M2 (Click Here)

For this discussion, go back to Chapter 1 and read Case 1.1 “Made in the U.S.A – Dumped in Brazil, Africa, Iraq”

This will lead us toward our Environment chapter and more discussion on Dumping.   For this discussion, briefly answer the three questions under #7 in the Discussion Questions area (page 35).   If you do not have your textbook yet, let me know and I can email you the Case.

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95 Comments for “M2 (Click Here)”

sdeal5

says:

Q1: Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for or against dumping?
A1: I feel that the primary argument for dumping is that while I product may not meet the standards for a first world country, could still benefit a third world country with more limited resources. The largest moral dilemma comes in the form of the greatest good for the greatest number. Take for example the birth control made by Dalkon Shield. While there were major health concerns for the users of the birth control, there is also a huge risk of death during child birth. At least in my head, I look at this argument statistically, what is the risk to the user from the birth control versus the risk to the user from childbirth?

Q2: What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?
A2: My personal position on dumping is that the seller should always have to disclose the risks versus benefits in any product. While a product might not meet the U.S. standards, it might still be worth the gamble to less fortunate individuals. That being said, I feel the buyer has the right to know the risks, and the seller is obligated to provide those statistics.

Q3: Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?
A3: I believe the laws concerning dumping should have strict requirements about disclosure. What a company chooses to use a purchased product for falls in their court, as long as they are informed of the risk. If the company buys flame-retardant material as a fuel source, because the slower burn rate provides more heat in a water purification process, but they were properly briefed of the risks upon purchase, where is the harm. In conclusion, I believe we should have more laws regarding dumping, with an emphasis on disclosing why the material/product Is being dumped.

vgsmith

says:

Hey, thank you for providing your thoughts on dumping and whether or not it is morally acceptable. The point you make about a product benefiting a third world country is valuable; I agree there is a certain element of give-and-take that must happen since third world countries do not have the means to secure top-of-the-end products like we see in America. In your response to the second question, you state manufacturers must disclose the risks and benefits in their products so people in other countries can make the gamble themselves. The case study in the text explained how even though these products have disclosures, many people in third world countries do not understand (Shaw, 2017). Is there a way to mitigate this? Do you think countries should be required to market the risks more than simply listing the disclosures?

Also, I agree that the laws regarding dumping should be strict. In my initial post, I presented the idea of allowing the countries who receive the unsatisfactory products to determine the extent of what they permit into their borders. This places the responsibility on the country’s government, not the other country who is seeking to do business. I think this process allows for a certain perspective, since the country who receives the product knows what needs the country has. What are your thoughts on this approach?

Reference
Shaw, W. (2017). Business ethics: Ninth edition. Cengage Learning.

says:

Thank you so much for your short but precise response this week! I whole heartedly agree that organizations should have to disclose both the benefits and the risks to the public. While there are people who may still frown upon the risks, there is a consumer base in the US or even in another country that exists where consumers may possibly still be interested in the product regardless of the risks. I do think it is important for all consumers to have access to this type of information if they desire and I do think that dumping is an issue where the gray area needs more attention to eliminate this type of controversy.

jmferreira

says:

Great post ! While I understand your point of view in how you state that although it may not benefit a first world country but could possibly help a third world country I will have to disagree with you in terms of dumping products that are known to be dangerous and hazardous. If it a product isn’t good enough for us because of the health issues, how could it benefit a different country. I agree with you in reference to your statement about disclosing the information. It is very important that any health findings are disclosed. Again great post.

bpkyes

says:

Our views on this are pretty similar. Like you I believe that it is circumstantial like your example about the IUD, where it may be immoral in one country but not in another. As well I think disclosure is extremely important although I have hesitations with using disclosure as a justification. Even if there is full disclosure that comes with the product, some countries have very poor literacy rates and the people obtaining the products could be none the wiser. I’m curious what you would say to this since our ideas our so close to each other.

vgsmith

says:

Putting aside the question of legality, the moral arguments given against dumping align with consequentialist and deontological theories. According to the text, consequentialist theories determine the rightness or wrongness of an action based on the action’s consequences (Shaw, 2017). Based on the case study presented by Shaw (2017), the results are negative; people are harmed by the toxic chemicals involved in dumping. By applying consequentialist theories to this case study, it is clear to see dumping is not morally acceptable because the action results in negative consequences. Kant’s ethics states the moral worth of an action is determined on the basis of good will, or in other words, the intention of person and their “duty” (Shaw, 2017). Additionally, Kant’s ethics place emphasis on the dignity of individuals, as well as the importance of acting on the basis of right intentions (Shaw, 2017). By applying Kant’s ethics to this case study, dumping is not morally acceptable because those participating in dumping know the harmful effects of the chemicals, so they are not acting on the basis of good intentions. Lastly, the argument for dumping aligns with egoism, which states an action is morally right if the action promote’s the person’s long term interest (Shaw, 2017). Dumping promotes the organization’s interests because they are protected from mass profit loss; therefore, enabling them to continue operations. Evidently, each approach to moral ethics slightly alters whether or not dumping is morally acceptable.

Personally, I do not believe dumping is acceptable. Similar to Kant’s ethics approach to the situation, I do not believe anyone should willingly harm another person. Since the organizations are aware of the toxins in their chemicals and they are willingly selling it to other countries with relaxed regulations, they are consciously harming others in sakes of preserving profit margins. It’s highly unsettling to know there are people who knowingly harm the lives of others to make a profit. The primary values I’m basing this decision on is my value of integrity, which is doing the right thing when no one is looking, and human dignity, which is the inherent respect for everyone. I believe companies are not withholding integrity by willingly selling toxic materials to third world countries and they are certainly not respecting the people who reside in these countries by willingly harming them. Yes, there is the argument that these potentially dangerous products are worth the risk in other countries, but it’s morally wrong to hide these chemicals from the general population. The case study touches on the difficulty of getting the word out, but even an effort to let the people know what’s in the product is a good step in the right direction. For example, maybe incorporating a new symbol to indicate “potentially dangerous toxin” to slap on the labels would be a great help.

I do believe we should have laws prohibiting more types of dumping, but I see the value of this discussion because companies deserve the right to market their products legally, as well as the people in the other countries have the right to make their own decisions. Perhaps the best law to incorporate is the implementation of a new symbol to indicate a potential risk associated with the use of the product, so companies are still able to operate freely and people in other countries can choose their level of risk. A quick review of various news outlets reveals many counties are banning dumping from their country and refusing to trade with countries known for dumping, which is a great approach. Perhaps the best laws should be up to individual countries so they may choose what they allow into their borders. For example, China has created an 80.5% tariff on Australian barley, a crop grown with a dumping chemical. I do not see anything wrong with this because China is taking measures to protect their people, so in my opinion, laws should be up to individual countries to decide what they allow and do not allow. Article linked here: https://theconversation.com/china-used-anti-dumping-rules-against-us-because-what-goes-around-comes-around-138541

Reference
Shaw, W. (2017). Business ethics: Ninth edition. Cengage Learning.

bfarnes

says:

We seem to have similar views on dumping, namely that harming people in the name of corporate profits is unacceptable. I’ve never bought the argument that some companies need to engage in these types of ethically dubious activities to survive.

I wanted to get your thoughts on the third question, since a really common response that I’m seeing is that individual counties should have the right to decide what to import. How does the general education level and access to information of that country’s citizenship come into play? I could see for example, a country importing a bunch of harmful products, and then simply not telling their citizens that the products are harmful, or putting a “caution, contains xyz chemical” label on the product but the average citizen not having the education to understand what that means and what the risks might be. We even see that in this country with people who think vaccines or 5G or some other bizarre thing is harmful and we have a generally decent education system and robust access to information. Do we have a moral obligation to protect the uneducated people in other countries? It’s a tough dilemma.

vgsmith

says:

Hey, thank you for your question. In my opinion, education and access to information are incredibly important, which is why I suggested individual countries decide what to provide to their citizens. In a perfect world, we could have a United Nations-like organization designed to protect consumers, but it isn’t feasible. Each country should assume the responsibility of disclosing based on their population’s education level. At the end of the day, the consumer has the right to choose, so products shouldn’t be fully banned — instead, countries should independently work to educate their citizens. I don’t like we, as in the United States as a country, have a moral obligation to protect uneducated people in other countries. It’s unrealistic to assume responsibility for everyone, so I don’t think this makes the US a bad country for not going into every single government and pushing out education-based agendas. Hope this is what you’re looking for!

jmferreira

says:

Great post with great details. I agree whole heartedly that dumping is wrong morally and factually. If we know about a certain hazard that can cause an a health issue why do we think it is okay to give to another population. There need to be more laws and more specifics to the laws in what can be “dumped”. If we are going to dump products we must disclose all information to them prior to the purchase being made.

Sandra

says:

1. Moral arguments for and against dumping:

Moral arguments both for and against dumping can be made relying on consequentialist ethical principles of egoism or utilitarianism. Egoism lends itself quite well to dumping activities: If it benefits me or the company’s bottom line, do it. And it frequently does “pay”, in terms of added revenue, lower disposal costs, etc. The flip side is that such actions might damage one’s reputation or lead to fines or prison — also egoistic reasons not to dump.

Utilitarianism judges the morality of actions — considered individually in classical utilitarianism or as overall conduct in rule utilitarianism — by whether they maximize or increase total “happiness” (defined in various ways). Within such a framework, the dumping of defective, dangerous, addictive, or environmentally harmful products overseas is justified if it results in positive consequences (happiness or utility). In our textbook, Shaw presents the Dalcon Shield IUD example: manufacturers are justified in dumping the defective contraceptive device in poor countries, because preventing pregnancy (which can be especially dangerous in these countries) and limiting population growth – provides more health and other benefits to women overall than any harms caused by the devices. A similar argument could be made for dumping surplus low-quality agricultural products: Overall benefits to recipients outweigh any potential health risks or loss of dignity that people might feel in receiving low-quality food; and some of the profits could be donated to food pantries at home. Consequentialist ethical arguments can also be made against dumping. The boil down to harms outweigh benefits. Diverting electronic equipment to countries with lax regulatory or enforcement mechanisms to be recycled could create jobs for the unemployed, yet greater harm in the form of health problems and premature deaths.

