just the same? You might have a point.
 

Bergslagstroll

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You mean, it is like abortion allowed, but mass murder just the same? You might have a point.

We can have the discussion on abortion in another thread. In this thread I can just point out the fact that countries have the freedom to decide for their own if they want to allow or ban abortions. While countries that implement plain packaging law is getting sued by tobacco companies in international courts.
 

joG

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We can have the discussion on abortion in another thread. In this thread I can just point out the fact that countries have the freedom to decide for their own if they want to allow or ban abortions. While countries that implement plain packaging law is getting sued by tobacco companies in international courts.

Who is suing whom in which international court for packaging cigarettes? I hadn't seen anything consequential and must have missed it.
 

Bergslagstroll

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Who is suing whom in which international court for packaging cigarettes? I hadn't seen anything consequential and must have missed it.

Countries have been sued according to ISDS procedures as part of bilateral trade agreement., in the case agianst Australia the Tobacco company even moved their operation to Hongkong so they could use a trade agreement between Australia and Hongkong.

Australia wins international legal battle with Philip Morris over plain packaging | Australia news | The Guardian

Australia has won an international legal battle to uphold its world-leading tobacco control measures, with Philip Morris failing in its long-running attempt to challenge plain packaging laws under a bilateral trade agreement with Hong Kong.

The decision could give other countries greater confidence to follow Australia’s lead in outlawing tobacco company logos on cigarette packets and moving to drab, uniform designs dominated by graphic health warnings.

The creativity of the tobacco companies didn't stop their they also got countries to sue Australia as part of WTO dispute settlement, their the countries that sued included Ukraine a country with zero tobacco export to Australia.

Ukraine drops lawsuit against Australia over plain-packaging tobacco laws, WTO says - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

That rich developed like Australia can take the cost and risk of losing and thereby fight the tobacco companies in court and even win, but tobacco companies also sue developing countries inclued the poorest in the the world. Countries that lack both money for defence and to handle the threath of multibillion lawsuits and therefor stop public health law that the people of the country wants.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertai...iver-rips-tobacco-companies-article-1.2118955
 

joG

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Countries have been sued according to ISDS procedures as part of bilateral trade agreement., in the case agianst Australia the Tobacco company even moved their operation to Hongkong so they could use a trade agreement between Australia and Hongkong.

Australia wins international legal battle with Philip Morris over plain packaging | Australia news | The Guardian



The creativity of the tobacco companies didn't stop their they also got countries to sue Australia as part of WTO dispute settlement, their the countries that sued included Ukraine a country with zero tobacco export to Australia.

Ukraine drops lawsuit against Australia over plain-packaging tobacco laws, WTO says - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

That rich developed like Australia can take the cost and risk of losing and thereby fight the tobacco companies in court and even win, but tobacco companies also sue developing countries inclued the poorest in the the world. Countries that lack both money for defence and to handle the threath of multibillion lawsuits and therefor stop public health law that the people of the country wants.

http://www.nydailynews.com/entertai...iver-rips-tobacco-companies-article-1.2118955

Thank you. That is interesting. But it does not sound like a court. More like something under a trade agreement.
 

Bergslagstroll

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Thank you. That is interesting. But it does not sound like a court. More like something under a trade agreement.

That is true, but ISDS still have the same power as a regular court, just that ISDS seem to have less oversight. That the same time countries can be sued and have to pay billions of dollars. While countries can't sue companies through ISDS.

In 2012 a record 59 were started; last year 56 were. The highest award so far is some $2.3 billion to Occidental, an oil company, against the government of Ecuador, over its (apparently lawful) termination of an oil-concession contract.

There are several reasons for the sharp rise in contentious arbitrations, says Lori Wallach of Public Citizen, a watchdog group. Companies have learnt how to exploit ISDS clauses, even going as far as buying firms in jurisdictions where they apply simply to gain access to them. Arbitrators are paid $600-700 an hour, giving them little incentive to dismiss cases out of hand; the secretive nature of the arbitration process and the lack of any requirement to consider precedent allows plenty of scope for creative adjudications.

