Manual The King Rat and His Court: Lessons in Corporate Greed

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Fundamentally, corporate culture doesn't do responsibility - it slows down the profit drive. The greed creed is a phenomenon we were exposed to in Ireland during the Tiger years. It has left us scarred. As for VW, once synonymous with reliability and trustworthiness, it has had its brand trashed by its own senior staff. The trust has been annihilated, its core values undermined. In time, this could be taught in business schools under the 'how to break a brand' heading.

Other brands are also vulnerable, thanks to the evolution of a global elite in which ego and bonus-driven hierarchies operate. Unless they are penalised for wrongdoing, their behaviour will never change. Fines will have no impact because they have money to burn. Criminal prosecutions are what will keep corporate culture in check. But it needs to be top-tier management having their collars felt. After all, VW engineers didn't install that 'defeat device' to rig fume results on their own initiative - such decisions are taken at the highest link in the food chain.

The device was a cynical move because it allowed the company to lie to customers concerned about emissions damage to the environment. This begs two questions: How about other car companies? Once, VW set standards in car evolution. The company was founded in by the German government under the control of Adolf Hitler. At a Nazi rally in , the Fuhrer said: Its purpose is to answer their transportation needs, and it is intended to give them joy.

World War II intervened. But the Allies made the company the focus of their attempts to resuscitate the German car industry, and Hitler's dream 'people's car' surpassed the Ford Model T in popularity. In recent years, VW has been intent on trying to set other records, concentrating on CO2 emissions and fuel-efficient technologies. But its green credentials are now in tatters. And what we're witnessing is textbook crisis management.

Money set aside for fines and legal action.

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Yet I don't sense a lesson truly learned. Is lip service to corporate ethics being mouthed with those mea culpas? The struggle to contain the excesses of corporate power would appear to be a one-sided battle, with multinationals winning hands down. Politicians allow their arguments about job creation to trump other concerns. Big business, of course, doesn't do loyalty to workers. Only to profit margins. What's needed is real regulation and tighter controls, including over byzantine tax structures - which they will resist with every weapon in their arsenals.

It is now some years since the industrial revolution and the hope that the gap between rich and poor would be narrowed seems to be unattainable. Giant corporations rule the roost and sharing is for sissies. In the US, the average chief executive is now making nearly times what the typical worker takes home in his or her pay packet.

Today, 99pc of all new income is going to the top 1pc. There is nothing wrong with profit. But it ought to be sustainable profit with ethics attached to earning it. Why should we allow conglomerates to frustrate that? The guilty verdict marks the first federal felony conviction for a company executive in a food safety case.

Prosecutor Michael Moore said he hopes the trial will send a strong message to the food industry that its officials are now on notice that they'll be held accountable for foodborne illnesses. The jury's verdict came after a seven-week trial for Stewart Parnell and his brother and food broker, Michael Parnell, both charged with 76 federal counts linked to intentionally shipping out salmonella-laced peanut products.

When food kills — Jeff Almer breaks down after testifying before Congress about his mother Shirley, who died in late after eating salmonella-laced peanut butter with her toast. Almer became an advocate for stronger food safety regulations. When food kills — U. Parnell stands accused of deliberately shipping tainted food from his plant in Georgia. When food kills — Lab tests found salmonella in a 5-pound container of King Nut peanut butter at a Minnesota nursing home.

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It was manufactured at Peanut Corp. When food kills — Peanut Corp. They were both indicted later on criminal charges that resulted in a groundbreaking trial. When food kills — Stewart Parnell exercised his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to answer lawmakers' questions about Peanut Corp.

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More than five years later, he is on trial with his brother and a former employee. Michael Parnell was also found guilty on multiple counts.

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A third defendant, former plant quality control manager Mary Wilkerson, was convicted on one count of obstruction of justice. The Parnell brothers, Moore said, "could easily spend the rest of their lives in prison. Is your chicken safe to eat? Worst foodborne illness outbreaks. The worst food-borne illness outbreaks — The number of salmonella infections linked to cucumbers continues to soar.

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Four people have died in this year's ongoing outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control, which has reported more than cases. Tuna — Salmonella in a frozen raw yellowfin tuna product, known as Nakaochi Scrape, sickened people and hospitalized 55 in the spring and summer of Sushi made from frozen raw tuna is linked to 62 cases of Salmonella this year. Here are some of the biggest foodborne illness outbreaks since A Consumer Reports team looked for five types of bacteria that have been found on beef, including E.

Most packages of ground beef in the grocery store contain at least one type of bacteria that could make you sick, according to their survey. The Food and Drug Administration has issued a ban on some cilantro imported from Mexico after an investigation to determine the cause of hundreds of reported intestinal illnesses in the United States dating back to People infected with the parasite Cyclospora cayetanensis experienced watery diarrhea, nausea, bloating and cramping.

Click here for tips on how to keep your food safe.

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Worst foodborne illness outbreaks — Raw milk can contain germs such as E. Chicken — In , Foster Farms chicken infected people in 29 states with a multidrug-resistant strain of Salmonella, according to the CDC. A total of cases were reported, and 71 people were hospitalized, according to the CDC.

Severe hepatitis cases can cause liver damage. The blend's pomegranate seeds came from a company in Turkey, which was the source of contamination.

Cantaloupe — Cantaloupes tainted with salmonella infected more than people across 24 states in October Three people in Kentucky died and 94 were hospitalized. Investigators determined Chamberlain Farms Produce Inc. Cantaloupe — In September , listeria in cantaloupes left 30 people dead in what was the deadliest U.

The outbreak killed one person and sickened more than Eggs — In summer , more than 1, people were reportedly sickened by salmonella found in eggs produced by Iowa's Hillandale Farms , which voluntarily recalled about a half-billion eggs nationwide. Celery — Authorities shut down a processing plant in Texas in October after four deaths were tied to listeria-infected celery produced at the site.

At least people were hospitalized, and the infection may have contributed to two deaths, according to the CDC. Walmart stores in four states recalled jars of serrano peppers as a result.

Peanut butter — Nine people died from salmonella-infected peanut butter between September and April More than people were infected and hospitalized. Spinach — In the summer of , more than people became infected with E. Investigators traced the prepackaged spinach back to Natural Selection Foods and baby spinach sold under the Dole brand name. Five deaths were linked to the outbreak. Tomatoes — During and , four large outbreaks of salmonella infections hit 21 states in the United States.

Tainted tomatoes being served in restaurants were found to be the cause.