Nonconsequentionalist justifications for dumping also exist, although I think it’s a bit of a stretch in most cases. The “golden rule” applies here: treat others as you yourself would like to be treated. “Would I want to receive contaminated food if I were starving?” sounds like a fairly good justification, yet, “If I were starving, I would want to receive good food”, or “recognize the dignity inherent in very human” seem like better applications of this principle.

2. Nonconsequentionalist ethics seems to rely on an idea of some “higher calling” or duty that is pulled out of thin air, rather than arising from the relationships and rules foundational to societies. Nonetheless, a belief in the inherent dignity and worth of every human is fundamental to my own ethics. So, for me, it’s both. In a nutshell, promote the general welfare, and respect and value every human. In practice, I think that dumping usually violates one or both of these ideals. To supply inferior or dangerous goods is to violate not just the dignity of others, but one’s own as well. Ignorance is no excuse, either. Valuing individuals means one has a duty to develop understanding of the other person’s needs and circumstances if one is to engage in a relationship with them. Utilitarian reasons for dumping rarely pan out as harms accrue and benefits fizzle out. Dumping probably contributes to income disparities – it helps the rich get richer and the poor not so much. One can also that utilitarian arguments are difficult to make in favor of dumping when the effects occur far from home under opaque regimes. “First do no harm” is a valid utilitarian position. Finally, shoddy practices in manufacturing and other business activities is encouraged at home by dumping.

3. Briefly, where laws against dumping of unacceptable materials are unclear, they should be strengthened. Enforcement of existing laws and maintaining good international relationships is probably a bigger deterrent.

Amanda Hanson

says:

Thank you for your detailed analysis of this subject. It makes me reflect on my own response and wonder if I over simplified my response! I suppose this is where the peer interaction comes in handy.

Using your own moral and ethical stance, do you feel as though current policies are sufficient and should be enforced? Or would you propose additional regulation?

I found this issue proposal in a quick search of “US dumping policies” – https://ustr.gov/trade-agreements/wto-multilateral-affairs/wto-issues/trade-remedies/anti-dumping. I’m hoping it will be a good jumping off point for research into our environmental section.

afamick2

says:

Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for and against dumping?
One moral argument for dumping could be tied to ethical relativism. A person could argue that one country shouldn’t decide whether a product is acceptable for another nation. They might claim that both the government and consumers in a third world country should be able to make decisions for themselves. This argument does depend on the idea that the people in third world countries are warned about the defective products, which may sound good in theory, but it doesn’t seem to work in practice. Another argument for dumping could be built off of consequentialist theories. These theories allege that moral rightness is “determined solely by its results” (Shaw, 2017). If dumping were to provide good results (say for example that the usage of the Dalkon Shield intrauterine device significantly reduced the rate of yearly childbirth deaths and didn’t have lasting detrimental effects on the young women that used it), then the good outcome would convey moral rightness in favor of dumping.

On the other hand, there are multiple moral arguments against dumping. First, one could reason that people have the right to products that are safe from toxic chemicals and life threatening consequences. This stands on the moral that people should be treated with dignity and respect, and should not be subjected to conditions that endanger their well being. This argument also rests on the idea that moral standards take priority over all other standards, including self interest (in this case the self interest of a given company looking to export dangerous products and make a profit). The second argument relies on the conventional moral principle against lying. Many “dumped” products on the shelves in third world countries have no warning label identifying them as unsafe. This is fabrication and dishonesty on the part of the selling party with extremely harmful consequences. The third argument is made with a different spin on consequentialist theories. In this case, if dumping provides bad results such as a threat to the safety and well being of consumers, then it is morally wrong. Lastly, the fourth argument is based on nonconsequentialist theories that prove dumping is immoral because both the nature of the act and the results are negative. Selling defective and harmful products with prior knowledge of the deficiencies is a bad intent paired with a bad result of harming the consumers.

What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?
I believe that dumping is immoral. Moral standards “concern behavior that is of serious consequence to human welfare,” which means that violations of moral standards threaten the health and safety of humans (Shaw, 2017). Whether it’s selling carcinogenic baby pajamas, choking-hazard pacifiers, mercury treated wheat and barley, or painkillers causing fatal blood disorders, all of these products are proven to be detrimental to human health. Therefore, dumping is harmful and unethical. Supporters of dumping might argue that exporting hazardous materials to third world countries is legal and it provides underprivileged people with options they wouldn’t otherwise have. However, neither of these arguments hold up upon further inspection. Just because something is legal does not mean that it is morally permissible. Although current laws and loopholes in the system allow companies to export hazardous products to other countries for profit, it does not change the fact that people are being hurt, and killed, in the name of financial gain. While third world country consumers are being given a new option in their market, it is not clearly labeled with its risks and consumers are therefore being blindsided. Humanitarian acts are generous and compassionate by definition, and dumping does not fit within this category.

Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?
Yes. There needs to be much more regulation on what can be exported out of the U.S. For products that are being exported, there should be a monitoring process to evaluate any problems and ensure that they will not be harmful to consumer well being. If there are any risks for the product, the labeling needs to be obvious and clear. This includes making sure that the labels are written in the language(s) of the country it will be exported to. In addition, we should pass laws that prohibit the making of new business names to disguise the dumping of hazardous products. There should be heavy fines for violating these laws and people employed to enforce them. The companies who are dumping products are clearly motivated by greed, not morals. In order to prevent these companies from hurting others and following their self interest, there should be significant fines to discourage immoral behavior.

Reference
Shaw, W. H. (2017). Business Ethics (Ninth). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning Inc.

McKiness, Brock A.

says:

Who exactly is to impose and enforce such regulation and law? Who has the right, responsibility, or the obligation to do such a thing? Who has the resources to do this?

After reading all the responses to the third question I am appalled and sick to think so many would so quickly turn to govern the world by what they think is best. I wish I could respond to everyone, and in a way, this response is to them all.

Outside of refusing to do business with countries and organizations that do more harm than good, there is no ethical response to be made. Imposing a tyrannical policing measure on the entirety of the world is far worse than selling goods we in this country see as inferior. Every country and population, that has fallen victim to these immoral practices, has the right and ability to learn from their mistakes. If they choose to continue allowing it then that is their choice to make and it would also suggest that they believe under their circumstances the pros outweigh the cons.

Should those who dump inferior goods be honest about the deficiencies? Yes. Should they sell below cost? Yes. There are already numerous instruments in place to ensure quality control. There is no company out there that is intentionally making goods nobody wants (if there were, they wouldn’t be there for long), yet millions of cars are recalled every year. Mistakes happen, and if an impoverished country gets something out of it by covering a fraction of an organization’s losses then both have mutually benefited. Mutually beneficial transactions is a concept covered within the first 10 pages of almost any economics textbook.

If I, for example, had something that was broken and unsafe, listed it saying exactly what was wrong with it, and then sold it to someone who knew for half the price, did I do anything wrong? If I sold a car to my neighbor telling him it had a dangerous electrical issue, but he buys it anyway thinking he can fix it, should I be arrested or fined when he electrocutes himself? That is the risk he decided to take and if he could fix it he’d have something for a fraction of the cost and my losses would be partially covered. Nothing in life is without risk. Eliminating people’s choices with governance is wrong. On an individual level it is comparable with slavery and on large scale is tyranny. The ethics of micro and macroeconomics do not deviate.

History is full of wars and deaths by and in opposition to tyranny. This stands to reason that freedom is valued far above safety; therefore, it would be wrong to remove other’s choices. By governing dumping any further, we would be removing the choices of both buyer and seller. Even if we felt it was for their good, it would be wrong and risk further opposition, hostility, and conflicts. The irony of the country that was founded as a republic and on the principles of freedom enforcing their judgment on the world is overwhelming.

Furthermore, these goods must go somewhere. The unintended consequences for such legislation would be, as others pointed out, the literal dumping of waste into the environment. I propose we try to educate the world, not rule over them for some “greater good.”

twmcclendon

says:

“Who is to impose and enforce such regulation and law?” The Department of Commerce oversees most exports from the US, including the enforcement of the Export Administration Regulations which has a list of substances which cannot be exported. The State Department oversees the export of “defense” materials including arms trafficking. The Department of Treasury also maintains a list of entities which cannot be exported to, including terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, and generalized threats to US national security. I think any regulations could fall under their respective umbrellas in a straightforward manner.

“Who has the right, responsibility, or obligation to do such a thing?” The United States Department of Commerce already lists things too dangerous to export, so I would say they have the right. When it comes to responsibility, I would say that anyone who believes there is a moral obligation to not harm others would have that responsibility. If there is a moral imperative for an individual or government to not cause harm to the citizens of another country then dumping as it is illustrated in the textbook cannot be seen as moral and we should feel a moral obligation to stop it. If, however, you think it is moral for the US to cause harm to the citizens of another nation, I could understand not wanting stricter regulations.

“Who has the resources?” I would say that somewhere in the 1.1 trillion dollar, annual budget of the US, including almost 600 billion in military funding, we could figure something out.

“Outside of refusing to do business with countries and organizations that do more harm than good, there is no ethical response to be made.” For an individual, maybe. But the question is asked from a regulatory sense, which implies governmental intervention. Are you suggesting the government freeze the assets of “harmful” businesses?

“Imposing a tyrannical policing measure on the entirety of the world is far worse than selling goods we in this country see as inferior.” This statement seems to be both an ad hominem and strawman fallacy. Calling any attempt at regulation “tyrannical policing” is a fallacy. In addition, you are attacking an argument that was not made. I have yet to see anyone say that we should be policing the “entirety of the world”, just that we should police our own products and what we export.

“Eliminating people’s choices with governance is wrong.” I would like to address this generalization for a second. My choices are limited by the government in many ways that I think you would agree are not wrong. My choice to steal is limited. My choice to rape or kill, my choice to endanger others by driving while intoxicated. My choice to neglect or starve my children. All of these are limited or eliminated through governance. Either specify what you mean or don’t make the statement.

“Even if we felt it was for their good, it would be wrong.” So if we took an action, that we thought was good, that would protect uninformed or misinformed consumers from known and imminent harm, and thought it was a good action to take, it would be wrong? I fail to understand your reasoning.