The arbitration game | The Economist

ISDS are also apart of the suggested TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership and there are a huge risk it will also be bart of the TTIP huge agrement between USA and EU.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blog...-hate-isds-what-is-it-and-why-does-it-matter/

Is democracy threatened if companies can sue countries? - BBC News

Also you have the WTO dispute settlement, there 162 countries are part of the World Trade Organization.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Trade_Organization
 
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joG

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That is true, but ISDS still have the same power as a regular court, just that ISDS seem to have less oversight. That the same time countries can be sued and have to pay billions of dollars. While countries can't sue companies through ISDS.



The arbitration game | The Economist

ISDS are also apart of the suggested TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership and there are a huge risk it will also be bart of the TTIP huge agrement between USA and EU.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blog...-hate-isds-what-is-it-and-why-does-it-matter/

Is democracy threatened if companies can sue countries? - BBC News

Also you have the WTO dispute settlement, there 162 countries are part of the World Trade Organization.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Trade_Organization

I actually like the idea of international dispute settlement independent of governments.
 

Bergslagstroll

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I actually like the idea of international dispute settlement independent of governments.

The question is if companies need them? Because global companies are the ones who have benefited the most from the globalization we have seen the last couple of decades. Also global companies can spend huge amount of money on lawyers, lobbying, marketing, political donations and PR to protect their interests. That at the same time developed countries have the rule of law and also are dependent on international trade so they don't want to take risk to be "mean" to foreign companies because it can lead to trade wars. Developing countries can lack the rule of law but they are often even more dependent on international trade that at the same time companies can buy insurance to protect themself from investor risks. So international dispute settlement for companies may just be a threath to national sovereignty and democracy.
 

eohrnberger

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Industries have during the 20:th centuries been very successfully in defending their dangerous industry practices and profit for a long time before you finally got government regulation. Take for example the lead industries that could for a very long time continue their practice with lead in petrol and in USA even in paint for peoples houses. Or how tobacco companies for a long time denied the dangers with smoking even if their own research showed the dangers.


Also it is if often the ones with no blame or least blame and also least power to change the situation that have to pay the biggest price. Take for example children living in houses painted with lead in the USA. That lead was banned before they their even born but their houses is still full of lead. That at the same time they can't choose their they live or how much money their parents have to fix the problem, because they are just children that can't choose who their parents are. That at the same time either the government or the industries responsibility ar willing to pay the cost for children no longer being exposed to lead.


You can also look how the fossil fuel industry spend huge amount on lobbying, PR and political funding.
Oil and gas industry has pumped millions into Republican campaigns | US news | The Guardian

Fossil fuel firms are still bankrolling climate denial lobby groups | Environment | The Guardian

While as early as 1981 e world, ExxonMobil, suspected fossil fuels might be involved in climate change.
Did oil giant ExxonMobil know about climate change in 1981? | Climate Change | Environment | The Independent

Everyone knew that cigarette smoking was bad for your health and killed. The government allowed it to go on and people went on smoking in spite of the general knowledge. The same has been true for lead. It has been well known for many decades that lead is seriously bad for you. Nonetheless people have used the stuff painting their houses and all. You cannot seriously say that that is a problem of industry. the Companies only supply, what populations pay for. In this or the cigarette case the population knew. Punishing industries was and would be a problem. It would be a travesty of our legal system.

Specific to lead on petrol, there was a reason that it was added (it's not as if the refiners just added it willy nilly).

Specificlly, before the advent of hardened valve seats in the engine lead was required to act as a breakable separation layer between the valve seal surface and the valve seat. Without it, the micro-welds that formed between the valve and the valve seat would tear, build up, and quickly lead to a compression leak and the need for re-honing the valve seats, known as a 'valve job', as often as every 16K miles. If you had bad luck, and honing the valve seats was no longer possible, you would have to replace the entire engine head at a greater and more significant expense.

