Putting profits before people

Letter to the editor of Seacoast Online

September 25, 2008 6:00 AM

To the Editor,

Today the Associated Press and the BBC reported that nearly 53,000 children in China have gotten sick from dairy products contaminated with the industrial chemical melamine. Four babies have died after being fed melamine laced Nestlé baby formula, 12,892 children have been hospitalized and another 39,965 received out-patient care. The Health Ministry says that its tests have found the melamine in Chinese-made Nestlé brand milk.

Hong Kong’s two major supermarket chains said on Sunday that they were recalling milk powder made by Swiss manufacturer Nestlé. Also, the product Mr. Brown Instant Coffee and milk tea has been recalled due to contamination.

For those who think that signing a contract with the multi-national Nestlé Corporation to extract water for their Poland Spring label is a good business opportunity, I ask “at what price?” If “harm is done” to neighboring wells and ponds, what would Nestlé do? Remedy the problem by putting people before profits, or spin the story?

Jamilla El-Shafei, Kennebunk