Big Corporations: Whose Interests Are At Heart? - Part 2

Last month we published Part 1 of our series on Big Corporations: Whose Interests Are At Heart? about Monsanto Chemical Company. This month we continue our series with the focus on McNeil Nutritionals/Tate & Lyle, creators of SPLENDA®.

MCNEIL NUTRITIONALS /TATE & LYLE (Manufacturer and Developer of Splenda)

McNeil Specialty Products Company (MSPC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, along with Tate & Lyle PLC, a world leader in sweeteners and starches, all share responsibility for developing and manufacturing sucralose for commercial use. Sucralose is the first product from McNeil Specialty whose mission is "to develop and market innovative food ingredients that help consumers control, maintain and improve their health."

Internationally, McNeil Specialty markets sucralose in the United States, Canada, Latin America, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East. Tate & Lyle markets sucralose in Africa, Asia, Europe and Canada. Internationally, McNeil Specialty markets sucralose under the name SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener. SPLENDA is a registered trademark of McNeil Specialty Products Company.

In the midst of the continued controversy over aspartame, many pharmaceutical and health food manufacturers - Pro Lab, Twin Lab and Ross Products, makers of Pedialyte®, for example - have switched to using sucralose in their manufactured products.

McNeil Nutritionals markets nutritional products and dietary alternatives including cholesterol-lowering foods and supplements, products for lactose intolerance, and calcium supplements. Some of their product websites are:

  • www.benecol.com
  • www.hearthealthyhospital.com
  • www.lactaid.com
  • www.splenda.co.uk
  • www.splenda.com
  • www.viactiv.com
Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc., provides prescription drugs in the following categories:
  • Analgesics
  • Anti-infectives
  • Anti-epileptics
  • Urology
  • Wound healing

The company's line of women's health products includes:

  • Contraceptive patches
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Diaphragms and vaginal therapeutics

More of their product websites are:

  • www.levaquin.com
  • www.orthoevra.com
  • www.ortho-mcneil.com
  • www.orthotri-cyclen.com
  • www.orthotri-cyclenlo.com
  • www.orthowomenshealth.com
  • www.topamax.com
  • www.ultracet.com

OrthoNeutrogena, a Division of Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceuticals, Inc. markets skin and hair care products recommended, used, and prescribed by many dermatologists. OrthoNeutrogena dermatology prescription products include:

  • RETIN-A
  • RETIN-A MICRO
  • RENOVA
  • GRIFULVEN V
  • SPECTOZOLE®

Some of their product websites are:

  • www.retinamicro.com
  • www.tryrenova.com

JOHNSON & JOHNSON (Mother Company of McNeil Specialty Products and Tate & Lyle)

In 1876, unclean cotton collected from sweeping the floors of textile mills was used for surgical dressings. Surgeons operated wearing street clothes.

Realizing what was happening, Robert Wood Johnson searched for a more sanitary way to help people, so he joined his two brothers, James Wood and Edward Mead Johnson, who had already formed a partnership in 1885. Operations began in New Brunswick, New Jersey, in 1886 with fourteen employees on the fourth floor of a small building, once a wallpaper factory. In 1887, the company was incorporated as Johnson & Johnson, and the brothers entered the surgical dressings industry.

Johnson & Johnson's history began with the discoveries of Sir Joseph Lister, a noted English surgeon who identified airborne germs as a source of infection in the operating room. He called them the "invisible assassins." Medical science was beginning to understand, however poorly, the need for greater care in protecting the wound area. Yet, this concept of countless living organisms, unseen and deadly, remained beyond the understanding of many surgeons in the nineteenth century who were doubtful and even condescending of Lister's work.

Robert Johnson heard Lister speak in 1876 and for years afterward, nurtured the idea of a practical application of Lister's teachings. What he had in mind was a new type of surgical dressing, ready-made, sterile, wrapped and sealed in individual packages and suitable for instant use without the risk of contamination.

In some hospitals prior to Lister's discoveries, the postoperative mortality rate was as high as ninety percent. Stubbornly, surgeons could not bring themselves to believe they were contaminating their own patients by operating ungloved with unsterilized instruments.

The first products the Johnson brothers marketed were improved medicinal bandages containing medicinal compounds mixed in an adhesive. Then they quickly developed a revolutionary surgical dressing and placed it on the market. Recognizing the critical need for improved antiseptic surgical procedures, the company designed a soft, absorbent cotton and gauze dressing that could be mass-produced and shipped in quantity to hospitals and to every crossroads physician and druggist.

Johnson & Johnson broadly promoted their antiseptic surgical products. In 1888, the Company published a book, "Modern Methods of Antiseptic Wound Treatment," which for many years remained the standard text on antiseptic practices.

For more information on the past history of Johnson & Johnson, click here.

Today, Johnson & Johnson has become a worldwide network of over 200 companies, marketing health care products to more than 175 countries. The companies' more than 109,500 employees produce products that supply a broad segment of medical needs, ranging from baby care, first aid and hospital products to prescription pharmaceuticals, diagnostics and products relating to family planning, dermatology and feminine hygiene.

While they should be applauded for their contribution to antiseptic practices and commended for most products, they now market an unhealthy diet sweetener.

Don't forget that any big business has your money in mind. Unfortunately, your health and wellness isn't always their primary goal, but it is important to learn about the companies that play such influential roles in your lives and the lives of our young children.


Posted March 2010 | Permanent Link

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