Once lead was added to the fuel, it was the softest metal there, coated the valve seal surface and the valve seat, and provided the needed cleaving layer, avoiding the very strong micro-welds between the head's cast iron and the valve's high tensile steel.

The hardened valve seats that resolved this micro-weld issue had to be discovered first, and then the also needed high volume manufacturing processes to put these seats into the product also needed to be developed. These all came around the same time as the lead free gasoline was introduced.

You do know that until this manufacturing knowledge spread to the EU, they were still running leaded gasoline, right?

I suspect that it's much the same story in paint as well. Previous to certain developments that replaced what lead added to paint, adding the lead was a better choice than not.
 

joG

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The question is if companies need them? Because global companies are the ones who have benefited the most from the globalization we have seen the last couple of decades. Also global companies can spend huge amount of money on lawyers, lobbying, marketing, political donations and PR to protect their interests. That at the same time developed countries have the rule of law and also are dependent on international trade so they don't want to take risk to be "mean" to foreign companies because it can lead to trade wars. Developing countries can lack the rule of law but they are often even more dependent on international trade that at the same time companies can buy insurance to protect themself from investor risks. So international dispute settlement for companies may just be a threath to national sovereignty and democracy.

Actually, it is probably less the companies that need the independent settlements tribunals than do the countries and populations.
 

Bergslagstroll

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Specific to lead on petrol, there was a reason that it was added (it's not as if the refiners just added it willy nilly).

Specificlly, before the advent of hardened valve seats in the engine lead was required to act as a breakable separation layer between the valve seal surface and the valve seat. Without it, the micro-welds that formed between the valve and the valve seat would tear, build up, and quickly lead to a compression leak and the need for re-honing the valve seats, known as a 'valve job', as often as every 16K miles. If you had bad luck, and honing the valve seats was no longer possible, you would have to replace the entire engine head at a greater and more significant expense.

Once lead was added to the fuel, it was the softest metal there, coated the valve seal surface and the valve seat, and provided the needed cleaving layer, avoiding the very strong micro-welds between the head's cast iron and the valve's high tensile steel.

The hardened valve seats that resolved this micro-weld issue had to be discovered first, and then the also needed high volume manufacturing processes to put these seats into the product also needed to be developed. These all came around the same time as the lead free gasoline was introduced.

You do know that until this manufacturing knowledge spread to the EU, they were still running leaded gasoline, right?

I suspect that it's much the same story in paint as well. Previous to certain developments that replaced what lead added to paint, adding the lead was a better choice than not.

Yes there was reason for using lead in petrol, but also very big dangers with using it. So if the influence of the lead companies wasn't so great it could have been baned much earlier and solutions could have been adopted much earlier. For example TEL was temporarily banned in 1925 in USA but allowed again next year.

Then it comes to lead in paint, European countries started banning lead in interior paint as early as 1909, 1921 National Lead Companies admits lead is poison and in 1922 League of Nations bans white-lead interior paint but US declines to adopt. That yes there can of course have been benefit with using lead paint but the cost for children, adults and society was so much greater.

History of Lead Use - Toxipedia

More about how lead companies fought the regulation of lead paint.

Since the 1920s, the lead industry had organized to fight bans, restrictions, even warnings on paint-can labels. It had marketed the deadly product to children and parents, spreading the lie that lead paint was safe. For decades, paint ads appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, Good Housekeeping, National Geographic, and other national magazines and local newspapers. Coloring books were handed out to children. The industry even sent Dutch Boy costumes to children on Halloween, and printed coloring books that showed children how to prepare it.

Why It Took Decades of Blaming Parents Before We Banned Lead Paint - The Atlantic

Also a article how lead in gasoline could have been baned in the 1920:s if it was not for company influence.

Looney Gas and Lead Poisoning: A Short, Sad History | WIRED
 
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