Sense About Science funder GE Healthcare - most admired company or foe of public health?
GE's subsidiary, GE Healthcare, has funded the UK pro-nuclear and pro-GM lobby group, Sense About Science.
GE Healthcare's lobbying: Sense About Science
GE Healthcare has sponsored the UK lobby group Sense About Science (SAS), which has published information leaflets and articles that downplay the risks of radiation from nuclear power plants and environmental chemical pollutants, including plastics. There is considerable overlap between SAS's messages and its funder GE's role in supplying nuclear power plants, petrochemicals, agrochemicals, and industrial gases. GE's Plastics division produced plastics until 2007, when the parent company sold it.
Martin Donohoe, MD, FACP, and Claire Robinson, 2010. Corporations and Public Health: Overview and Case Study of GE Healthcare: Most Admired Company or Foe of Public Health? Social Medicine, Volume 5, Number 4, December 2010.
This article discusses the nature and power of corporations and some ways in which their activities adversely impact public health. It reviews those activities of GE Healthcare and its parent company, General Electric (GE, ranked by Forbes Magazine in 2008 as the world's largest company), which have been antithetical to public health. These activities include unethical human subject experiments; environmental pollution; workers' rights and workplace health and safety violations; fraud; false and misleading advertising; sponsorship of corporate front groups; lobbying; a personal attack on a radiologist for exposing the risks of nephrogenic systemic sclerosis from its contrast agent Omniscan; and an ethically troubling technology transfer agreement with New York Presbyterian Hospital. Despite such activities, General Electric has been highly praised in the business community, including being named "America's Most Admired Company" in a Forbes Magazine poll and one of the "World's Most Respected Companies" in polls conducted by Barron's and Financial Times. The article concludes with suggestions for individuals, governments, and academic institutions on how to fight the corporate corruption of public health.