Are Western Companies Polluting China's Rivers?
After a year-long review of textile factories in China, Greenpeace says Western clothing manufacturers are complicit in the release of harmful chemicals into China's rivers.
What's the Latest Development?
Following a Greenpeace investigation into corporate responsibility in China, the environmental group reports that large textile factories, which often supply Western clothing companies, regularly release toxic chemicals into China's rivers. "The Youngor facility in Ningbo, near Shanghai, was found to have discharged nonylphenol, an endocrine disruptor that builds up in the food chain, perfluorinated chemicals, which can have an adverse effect on the liver and sperm counts, as well as a cocktail of other toxins."
What's the Big Idea?
Greenpeace has linked Nike, Adidas, H&M, Puma and Lacoste with the Youngor textile facility, which it believes is releasing toxins into China's water supply. The companies deny that their business with Youngor uses any of the products Greenpeace refers to in their report, most of which are made necessary during the dyeing process. But denying any direct responsibility is not good enough, says Greenpeace. Do companies with large brand recognition have an added responsibility to promote environmentally responsible behavior in general? What are the limits of corporate responsibility?
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Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Journalism got a big wake up call in 2016. Can we be optimistic about the future of media?
- "[T]o have a democracy that thrives and actually that manages to stay alive at all, you need regular citizens being able to get good, solid information," says Craig Newmark.
- The only constructive way to deal with fake news? Support trustworthy media. In 2018, Newmark was announced as a major donor of two new media organizations, The City, which will report on New York City-area stories which may have otherwise gone unreported, and The Markup, which will report on technology.
- Greater transparency of fact-checking within media organizations could help confront and correct fake news. Organizations already exist to make media more trustworthy — are we using them? There's The Trust Project, International Fact-Checkers Network, and Tech & Check.
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