April 25th, 2012
Summary by Matt O'Connor
For years now, Walmart has seen nothing but revenue rolling in from sales in 15 different countries. However, what they have also seen is consequence. Asking any average person to name a corporation who has a bad reputation, Walmart will most likely be named. They have been scolded for their low wages, unpleasant treatment of employees, and controversial pricing strategies. From 2008 to 2010, they added another unethical strategy to their list. Walmart generated around 730,000 yuan ($117,161) in income illegally in China. They did this by labeling their regular pork products as "organic", so that they could raise prices and make more gains. On top of this, they sold duck meat that had passed its "sell by" date. These tactics were being used due to a slight lack of revenue in China, whose people were relatively new to Walmart stores and their products. While clearly no one was injured from eating non-organic pork, there are many people who eat only organic foods, and could have been mentally damaged from finding out the truth. As for the duck meat, no cases were found of sickness, but again, eating expired meats is extremely dangerous and could cause serious illness. No matter what one's opinion consists of, it is clear that Walmart did not have their customers' best interest as a first priority. Economic theories all have different viewpoints on ethical behavior, but customer satisfaction may not even be one of their criteria.
These facts and analyses are based on an original paper by Breana Giordano (2012)
Lee, Melanie. "Walmart's Pork Scandal Highlights Struggles in China." Reuters.
Thomson Reuters, 14 Oct. 2011. Web. 25 Apr. 2012.
"Money & Company." Walmart Executives Resign in China Labeling Scandal.
Web. 25 April.2012 http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/money_co/2011/10
"China- Walmart in Organic Pork Scandal." Meat Trade News Daily. Web. 25 Apr. 2012