“Furthermore, these goods must go somewhere.” Yes, in the trash. If they would do less harm in a landfill, or being incinerated, then so be it. It was the responsibility of the company to make sure that the product was safe and effective. If it isn’t, then the company must take the fall. I don’t understand why you think that poorer countries should subsidize the mistakes of American companies.

besam

says:

The first time I read your reply to the comment above a few days ago it upset me. I had just read the text about dumping. I was thinking about how immoral it was. Then last night I thought about how I felt about your reply and realized that not all people or cultures or nations have the same values and principles that I do, so I do not feel like I even have the right to judge them or you for your response. Culture and values is a big part of my life so its definitely something that I respect.

Chief

says:

The fact that I’m against as well makes it fairly easier to respond to your post because your answers align with similar views that I had on this issue and I found myself nodding in agreement quite a few times while reading them. I have been to several countries that aren’t as adequately equipped as we are, lack critical resources, and aren’t providing proper protective equipment (ppe) to workers so I have seen some job sites that have made me shake my head in disbelief because although things that would be considered wrong in our country that would stop work it was permitted there. I guess after experiencing something like that it sort of stays with you to the point know I get upset stateside when I see any form of Illegal dumping.

John Carlson

says:

Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for or against dumping?

A moral argument that could be made in order to justify dumping is consequentialist. According to the text, consequentialist theories, the moral rightness of an action, is determined solely by its outcome (Shaw, 2017). Meaning that if an outcome is positive even if the means are unethical then the action is deemed ethical or the means justify the end

A moral argument that could be made in order to not justify dumping is non-consequentialist. According to the text, non-consequentialist theories contend that right and wrong are determined by more than the likely consequences of an action (Shaw, 2017). Meaning that the outcome does not justify the means.

What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?

My position on dumping is that I can be for it or against it. I value context to the situation. If there is some moderation and it does not create large precedence for others to follow the behavior, then I think that It can be fine to dump. I do understand that dumping is a short term solution to a long term problem that creates problems for the future. I also believe that we will be better equipped to deal with the issue created by dumping in the future. Ideally, I think it would be wonderful not to have to dump and create pollution, but unfortunately, it is unrealistic to think that no one will be put into a position that they will be coerced or forced to do so based on their circumstances. So I think the most responsible action is to endorse with limitations. It’s important to recognize that this is not a solution and is not ethical but has to be done because it will happen one way or another, but at least you can reduce harm to some extent.

Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?

Unfortunately, creating more laws to prohibit dumping does not resolve the issue because these Hazardous materials still need to be removed. I think the best alternative would be to allow it and control and monitor it. Of course, there will still be companies or organizations that dump where ever they see fit. This is because they have a high enough incentive in order to do so. It might be that it is more cost-effective. Alternatively, they might have a chemical or material that they should not have, which can not go to an area that is monitored. I think the best alternative is not to create more laws prohibiting dumping but to incentivize controlled areas to reduce the unforeseen harm of secretly dumping. This will help protect the individuals who could be victims of dumping.

Reference
Shaw, W. (2017). Business ethics: Ninth edition. Cengage Learning.

jpeterson20

says:

John, your answer to the third question perfectly described what I was trying to capture. While no one wants to destroy an ecosystem or ruin underprivileged people’s lives, the reality of the situation is there will always be hazardous waste that needs to be dumped so outlawing all together is not the answer. Nice post.

Sandra

says:

I agree with jpeterson: you’ve brought up a good point about needing to deal with materials no matter where they are. It seems that is often forgotten: “Out of mind, out of sight.”

However, I disagree with this statement:
“I also believe that we will be better equipped to deal with the issue created by dumping in the future.”

From a utilitarian ethical perspective, it would seem to make sense to avoid taking actions in the present if one thinks it will be easier easier in the future. But only if you could identify the path well enough to measure effects now and then.

In the future, there will be more people competing for less space and other resources. I’m not sure that translates into an increased ability among poorer countries to withstand dumping pressures, or a disincentive for dumpers to stop trying to get rid of their waste.

In general, I think expecting that problems will be solved in the future by continuing to do the same things isn’t a recipe for success. The only types of solutions that actually require “waiting for” are technical solutions. Most good technical solutions come about after adopting a goal (“reduce air pollution), coming up with clear, enforceable performance measures (“Decrease average fleet NOx emissions by 20% within five years.”), then designing products or processes (EGR system or variable valve timing). I think it’s fairly difficult to have an improvement without being able to measure what you need to improve. So if you want stuff to happen, you have to make it happen.

But other types of solutions (political, economic) get in the way of a lot of existing technical solutions, or keep people from developing the performance measures required to spur innovation. For example, climate change can be slowed by burning fossil fuels at a much lower rate. That’s not hard technically; it is very easy. But it’s not happening, the last few months being an exception.

Anyway, hope I didn’t completely misconstrue what you were saying.

John Carlson

says:

Hi Sandra, I think you are right in the sense that just waiting for the future will not help resolve the problem. There will definitely be other issues that individuals will put more precedence on, like competing for less space and other resources. The way that I was viewing the issue is that the world goes on technology is developing at an exceptional rate as Moore’s Law says “we can expect the speed and capability of our computers to increase every couple of years, and we will pay less for them” (Tardi, 2020). And with new technology, it allows us to tackle old problems. No one will forget about trying to reduce Dumping and pollution. Anyone who could effectively resolve the issue of hazardous waste would likely win a Nobel prize and might be very wealthy if it is a marketable solution. With so many people growing up developing advancing every year, new high school graduates’ new academic papers are published and new ideas that might not seem relevant or might not have had the purpose of effecting dumping and pollution are propagating in every county in every continent. These will all come together in order to solve the puzzle that is dumping and pollution. The great thing about dumping is that it is a global problem meaning that everyone is looking at for a solution. Because everyone is dumping and polluting and understands the repercussion of their action. It only takes one idea to be successful to help reduce or eradicate the issue. With the pace, things progress it seems enviable that the issue will have progress with more time the only thing that needs to happen in the present is finding out what does not work as long as technology and ideas continue to propagate a solution will appear. A quantitative change will create a qualitative change at some point.

Reference

Tardi, Carla. “Moore’s Law Explained.” Investopedia, Investopedia, 5 Feb. 2020, http://www.investopedia.com/terms/m/mooreslaw.asp#:~:text=Moore‘s%20Law%20refers%20to%20Moore’s,will%20pay%20less%20for%20them.

Jessica Egbejimba

says:

I whole-heartedly agree with you Sandra. We continue to say that these countries have the freedom to make their own decision because we want to take advantage of them, yet we call ourselves the land of the free is hypocritical. If we truly want freedom then let’s get rid of all our regulations instead telling people they can’t put the very rules that kept us safe.

jpeterson20

says:

Putting aside the question of legality what moral arguments can be given for and against dumping?
I feel that there is an egoism argument to be made for dumping, and a utilitarianism argument to be made against it. Both of these ethical theories fall under consequentialism, which our text describes as “the moral rightness of an action is determined solely by its results.” (Shaw, 2017). Egoism is the belief that any person, or organization, will consider anything that advances their self-interest as moral. Therefore, in the case of the pajama company, dumping rid them of their dangerous and unwanted product. It rid them of their regulatory requirement to recall the pajamas and dispose of them. Therefore, it was the moral thing to do. This isn’t to say it was the most moral course of action, but it could be justified. In contrast, the utilatarianism theory suggests “we should always act to produce the greatest balance of good over bad” (Shaw, 2017). In this line of thinking, the pajama company would have to consider the following: If they don’t dump overseas, they face government and public backlash. If they do dump overseas, they could potentially harm local ecosystems and populations. The pajama company is equipped to handle bad publicity and government regulators, as opposed to the third world countries that the dumping occurs. These countries may not be able to deal with the fallout of burying hazardous waste, potentially affecting thousands of people. Therefore, the safer choice would be to not dump.

What is your position on dumping and what principles and values do you base it on?
I have mixed feelings on this. I’ve already seen some people talk about how if the local population is okay with dumping, and are made aware of the hazards, there shouldn’t be a problem. While I agree with this position, my hesitation lies in that governments or corporations in these countries may not give local populations a say in the matter. With that said, there is obviously a need for the hazardous materials to go somewhere. Special care should be taken so that locals aren’t negatively impacted.
Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?
As previously stated, corporations and corrupt governments should be prevented from taking advantage of people.

jevantreese

says:

Interesting points here. I also found that there are some utilitarian arguments for dumping as well, at least based on the country buying the dumped products. If a country can morally weigh the decision based on what does the most good for the most people, and that country has a high birth mortality rate for the mother, selling dumped contraceptives may decrease the overall rate of deaths, while “acceptably” causing ovarian inflammation/ blood disease. I am not saying I agree with this line of thinking but it is important to consider nation sovereignty when approaching this conundrum. This example was taken from the text, but there are also other instances where a product that is deemed “unsafe” for 1st world countries like the U.S. may be lifesaving to poorer 3rd world countries. I am against dumping and more for finding safer and better alternatives, but this was an interesting one to think about because I don’t think the right answer is black or white. I enjoyed reading your insight, especially when it comes to corporations essentially strong-arming other nations into buying their product because there is no other viable, safer alternative for them. Nicely done.

