Michigan-based Dow Chemical and Ford Motor Company have been named in Global Exchange’s list of the top corporate human rights violators for 2005. Dow Chemical was named for its development of the chemical weapon agent orange, supplying of pesticides to Saddam Hussein in 1988 despite suspicions that they would be used as chemical weapons, dumping of toxic waste in Michigan, export of the EPA-banned DBCP pesticide to Central America, and numerous other acts that have contributed to environmental destruction around the world. Ford Motor Company made the list for its continued environmental degradation, contributions to climate change, and fueling of United States wars in order to meet the need for oil. Since 1999, Ford has had the worst overall fuel economy and the worst vehicle gas emissions. According to research by the Union of Concerned Scientists, if Ford were a country, it would be the 10th largest global warming polluter, ranking just behind the country of Italy.
The other companies making the list include an assortment of corporations that have drawn significant attention over the past few years—Coca-Cola for its killing of union activists in Colombia and pollution in India, Caterpillar for its sale of equipment used to demolish Palestinian homes, and Wal-Mart for its workers rights violation and labor discrimination. Among the lesser known companies making the list were Suez-Lyonnaise des Eaux (a French company working to privatize water around the world), Kellogg, Brown, and Root (KBR) (a subsidiary of Halliburton for its coordinating and exploitation of foreign labor in Iraq), and DynCorp/CSC (for abuses by its mercenary forces around the world).