The Multinational Monitor


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THE JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1998 Lawrence Summers Memorial Award* goes to retired newscaster David Brinkley.

"Since television began I have brought you the news ... straight and true. But now I will bring you information about food, the environment, agriculture ..."

That is David Brinkley, recently of ABC's "This Week with David Brinkley," in one of the new advertisements he has filmed for corporate criminal Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), the leading sponsor of Sunday political talk shows. The ADM-Brinkley ads are scheduled to run during public policy talk shows.

As criticism of Brinkley's move mounted among the news establishment, Brinkley said, "I won't sell anything, but now it's as if I robbed a bank or something."

In 1996, ADM pled guilty to criminal price-fixing of feed additives and citric acid and was fined $100 million [see "The Ten Worst Corporations of 1996," Multinational Monitor, December 1996]. The company currently faces many private civil actions seeking millions of dollars in damages for the price-fixing in a wide variety of markets. The European Community is investigating the company for anti-competitive activities. And Michael Andreas, on leave as ADM's vice chairman, and Terrance Wilson, a retired ADM executive, face charges of criminal price-fixing.

* In a 1991 internal memorandum, then-World Bank economist and current Deputy Secretary of Treasury Lawrence Summers argued for the transfer of waste and dirty industries from industrialized to developing countries. "Just between you and me, shouldn't the World Bank be encouraging more migration of the dirty industries to the LDCs (lesser developed countries)?" Summers wrote. "I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that. ... I've always thought that underpopulated countries in Africa are vastly under polluted; their air quality is vastly inefficiently low [sic] compared to Los Angeles or Mexico City." Summers later said the memo was meant to be ironic.

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