– Jordan

Ken

says:

Josh,
A lot of your thoughts and sentiments are closely in line with my own. While I agree removing potentially harmful materials from our direct environment is a moral way to act internally to our country or society we do have to balance that with to ensure we are not creating a more destructive environment where those finally end up. Let’s take the pajama example obviously organ failure is bad and the most direct route to resolving this without taking a total loss would be to find a country or group who are willing to take on those risks. Regarding the concept of doing more good than bad, we can look at the quality of our overall health compared to where they intend to dump the product. the quality of our medical system is very likely much higher than the country that would end up receiving the defective product. A potential resolution to the problems the product produces and treatments for its side effects are most likely to be developed in a more technologically and medically advanced country. The notion of “they’re lives are miserable anyway” is a common though line when trying to justify that you’re doing them a favor while you secure your companies profitability. I tend to subscribe to the concept of “noblesse oblige” which roughly translates to “the obligation of the noble”. The idea behind that is if you are more fortunate because you are more intelligent or wealthy you are obligated to use those skills or talents to ensure the less fortunate are cared for. In principle, I believe most agree with the fundamentals of the idea but always find it difficult to see through to its execution as we all tend to fundamentally protect our own interests first. The unique discussion point regarding this topic is its grey enough to swing either way depending on a myriad of factors. Just because something doesn’t meet our highest safety standards doesn’t mean it’s not acceptable to another country. let’s say the pajamas had a 20% chance of causing organ failure. that’s is pretty unacceptable for most American parents due to their average quality of life in this country. This may be no more hazardous to some other children in other countries which might already be dealing with similar rates of organ failure so this product may or may not push that needle much either way. On the other hand, a drug with a laundry list of side effects may be considered unacceptable here as we might view some of those side effects as unacceptable compared to the problem the drug resolves. Other countries might find those side effects unobtrusive to their lives by comparison to the condition the drug treats. In those cases, I would find it hard to argue that your “dumping” the drug as you’ve just found a more appealing market.

Your comments on the governments not taking their local population’s feelings into consideration resonated with me as well. I feel a lot of the countries we currently dump in don’t consider the impact these decisions have on their population and what kind of environment it creates for breeding hostilities and regional problems. Additionally, I suspect there is always a place for something somewhere that won’t have a negative impact on local populations providing a true effort is made to find it. What I think we see more often than not is companies dumping products before the next quarterly financial report so they’re books look good for investors and they don’t have the time to find a stable reasonable place to tuck away their failures. I enjoyed thinking over your take on the problem. Well thought out.

bfarnes

says:

It’s difficult for me to come up with any moral arguments for dumping, however if we’re considering an act of dumping to be beneficial to the corporation doing it then it could be considered moral from an egoism standpoint. Since in that case only the benefit to the company and not the harm caused to others would be considered, so we can say it is a moral act. Although even with this line of reasoning I would suspect that in most cases the only benefit to the corporation would be financial and it could still cause the corporation harm through damage to their reputation among the general public and even among current and prospective employees.

The moral arguments against dumping are more straightforward. In all of the cases described in the text, and frankly in all of the cases I’ve ever heard about from other sources, dumping comes down to causing harm to people with fewer resources for the sake of profit. Even the example of the birth control, where the company claims that the benefits outweigh the harm, comes across as disingenuous, since if the company was really interested in harm reduction there are other inexpensive and safer options for birth control that could have been provided. The company in question just didn’t happen to be sitting on a stockpile of the safer product that they needed to get rid of.

Personally I’m against dumping on the basis that we probably shouldn’t be hurting people or damaging the environment just to protect corporate profits, and while I accept the sovereignty issue, where it can be argued that we shouldn’t be dictating product safety to other countries, I feel that it is still not moral to export those products from a location where they are recognized as dangerous. In the case of things like banned pesticides or fire retardants the argument against dumping is even stronger, since persistent environmental pollutants don’t respect borders and can cause negative impacts globally regardless of who is using them.

If I could wave my hand and magically create a regulatory system to address dumping I don’t think I would tailor the laws to specifically address dumping. Rather I would love to see a system where corporate executives or owners were held criminally responsible for the harm caused by their products in general. So if a company wanted to export something they knew was unsafe and illegal to sell in the US, then the executive team would be held criminally responsible for any harm caused to people in the receiving country. They can export all of the dangerous toys they want, but they’ll be facing murder charges for every kid that chokes on one. I doubt we’ll ever see a system like this but it’s a nice thought.

Cole Sudkamp Walker

says:

Thank you for your post on birth control I hadn’t realized that there were cheaper better options its unfortunate to see a company claiming to be providing some form of care rather an better option. It highlights that these company have simply made a bad product and are recouping losses by passing it on to poorer nation. It shows that these companies seek to maximize profits and need some form of regulation. I curious on your thoughts as to where these executive should be trialed in they own country or the country they were exporting to. As for facing murder charges I think that is extreme plenty of “safe” products still kill children. My friend’s nephew is autistic and he has to constantly be watched to keep him safe. Simply things like climbing bookshelves or choking on a toy. I won’t fault these companies and the sad reality is that even if all precautions are taken an accident could still happen. This may be different if they sold something intended to be harmful such as faulty pacifiers the example Shaw gave.

cjandric

says:

1.) Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for or against dumping?
A couple moral arguments expressed about dumping is the third world countries deciding about the product if it is worthy enough even if the product isn’t built the same or has the same specs. These both fall under consequentialist and deontological theories. These are based according to the book that determines the rightness or wrongness based upon actions. (Shaw, 2017) Furthermore, is Kant’s ethics that plays a factor in this topic about dumping. Kant’s ethics is another topic like consequentialist and deontological theories but more stressed the fact about disadvantaged towards the environment.

2.) What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?
I think the values and principles towards dumping has both pros and cons. Dumping is wrong because it is when a large quantity of something hazardous is sold at a lower price to consumers. This is a dangerous product that will not only effect the environment but when buying the product. The consumers should know the factors of purchasing the product. Some people should have the right to determine if this is allowed not the countries or governments making the decisions. Even with countries being able to do their own thing, there are always people pushing the line. Overall, each person will have their own aspect towards dumping and the harm it does towards the environment. Without the use of some harmful chemicals and challenges countries would be different and this is why each geographic location is important.
3.) Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?

There will always be harmful chemicals used in the world, if there was a stop to harmful chemicals many business would be shut down. There could always be rules or regulations that could be put into place would be to determine a safe amount per business making sure the amount is suitable for the environment and not putting others at risk. Even with exporting the chemicals an amount should be calculated to figure out a equal amount. Putting laws on exporting goods would effect both business’ that consist of the product so having a fair warning of the products danger level could influence peoples decisions. Overall, there are many rules and regulations like tariffs when exporting goods but there could always be more put into place to environmental issues.

Reference:
Shaw, W. (2017). Business ethics: Ninth edition. Cengage Learning.

vgsmith

says:

Hey, thank you for providing your thoughts regarding the morality of dumping! I think you bring up a few excellent points and our posts are pretty similar in ideology. First, I also considered the morality of dumping based on deontological theories and Kant’s ethics. With an emphasis on Kant’s belief in the dignity of a person (Shaw, 2017), I do not believe dumping is moral. It’s almost as though the company is saying, “Hey, we perceive you as less than, so we’re going to give you this product because it’s too dangerous for us — since you’re worth less than us, you give it a shot.” This mentality demonstrates companies who participate in dumping do not have uphold the dignity and inherent worth of a person. Instead, dignity and worthiness is based on geographical location and economic status.

Your response to the third question is really interesting to me. It seems like you’re saying bad things will always exist, and unfortunately, some businesses rely on the bad things to keep them operating. Does the necessity for the bad things make it justifiable for the businesses to continue operating? Is there a line where the protection of humans surpasses business operations? Who makes this decision? Is it a power that should belong to the government? There’s a lot to unpack here, but I appreciate your point. If we heavily regulate this and businesses fail because they’re unable to operate, the economy is harmed, which puts more people at risk of poverty.

Reference:
Shaw, W. (2017). Business ethics: Ninth edition. Cengage Learning.

bfarnes

says:

This is a fascinating discussion so far, lots of really interesting responses. I wanted to reply to both of you specifically in relation to your thoughts on the third question. I don’t have any mind-blowing answers, but I have spent 20 years working in occupational safety and quite a lot of that time has involved dealing with things like exposure limits and chemical safety.

For the vast majority of industrial chemicals there is an organization called the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists, or ACGIH, that works to establish safe exposure limits for humans. These limits aren’t regulatory but many states have adopted them and even OSHA could fine a company for violating them under the general duty clause which requires a company to provide a workplace free of recognized hazards. These limits help companies continue to work with hazardous substances while protecting the health of their workers and the public. Now in a perfect world if we wanted to apply this to the concept of dumping you could have some sort of international version of the ACGIH that governments could agree to abide by. Of course in the current international diplomacy environment I don’t see that happening any time soon, but it’s a nice thought.

Chief

says:

If I could get you to consider one this in response to regulating amounts of harmful chemicals and things of that nature it would be that we already have amounts that are deemed permissible right so think about the number of chemicals, chemical products, and chemical companies that exist in the world. So the first thing is that keeping tabs on all of that is probably a logistical nightmare. The second thing to consider is we all live on this one planet all of those small permissible quick add up and end up in the water, ground, or our air. We’ve done a tremendous of amount of harm to the environment already but it’s not too late to make corrections.

jevantreese

says:

Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for and against dumping?

Some moral arguments for dumping are discussed in the text, and revolve around a nation being able to decide what is the right and wrong thing to do for them. Because some nations have different health regulations, they may have to result in utilitarian like decisions, or those that steer the overall result for the greatest good amongst the largest number of people. We live in a privileged environment just being U.S. citizens. If a product that is being dumped save more people than harm them, than from a utilitarian perspective, it is a morally good decision to accept dumping from other countries. Health standards will be ultimately different, and having the freedom to make decisions based on a country’s specific health standards is also an important moral argument to accept dumping. Arguments against dumping revolve around allowing a product that is known to be a health risk to be given to others when outlawed in another country. Instead of developing an alternative, many companies just want a return on their investment into a product, and ultimately have the potential to do more harm than good, even long lasting damage that may supersede temporary improvements in a nation’s overall health. Another moral argument against dumping is that it is an “anti-sum” moral conundrum. The losers exceed the winners, which are essentially just the sellers, who are able to charge exorbitantly high prices for products that are not available in certain countries. We now have countries that are paying more for harmful products than if the products were just being allowed to be sold in every country. This may not always be the case, but the gist of this moral argument against dumping is the motivation behind it is not based on a moral concern for fellow humans, but on turning a profit on a product deemed to be unsafe.

What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?

Overall, I am against dumping, although I do see the value in allowing products to be sold to other countries who desperately need them where the pros outweigh the cons. The principles and values that I base this on is my general desire to help others to the best of my ability. It is why I am in the healthcare industry, and it is what I have been raised to believe. Instead of accepting a mistake and taking a loss, turning a profit for these companies has become paramount. These are billion dollar industries for the most part, and getting rid of a product and developing a safer alternative is a drop in the bucket for these companies. In my opinion, all people should have the right to buy products and not be forced to buy unsafe alternatives.

Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?

This is a tricky one, because while antidumping laws may be necessary eventually, some nations do rely on dumping to receive products that improve the overall health. However, prohibiting more types of dumping would incentivize companies to conduct thorough research and studies on products they release. Doing your due diligence when it comes to releasing products would be more commonplace if large industries did not feel as “laissez faire” about quickly pumping out a product and dumping it if the product is later found to be a health risk.

dcheek3

says:

I think health regulations is one of the main things that cause pharmaceuticals to be dumped when they cannot legally be sold in the U.S. I have heard of cancer patients going to other countries for a potential medicine that could affective, but it is not sold in the U.S. I am not a medical expert, but maybe when it comes to life and death decisions, that decision should be left to the individual and not regulations. As you said, utilitarian is to basically make a decision that brings the best result for the most amount of people. In this scenario, those countries are giving the people the decision to use what they think is best. However, as you said, individuals should not be forced to buy unsafe alternatives. If the U.S. banned these products, then I’m sure it is for the greater good.

sdeal5

says:

I greatly appreciate the thoroughness, and well thought out response you have provided, particularly relating to the medical field. I feel that “Big Pharma” is regularly under attack for products that are released with insufficient research and understanding, with little understanding to the moral quandary that these companies are in. Yes, these are large multi-billion dollar corporations, that have a obligation to ensure customer safety, but with ever evolving medical science they are faced with new information every moment. Trying to produce products to hit a moving target is an expensive challenge. So to say that they could take the loss is understandable on a case by case basis, but extremely devastating in the big picture. Therefore, finding a the solution on what to do with recalled products is a lot more complicated than just taking the loss. This brings up the question of how much effort is being put into re-purposing recalls, versus just dumping them. This is wild speculation, as I know very little of the production process, but how much research is put into cross referencing chemical components to reuse drugs in the manufacture of more tried and true medications.

I guess my point was, it is easy to over simplify the obligations of pharmaceutical companies. However, there could perhaps be a solution by increasing efforts to re-purpose or recycle materials, instead of dumping them on foreign markets. This would increase production costs in the short run, but could be a much more morally upstanding solution.

besam

says:

A moral argument for dumping would likely come from the company that is trying to profit from it, or not lose as much money from it. They would likely say that dumping is giving a third world country an opportunity to have something they would normally not be able to afford, such as the example in the text regarding birth control. Another argument they might pose for dumping could be that they are obligated to make a profit for their shareholders. They may also say if the product was not dump to another nation it would fill up our landfills and cause pollution.

Moral arguments against dumping would likely say that it is morally wrong to allow third world countries to suffer physical or mental damage from the products that are being dumped on them.

I believe that dumping should not be allowed. I wish there was a way to slow down the process and thoroughly test products before they are allowed to be mass produced. I do not believe other people should have to suffer the mistakes of companies that can afford to take the losses. Some of the products cause birth defects, physical ailments and even death. I value the lives of all people and believe they should all have the right to be safe from products that are known to harm. I believe that all countries should raise their standards for the good of their people and they should definitely be honest and transparent about the products they are distributing. Some of my principles are from my belief in Christianity. I believe that knowingly harming others is a wrong and sinful.

I believe we should have more laws against dumping. If a product is not good enough for us Americans it should not be distributed to anyone. It should also not be distributed in fertilizer and returned as food.

jayala14

says:

Hello Besam,
I agree that there should be a some type of process that would check the safety of the products BEFORE they are mass produced. If something like this was implemented then companies would not have to unethically dispose of their product in order to turn a profit or not as severe loss. I 100% percent agree with your statement, ” If a product is not good enough for us Americans it should not be distributed to anyone.” We live in a country filled with amazing privileges, one of those privileges is having an entire organization looking after products we consume. Why can we not use that privilege to benefit all people instead of only our own? Thanks for sharing. You made some great points!

fsfornaasvensson

says:

Hello,
I agree with you with your standpoint of the dumping dilemma and I most definitely agree with the statement “if a product is not good enough for us americans it should not be distributed to anyone.” Because we are all humans and an american do not have better or worse health than a human in a country of poverty which makes it dangerous for them as well if they would of dumped it in that country.
Also, a good argument for which I did not think of was that if we keep it, it might affect the pollution.
The country that are getting the product dumped to them should not be negatively impacted by a decision in the United States so I agree with you on that thing as well.
Great post!

cjandric

says:

Good post!
We both talk about the negative respects dumping has on the environment which we both find is important in society. Being from Canada we have many types of recycling to help with eco-friendly systems that can be refurbished and used again in other sorts of ways. Also, how you talk about christianity is important and knowing that harming others is wrong! This tying it all back together that dumping is harming something that maybe we can’t see today but later on in the future could be a disaster!! Lastly, with your third world countries response has influenced me that they do not deserve the physical and mental damage being done. I never thought of it that way and is a very good point that could influence lots of classmates decisions.

jayala14

says:

1. Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for or against dumping?
Putting aside the question of legality, Utilitarianism serves as a moral argument against dumping. ” Utilitarianism is the moral doctrine that we should always act to produce the greatest possible balance of good over bad for everyone affected by our actions.” When companies chose to send their banned products oversees they do not think of the harm it can cause to these people but rather they are more concerned with trying to make some money from their product and not be at a total loss. On the other hand, Egoism serves as a moral argument for dumping. Egoism “condones blatant wrongs.” Some of the worst actions such as theft, killing, or DUMPING, can be seen as “morally right” if it advances the agent’s self interest.

2. What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?
I did not know that companies sent products that were banned from the US to other countries. I do not see how this is still happening. People no matter how poor, should be given products that have been proven to be bad for them. This is so inhumane, I personally have to rely on agent-based ethics to justify my opposition to these types of practices. Agent-based ethics approach “concerns the fundamental character and motivations of an individual agent.” Even though the act of dumping seems to be legal enough to continue happening, I will not stand by it because it goes against what I personally believe to be ethically correct.

3. Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?
Yes, as I mentioned before, if a product has been proven to harmful for human use/consumption then why is it lawful to turn around and sell it to underprivileged countries? There should most definitely be more laws prohibiting dumping. It does not take a genius to see the harm these products are having on the new victims.

dcheek3

says:

I agree there should be laws regulating dumping. However, I feel the process to notify others is more important. There are obviously already laws because the U.S. bans products on a regular basis. Companies then get away with selling these items to other parts of the world. If the communication process were improved and timelier, then other countries regulators and citizens could make informed decisions on what they think is best. Then these companies would be forced to make a different decision on what to do.

AlaskanT

says:

I agree with you that utilitarianism serves as a moral argument against dumping. It is the moral doctrine that we should always act to produce the greatest possible balance of good over bad for everyone affected by our actions. I believe that before any company dump their products to other countries, they should make sure their products are no harm and negative effect. Otherwise, they need to face the consequences of their immoral actions if their products endanger or risk the health and security of others.

kbguy

says:

Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for or against dumping?

This question made me really think about the terms to apply with the reading for the chapters. I would believe that pro-dumping this would fall under the Egoism principle when the act is right when there is a personal gain for the opposite party. So the US didn’t have to deal with consequences so they rather dump it to another country with little to no laws so therefore it was a win in the US best interest but this could potentially harm someone else in another country. Anti-dumping is more of Utilitarianism.

What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?

Knowing that the products were of no good of use for the united states as we have very strict laws we go by, I don’t think that placing them in a country knowing the hazardous chemicals its contaminated with makes it right. No good ultimately came from helping one country from getting sick to dumping the issue to another country for it to become their problem of cost their life in the end. I base my principles from the Utilitarian standpoint.

Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?

Yes due to the circumstances that it trickles down, suppose the chemicals from those products in up in the landfill then and a cow or some animal licks on it or plays on it and then some growth of some sort causes a defect on childbirth of its kind or it somehow ends up in our seas killing off fish and the ecosystem and circle of life is off balanced. We by far should have laws STRICT laws at that.

McKiness, Brock A.

says:

My stance is anti-dumping. However, the arguments to dump are simple and easy to see. In many cases, entities, whether an organization or an individual, see no other choice. Dumping has often been viewed as a necessary evil for the survival of a business. Said business brings work, opportunity, their products, and a livelihood for all involved. The economic activity of said business within any region brings not only employment but an increased buying power for all within the community as employees and the various function of the business spend money in the community. This leads to other positives like infrastructure in those communities or even the ability for some to leave for better areas with their newfound income. Infrastructure can include but not limited to schools, better utilities, or medical facilities. This is especially beneficial in third-world or impoverished areas. So, the said survival of the company has a high justification factor. The areas that receive the dumping may not have any other way to receive products and resources of this type. They may even have the ability to refurbish the below-cost goods themselves allowing for profits.
However, the positive externalities listed above rarely outweigh the negative externalities. Total costs are not often considered due to social costs being immeasurable. Furthermore, the argument for dumping falls short at the “choice.” Products can be recalled, improved, or even recycled. The products that are dumped are often disregarded for their defects and the lack of resources to repurpose them. This brings further environmental waste and damage. The costs to the environment and all who interact with it creates this immeasurable social cost I referenced. Many products are unsafe causing physical harm to those being dumped on. The victims of said product in one area is not justified by the economic growth in another. To harm others needlessly is morally wrong. For all these reasons, dumping is a violation of honesty, responsibility, integrity, personal courage, and more.
Despite all this, I would be hesitant to place any additional laws against dumping. If a country wishes to risk allowing it to happen that is their choice to make. If a country continues to have poor business and trade practices, it can choose to abstain in the future. Laws that would be designed to prevent our own country from doing so would have unintended consequences. I do not support additional legislature.

afamick2

says:

Hi, thanks for sharing! You make a good point mentioning the survival of a business. A business provides work and a source of income for its employees, as well as a positive economic impact on the community. While a business with a product may initially have success selling it in the US, when they eventually find out that their product is unsafe, they now have a responsibility to take care of their employees and to safely remove their product. Even though the business had no ill intent, their bad fortune doesn’t need to be spread worldwide.

