Soups, Soaps, and Industrial Lubricants

Last week the food giant Unilever recalled Lipton Green Milk Tea brand from Taiwan stores because one of the ingredients was milk from China. On Tuesday, the Associated Press reported that “according to Unilever Hong Kong Ltd, internal tests have found four batches of Lipton milk tea powder contaminated with melamine." Unilever then recalled that product from Hong Kong and Macau stores. On Wednesday, Unilever claimed that its milk tea powder products are made in Indonesia, so there should be no worry.

Unilever worries me for all sorts of reasons.

For instance, since 1989 the mega-company has created plantations of genetically identical palm trees with environmentally destructive consequences. Small farmers in places like Malaysia were bought out, thousands of acres of tropical rainforests cut down, indigenous people exiled from their land, and waterways polluted by runoff from the palm oil processing factories -- the biotech oils then used in snack foods and industrial lubricants.

And that is another worry about Unilever. Do we really want our food forged from the same ingredient as lubricant? And made by the same folks? Unilever’s website, in fact, touts its product line as running “From sumptuous soups to sensuous soaps”. Bon Appétit!

Here are some of Unilever’s other food products:

Bertolli pasta

Carte d’Or ice cream

Country Crock Margarine

Hellman’s Mayonnaise

Knorr soups

Slim Fast diet foods

Wishbone salad dressings

-- Lee Klein

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