When I wrote my post, I was focusing on outright dangerous products such as the mercury-treated wheat and barley that killed 400 and hospitalized 5,000. In these types of cases, I don’t think it should be permissible to sell something so dangerous that takes the lives away from unsuspecting consumers. No matter where one lives in the world, I don’t think anyone wants to purchase something that could kill their child or loved one. However, you’ve brought up a good point about the potential for impoverished communities to purchase below-cost goods and refurbish them to make a profit. The source of income from repurposing faulty products could surely affect both the individual and their community in a meaningful way.
To distinguish between the two scenarios, I think that products that are scientifically proven to be lethal or life threatening should be disposed of, or find some other humane use- such as selling the hazardous product to chemical labs that can safely make use of the toxic chemical by mixing it with a solvent to create a reaction that changes the toxin’s original chemical structure… or extract the toxin altogether (I don’t know that this is possible, but just throwing out an idea). I think it really boils down to what you wrote: “the victims of said product in one area is not justified by the economic growth in another.”

While I agree with your moral stance against dumping, I do think there should be laws against dumping of lethal and extremely harmful kinds of products. Regulation does not mean that faulty products that can be refurbished would not be exported. However, I think it’s much more difficult for an impoverished country to prevent the import of the extremely harmful products, especially when it isn’t obvious that the product is toxic, or when it can be smuggled in without government oversight. I found a statement in a Mother Jones’ article that seems relevant: “At the 1977 meeting of the United Nations Environmental Program, Kenyan Minister of Water Development Dr. D. J. Kiano warned that developing nations would no longer tolerate being used as “dumping grounds for products that have not been adequately tested” and that their people should not be used as “guinea pigs” for chemicals.” While this was in 1977, the problems still continue today. Clearly, developing nations are having a hard time policing and managing the import of unsafe materials, and regulation of lethal and harmful US exports could help them. Although there may be unintended consequences to legislation, I think that it is worth it to save lives. Perhaps there is (or could be) some agency designed to help businesses with products that are found to be toxic. The agency could help the business survive and transition to finding new opportunities while also ensuring that toxic materials are disposed of properly.

Dowie, M. (1979, November 1). The Corporate Crime of the Century. Retrieved May 29, 2020, from https://www.motherjones.com/politics/1979/11/corporate-crime-century/

sjacobs12

says:

Dumping may seem like a necessary evil when you’re trying to appease stakeholders. Still, it’s also essential to remember karma, and cheap responses to an issue only provide inferior results. Eventually, someone somewhere will recognize what’s been done, and it’ll be too late to cover up–resulting in the higher disapproval of stakeholders and possible criminal cases.

jlboyce

says:

1) Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for and against dumping?
I think an argument in favor of dumping could be that there are some companies that do not have any other options in order to stay in business. Another argument in favor could be that many people would lose their jobs. But on the other hand, these companies should take in consideration of the health and safety of the environment and population.
2) What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?
I am more than definitely against dumping. I believe in a healthy environment and many MANY people and animals could get very sick and more than likely die from the products that are being dumped in these areas.
3) Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?
I believe that there should be laws prohibiting dumping. But, if there are companies that need to dump unsafe products, these products need to be dumped in areas far away from population and in areas where living beings can not survive. I know and believe that dumping unsafe, illegal products is morally wrong. These products kill people and killing is against the law and some companies are dumping without understanding what these products do to the environment.

sjacobs12

says:

1A. It is non-utilitarian to dump a product that may cause harm to an individual who doesn’t know it could hurt them. Whereas dumping a product and selling it with all it’s known defaults clearly stated to the end consumer would be considered moral because the shopper decides if it is a risk worth taking. For example, there are grocery stores that specialize in the re-sale of expired food products, and its socially acceptable, since the consumer is fully aware of the risk they are taking. If a standard grocery store noticed that a competitor was reselling their expired products, that store could assume its acceptable to sell its expired goods by leaving them on the shelf for a couple of extra days and not telling their customers. They believe if people purchase expired food, no one will notice that they bought something expired from their store. This wouldn’t be un-moral because the grocery store is taking advantage of people by assuming customers won’t see the expired product since they trust the store wouldn’t try to sell them expired goods.
Dumping could be decisive in a win-win situation. For example, Waste Management is paid to dump used car tires in a foreign market because the pollution from tire burning in the United States is known to cause cancer. Instead of burning the tires in a country where there is limited regulation on tire burning, Waste Management sells the used tires to tire shops in these foreign markets, where they re-tread the worn tire and resell in their local economy. Waste Management could have quickly burned the tires, but instead, they choose to take advantage of the opportunity and sell the tires.

2A. No one likes being dumped, whether that’s a relationship or having tons of cancer-causing baby pajamas being sold at your local baby pajama retailer. American retailers especially don’t like being dumped on, solely based on not wanting to compete. For example, an American retailer is selling plate sets for $50, and suddenly a foreign competitor arrives selling the same quality plate set for $25. Naturally, the American retailer considers this international competitor to be unjust and will petition the United States government for anti-dumping measures, which commonly means putting the tariffs on the competitor, to offset the amount of the dumping price. In this scenario, I would be okay with the dumping, since it’s creating competition among the companies and the end consumer being the ultimate winner.
In the T.V. show Arrested Development, George Bluth Sr, played by Jeffery Tambor, created a product called the Cornballer. The product is illegal to sell in the United States because it would burn the user with oil, so Goerge Bluth Sr. chose to sell the Cornballer in Mexico where they have fewer restrictions. I wouldn’t approve of that form of dumping since it results in people knowingly getting hurt by the seller.

3A. Instead of having more laws against dumping, the United States should better enforce the exportation of hazardous goods and significantly increase fees and penalties against companies that attempt to export dangerous goods. This won’t solve the exportation of unsafe products, but it would be a deterrent for those considering the practice. With these enforcements in place, we could see a spike in dangerous material recycling or the re-manufacturing of defected products, which would increase the economy’s job growth.

jlboyce

says:

The thought never occurred to me that there are people out there that have no idea what the effects of dumping some products could do to other people and the environment. I guess that’s where we come to learn that most of the products are illegal and could kill people. I think it is smart that Waste Management has figured out how to “recycle” the tires. This way everyone is safe from the chemicals that are expelled while they are burned.
I agree with your thoughts on how the US could “control” dumping. I was thinking the same thing, I just couldn’t figure out how to put it into words. The idea of recycling and re-manufacturing products which would increase the economy’s job growth is very smart.

mmwolfe2

says:

sajacobs12,
I think the biggest problem morally with overseas dumping is if the consumers are truly “informed” like US consumers. Some US consumers are not as informed as they should be. To assume that all countries operate the same as us but have less strict policies is naive. Some countries take what is given and do not know to ask questions because they do not have the same right’s as US citizens to ask. There is a saying, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” So we have deeper problems than just dumping our unwanted and potentially harmful goods onto another population. Some may say dumping is a necessary evil but it does not have to be if we get things right the first time around, at least make it a goal. If we conducted proper safety testing of products and held each company to strict standards especially when or/if withholding major safety concerns. For example, does anyone remember the huge Dupont scandal that settled for $370 million? Dupont and many of their known associates withheld important consumer information that their man made chemical, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also known as C8, used in Teflon which is known to cause a number of chronic diseases and cancers. Since this product happened to be in numerous products used daily and sold worldwide, the total damage directly linked to Dupont will probably never be known. This type of mess up should be used as a learning tool to make us better from the beginning instead of trying to figure out the best, easiest, profitable way to get ahead of the next guy. Its bad for business!

fsfornaasvensson

says:

Q #7 Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for and against dumping?
For: The product that is being dumped might not be good for the country that is restricting it, but it might help another country that might be in a different situation. A product in Sweden might be prohibited but another country that has more trouble in growth and economy could benefit with the product. It is harder for the countries in poverty to have the best high-quality products and therefore could they benefit from dumping. This is a good example of egoism because they are putting themselves or the companies interest first and do not put the same amount of interest in the people they are selling the product to.
Against: A moral argument for dumping that they bring up in the text is that it is putting people at risk by selling and then getting those people to use the product. In the case where they found Tris, which is a bad chemical, and therefore they did not sell anything more of that product and started to dump the product in third-world countries. This brings up a moral dilemma with selling it in another country because, don’t those people have the same value because they can also get cancer from the chemical? Are we still going to sell it even though it is proven to have bad consequences?
My position on dumping is that it is wrong because of the point I just brought up about human value. Every human has the same value and if the product is proven to cause a certain type of cancer, I believe that it should not be dumped or sold anywhere. I base my opinion on this on my values of life and health because I am a believer that you should always put your and other people’s health first. If you are dumping products, then you are putting money and profit before other people’s life and I think that is wrong.
I believe that America should have more laws of dumping. I know that Sweden, where I’m from, has laws about dumping and that might also be one of the reason that I am so against dumping because it can be a part of my culture and the “swede” in me. It is because of the reasons that I just brought up and I can see the consequentialist in me in this topic about dumping because I am almost only basing my opinion on the consequences of the product.
Reference:
Shaw, W. (2017). Business ethics: Ninth edition. Cengage Learning.

mtcaguiat

says:

I believe as a society we all have the obligation to care for one another for the good and better overall. With that said, morally those companies have the obligation to produce products that are not only beneficial and profitable for, but more importantly the products they produce should cause anyone harm or even worst death, especially if they are knowingly doing them for profit gain.
My position on dumping is that it needs to stop and punish the people that are doing it. I guess you can that i have been exposed to dumping my entire life growing up in a third world country of the philippines, but during those times i had little to know to know choice but to consume or use products that i knew could have potentially cause me harm. I think ultimately many companies are blinded by greed. At least in my experience.
Every country should laws that prohibits dumping period. It does more harm than good to people that are already struggling and trying to make ends meet, and now have to worry about how to recover from the damages a dangerous may have done…

Ryan McCrossin

says:

mtcaguiat,

I enjoyed reading your response. I am sorry that you have experienced dumping first-hand and had to consume products that could potentially cause you great harm. Nobody should have to go through that!

One thing I was wondering for your opinion on was what you think companies should do rather than dump if they cannot sell or even throw away the products like in the Tris pajamas case. It mentioned “…the CSPC left no doubt about how the pajamas were to be disposed of – buried or burned or used as industrial wiping cloths”. Do you view this as a better alternative, or do you have an idea as to how to dispose that is not mentioned? I worry that by burying or burning (how you would burn flame-retardant pajamas I’ll struggle figuring out!), you not only have the carcinogen but create pollution.

I sincerely hope you are no longer in a position like you described and are safe and healthy. Good response!

jmferreira

says:

Question 1: Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for and against dumping?

Question 1: In the textbook Business Ethics written by William H. Shawn, the excerpt “Case 1.1 Made in the U.S.A.- Dumped in Brazil, Africa, Iraq…”, dumping is “referred to the practice of exporting to other countries products that have been banned or declared hazardous in the United States” (Pg 32). The moral arguments that can be given for dumping are financial opportunity, no wasting of the product and growth and opportunity for the countries buying the products. The financial opportunity is great for the country selling the product. For example, in Case 1.1 it discusses the fire retardant pajamas for children. After the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) declared the banning of the fire retardant pajamas, other countries began advertising their interest in wanting to purchase the product. “The ads had been placed by exporters, who began buying up the pajamas, usually at 10 to 30 percent of the normal wholesale price” (Shaw PG 32). In this example, the United States has gained way more money than what their product was worth. In general, if a country really wants the product they will pay more for it, benefiting the other.

Secondly, the products being “dumped” are not going to waste or being destroyed. In reference to the fire retardant pajamas, William H. Shaw states, “ The U.S. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) moved quickly to ban their sale and recall millions of pairs. Reason: The pajamas contained the flame retardant chemical Tris (2-3 dibromopropyl), which had been found to cause kidney cancer in children […] ” ( Page 32). Although these pajamas were no longer sold or made in the United States, other countries purchased them. There were millions of pairs sitting in warehouses that were not able to be destroyed due to the Tris in them. Many of these products are being sold to third world countries in which they do not have products as well developed or any at all. For many countries, having to be able to gain possession of these products is considered a huge win. Lastly, it helps with their growth and opportunity as a thirld world country. In summary, reasons for dumping to be morally correct is the financial success, the growth and opportunity for both the buyer and seller.

The moral arguments for being against dumping is simply the fact that we are aware of the danger and hazards the products can cause. In the case of the fire retardant pajamas, it was known that the chemical Tris is linked to cause kidney cancer in children. Although the CPCS banned further production and recalled the products, many countries were still willing to purchase them. Even with the knowledge of knowing what it has done to some children and what it can do to them, the United States still allowed for them to be sold to other countries without advising them of the recent findings.

Question 2: What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?

Question 2: My position on dumping is that it is an incorrect practice. As a country has a product declared dangerous and hazardous, like the fire retardant pajamas, they should not be allowed to sell them to other countries, no matter the interest they may have. Using the example of the pajamas, whether it is the poorest country in the world or the most affluent country, no one should be allowed to buy them because of the proven fact that it can cause kidney cancer due to the Tris in the material. Many third world countries are purchasing the “dumped” products without the knowledge of knowing how dangerous the products are. It is not right in any way shape or form to not disclose the health warnings to those buying them. If it is not good enough or safe enough for our society, why is it okay to give it to another society knowing the harm and death it can cause.

Question 3: Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?

Question 3: We need to have more laws prohibiting more types of dumping. According to the United States International Trade Commission, “The Tariff Act of 1930, U.S. industries may petition the government for relief from imports that are sold in the United States at less than fair value (“dumped”) or which benefit from subsidies provided through foreign government programs. “ It is in US law that dumping has rules and regulations.

The law states, “Under the law, the U.S. Department of Commerce determines whether the dumping or subsidizing exists […] the margin of dumping or amount of the subsidy; the USITC determines whether there is material injury or threat of material injury to the domestic industry by reason of the dumped or subsidized imports. For industries not yet established, the USITC may also be asked to determine whether the establishment of an industry is being materially retarded by reason of the dumped or subsidized imports” (The United States International Trade Commission). Although this is part of the prohibitions of dumping, I believe there needs to be more done. Laws going into the specifics of dumping. For example, there should be laws about the disclosing of product hazards, recalls and whether they can be sold without disclosing the information. There should also be laws created prohibiting the price gouging of the products and selling them for larger amounts of money.

Reference:
Shaw, W. H. (2017). Business ethics (9th ed.). Australia: Cengage Learning.
“Understanding Antidumping & Countervailing Duty Investigations.” USITC, http://www.usitc.gov/press_room/usad.htm.

Kenyetta Guy

says:

Hey, your answer was a lot similar to my argument I agree that dumping is an incorrect practice because the way I view it is why give it to another 3rd world country and cause them possible cancer and other problematic complications later in life when we know it’s banned in the US for a reason I don’t think it’s right.

mmwolfe2

says:

Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for and against dumping? What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base is on? Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?

Morally dumping on other countries with less stringent laws than US laws may be beneficial to the consumer based on circumstance. For example, USDA regulates medications and it is required that all possible side effects of medications are disclosed to consumers even if the sides effects are not classified as an adverse effect causing great harm and less than 0.5 percent of consumers may experience the same side effects if ever. Not all countries view their consumers the same as the US views its consumers. Some countries are ruled by dictatorship and not by democracy leaving their consumers at the mercy of hierarchy. According to Case 1.1 “Made in the U.S.A.-Dumped in Brazil, Africa, Iraq…” Dalkon Shield IUD’s were not up to par for US consumer standards due to the adverse effects such as pelvic inflammation (PID) blood poisoning, etc. (Shaw, 2017). Some of the listed side effects can be experienced in common products sold in the US consumer marketplace such as disposable tampons. IUD’s are beneficial for impoverished areas with populations unable to afford monthly birth control since IUDs can remain in place preventing pregnancy for up to 10 years. This is essential for population control especially in areas overpopulated.
Knowingly dumping on less informed and less fortunate morally makes us opportunist. We justify dumping by rationalizing our actions as we are helping less fortunate and providing a solution to overpopulation but really, we are driven by selfish ulterior motives. We have found a way to dispose of excess while producing a profit instead of counting losses. We have a found loopholes, painted them prettier, and made it easier to digest in a moral palette. We should have the same higher regard for environmental, human, and animal life globally instead of held within the perimeter of our nation. We have already experienced how the decline of one nation can affect us all.

My position on dumping is that if any acting body deems a product unsafe and bans its sale to consumers because the evidence of harm overwhelms the benefits of use then the sale of this product is essentially unsafe across the globe despite geography. A product cannot be considered unsafe for Floridians but deemed safe for Colombian people or unsafe for the Florida environment but safe for Colombia environment. That makes no sense.

Dumping laws should be considered by higher authorities. Rather than capitalizing on geography and less developed countries, laws should restrict the dumping of products globally and enforce heavy penalties for illegal dumping especially if the effects of that product can lead to drastic environmental changes or damages, gross harm to animals, and gross harm to humans.

Reference
Shaw, W. H. (2017). Business ethics, Ninth edition. Boston, MA. Cengage Learning, Inc.

mtcaguiat

says:

I could with you when you said that it can be beneficial for comsumers from another countries with less strict policies when it comes to this subject. In my personal experience, a lot of times i willingly took over the counter medications, knowing that there are harmfull side effects associated with them. But at the same time there are very affordable for many people like myself in the philippines, and that was we could afford. Thank you….

adavis107

says:

7. Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for and against dumping? For me, its easy, do unto others as you would have them do unto us (the Golden Rule). As a country, we would not allow another country to permit such an act against our citizens, so we shouldn’t do such an act against another country. I’m sure this has happened to America with things like arms from China or Russia. The rocket motors Russia might fall into this category of the reverse. To allow such actions only prove some of the less admirable principles listed in our text such as Egoists or Utilitarian. Countries don’t have personal consciences and therefore run in the shaded area of operations with overseas transactions.
What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on? My position on dumping is that it should be considered immoral. My personal adoption of the saying “what you do with what you are given” may have little meaning to most, but here it applies. We are given the opportunity to make right the wrongs with manufacturing misfits by not “dumping” the products in/on countries that have little or no governing laws or just do not understand the consequences with purchasing such items listed.
Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping? Tough question here. Enforcing international laws become sticky, maybe costly to the point of ineffective. Not having done any such cost analysis, I would think it be advantageous to make the laws against such an act versus trying to enforce laws that other countries have no desire to uphold. I see the opportunity to do the right thing as a gray area between morality and legality. I’ve traveled the world many times over and keep hearing other countries calling Americans “The Ugly Americans.” I’m sure this comes from such acts of loudness as dumping. Legality in this matter may look like enforcing a disclaimer before you “dump” making it look legit. Not a fan of dumping!

John Aldabe

says:

Putting aside the question of legality, the following moral arguments can be given for and against dumping: Arguing for dumping our text (Shaw, 2017) describes a category of normative theories called consequentialist theories which is “the moral rightness of an action is determined solely by its results”. In determining right from wrong, a ratio of ‘units’ of right is weighed against ‘units’ of wrong; the prevailing outcome decides the difference. So it is asked, “wrong for who”? Egoism (self-interest) and utilitarianism (best for all) are distinguished by their different answers to the question. So, in the argument for dumping and organization motivated by profits is acting in its best self-interest to dump an unwanted product (say a certain pesticide) as an effort to solely protect their bottom line (egoism). To contradict the egoism approach to this question, a utilitarianism view can argue against dumping the pesticide to protect the ‘bottom line’ of an organization may not be in the best interest of all as in the referenced text example of dumping unwanted pesticides, ultimately contaminating the food supply for all.

My position on dumping is that it is wrong, organizations need to be accountable for their products and deal with their shortcomings locally and responsibly. The bases of my principles and values for my position falls under the nonconsequentialist theories in that not only is it wrong to send bad pesticides abroad in order to protect profits, the act of allowing the dangerous chemicals to be release to humankind to ingest in not justifiable. Shaw summarizes Kant’s theory that when we act from duty our actions have moral worth and that good will is the only thing that it good. I maintain that it is not good will to knowingly poison humankind (or any life) and that the duty of the company is that ”An act is morally right if and only if we will it as a universal law of conduct” (Shaw, 2017). How can it be a universal law of conduct to provide toxic chemicals for people to eat?

Laws prohibiting more types of dumping may be necessary, however I do not believe we should have more laws prohibiting dumping. Organizations have an ethical obligation to protect to best interest for everyone they affect. Doing so promotes the longevity and long-term profit potential for the entity. It makes sense to handle a product that has become unwanted locally and responsibility to help ensure the successfulness of the company, even if it means sending dangerous pesticides to a country who wants it; again looking out for the best interest of humankind. It is not of good interest for company to indirectly cause people to become sick or worse die from a product they created, people would not want to do business with them and ultimately leading to the demise of the organization. Our text (Shaw, 2017) talks about utilitarianism in an organizational context and list a feature (third)”…encourages organizations to focus on the results of their actions and policies…”, this further enforces my position. Additional laws only create additional expense and loopholes for something the company may likely do anyways, law or no law in the case where a company may not necessarily be concerned about their longevity.

By,
John Aldabe

smmacander

says:

Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be made for and against dumping?
For: Egoism could provide an argument for dumping, especially in terms of maximizing profit for a product that would otherwise be the cause of a financial loss. In fact, dumping could from that perspective be seen as a sacrifice (selling the product for less than it was worth) for long term success (making sure the company is financially stable and able to produce future products). Egoism could also argue that dumping is for the self-interest of those in the country they are dumping their products into (for example, the birth control example. The company argued that it would be beneficial to the people who lived there to have any type of birth control, even if it was considered unsafe by American standards) (Shaw, 2017). Furthermore, this argument could tie into the economic benefit of the people whose country they are dumping in if they were producing the products in that country by providing jobs to those people as well. Some utilitarians could have a similar argument for dumping. In this case, they wouldn’t argue that it would be for the self-interest of the company or people, but that the benefits of dumping would outweigh the negative impacts. For example, a utilitarian could argue that the advantage of having these products could increase happiness in society to the point where it would outweigh the negative health consequences of these products.

Against: A utilitarianism perspective could also be used to argue against dumping due to the negative consequences. A utilitarian could see the negative health consequences as more negative than the positive aspects of the products. For instance, the fact that the fireproof pajamas can cause kidney cancer could be more negative than the fire-resistant properties. Furthermore, prima facie obligations, and more specifically human rights could also be an objection to dumping. Human rights are universal and applied equally to all and if the products are unhealthy for one population (Americans) then they should also therefore be seen as unhealthy for those who live in other countries.

What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?
My position is that dumping is unethical. Based on how the book explained the definitions, I think that my values and principles are based on rule utilitarianism and how the consequences of the companies that are dumping affect happiness in the communities where the dumping happens. I have seen arguments that dumping is permissible if the local population consents to it. Furthermore, in Delenar’s article on dumping, it was suggested that because products that are dumped could have a beneficial effect on the population, it can be seen as a moral positive (1998). However, the examples given in the book do not suggest that local populations are given the truth about the products and their health consequences. The warnings are usually left in the embassies with no one understanding what the consequences of the product is (Shaw, 2017). The consequences of the companies being honest would decrease profit, and make them more likely to fail in selling their products, meaning their incentive would be to hide the truth from the people they are selling to (and justify it by saying they are actually helping the people if questioned). Furthermore, the people themselves would have predatory companies purposely selling them products that they know hurt people, which while some happiness could be gained through some material gain, would end up hurting the population by causing long term health effects. Furthermore, this type of situation would likely cause other companies to see that dumping worked and no longer be incentivized to make safe, good-quality products, because even if they are dangerous, they can still be sold with little consequence. Overall, I think that profit motivation for companies only leads to poor populations being affected very negatively.

Also, I think another very important aspect of this whole conversation and another big reason I am against dumping is the environmental impact. I know we aren’t really talking about that until next week, but dumping has very negative environmental implications as well. Consumerism incentivizes companies to make products that are replaceable to consumers who will continue to buy products from them. Companies that participate in dumping fall into this category, due to the development and mass production of products that ended up being unsafe, and they are now trying to find an easy (and financially beneficial way) to get rid of them. Therefore, they are contributing to the accumulation of waste. Many poorer countries are also unable to properly dispose of their waste, increasing disease vectors and water contamination (Ferranato & Toretta, 2019).

Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?
I do think that there should be laws prohibiting more types of dumping. While I don’t think that research that the United States does should necessarily indicate which products can be sold in foreign markets, it remains disturbing to me that these companies are targeting countries where there are no public safety regulations. If dumping is taking place, then there should (minimum) be much better disclosure laws so that the countries where the products are being sold are correctly informed of what products are being sold to their citizens. Furthermore, the United States should penalize companies that participate in dumping and still produce products for the domestic population due to the environmental impacts that dumping contributes to. I would want there to be further laws, but I am not sure how you would implement them or if they would even be possible, because ideally I think everyone should have access to high quality, safe products. However, I know that that isn’t really possible with current regulations and rules.

Delener, N. (1998). An Ethical and Legal Synthesis of Dumping: Growing Concerns in International Marketing. Journal of Business Ethics, 17(15), 1747-1753. Retrieved May 28, 2020, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/25074011

Ferronato, N., & Torretta, V. (2019). Waste Mismanagement in Developing Countries: A Review of Global Issues. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(6), 1060. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16061060

Shaw, W. (2017). Business ethics: Ninth edition. Cengage Learning.

dcheek3

says:

Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for and against dumping?

Everyone has a different understanding of morals. Egoism is basically what is the best decision based off of self-interest (Shaw, 2017). Egoism could go both ways in the case of dumping. If a company thinks revenue is more important for their self-interest, then they may think it is morally right to do so. However, if protecting the environment and people is their priority, then dumping would not be morally acceptable. Utilitrarianism is to make the decision that would bring the most happiness to everyone affected (Shaw, 2017). Dumping could be good or bad with this definition as well. It could be considered morally acceptable selling goods that are not able to be sold in the U.S. if it benefits other countries by providing quality of life products that they would not normally get. If selling the products harms the masses in other countries, then it would not be morally right.

What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?

I am torn on what I would consider alright to dump. I do not think we should dump anything that can harm the environment, but perhaps there are certain things that nature can naturally break down and dumping should just be limited and managed properly. I also do not think we should sell medications to other countries that we know will affect the health of others tremendously. Again, I am not qualified enough to decide if the U.S. overregulates medicine or not. In todays environment, would it be best to use a vaccine that might have minor health consequences and not approved by the FDA or die (just an example, I’m not sure if there is a potential vaccine for Covid-19 or not)?

Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?

Yes, I feel that if the U.S. is banning something to be sold here, then there should be something to regulate it. Maybe, any U.S. company that has a banned product is not allowed to dispose of it anywhere. I am not a huge fan of government handouts, but perhaps there could be some kind of tax write off on those products to encourage companies not to dump them.

Shaw, W. H. (2017). Business ethics. Australia: Cengage Learning.

Al

says:

I keep seeing “as long as it doesn’t harm the environment” as you have stated above. I pose these questions in hopes of swaying your fence-riding on “being torn what you would consider alright to dump” comment. When would human life outweigh environmental protection? If only one human life were at stake, would it be okay to dump? How about 10, 1000 or 1M? Is there any hierarchy with environment and human life?

Jessica Egbejimba

says:

The great thing about morality is the freedom to choose. To choose your rights from your wrongs. To chose in what you believe to be true and what you believe to be wrong. For some they choose to profit off others like those for dumping. Instead of accepting a failed business plan when those close to them were not buying. When the demand wasn’t there they chose to lie and given the basis of their morals they see nothing wrong with hurting others that they saw as “below” them. Naturally, those chickens came home to roost and the loses that they couldn’t accept in the past have come to haunt them. This is why 10 percent of our imported food is contaminated with residues of those very banned substances. For people like me who follow a principle of pay your dues or they WILL show up as residues dumping is a double edged sword. Unfortunately nobody benefits from this and why America made the regulations through the FDA. We must not loose sight of why we put those regulation in the first place. When we all agree on a basic human right standard: that working together will always produce more then working against each other we can learn take care of our toxicity in a healthy way.

Al

says:

Looks a bit ambiguous; Morality is the freedom to choose??? I thought the whole point of morality is to make the right choice for GOOD sake, not my personal feelings. Several times I’ve been wrong in my life, as you’ve stated came back to haunt me. As for the “truth” statement, what is truth to you in this example? Is it right to dump, or wrong to dump?

Ken

says:

What moral arguments can be given for or against dumping?

Moral arguments for “dumping” can be made under the pretense of removing potentially problematic objects from your immediate environment in the interest of protecting your citizens. Additionally offering a potentially valuable resource to countries that are in a position to need it more than you can provide the opportunity to utilize a resource that may not be viable within the country of origin. Norway, for example, has been powering its national electric grid by burning their nations refuse. The project was so successful that they ran out of their own trash and began importing their neighbors. While on the surface shipping your nation’s garbage to your neighbors would seem like pushing your problem on a neighbor in this case they had a viable use for it. Arguments against dumping can be numerous. Dumping problems and/or mistakes you have created on your neighbors to avoid having to deal with the negative consequences of them is not a moral action let alone a neighborly action. While the two governments in question may agree that the action is reasonable and possibly beneficial to both; the people who have to live with the problems this dumping creates may not be fine with what happens or the potential consequences of living with these situations. As we covered in chapter one of our text just because something is legal does not mean its ethical along with the reverse which also applies. These types of scenarios can create incredibly powerful motivators for disruptive behavior that can create regional instability and disrupt relations with neighbors. For example, we’ve seen terrorist groups in the middle east recruit aggressively using other country’s behavior and treatment of the region as a catalyst to bring in new individuals into their group.

My position on dumping and what principles and values do you base it on?

My personal position is dumping is an unethical solution to a problem you have created. I don’t dump my garbage in my neighbor’s yard because I don’t want to take the time to dispose of it properly. Additionally, I fundamentally disagree with the notion that a government, company, or organization is allowed to gamble using other country’s health or living space to offset their risk. The idea that you can dump an unsafe drug into a country with a less sophisticated health system to offset your losses in the development process strikes me as profoundly unethical. I feel the same way in regards to physical products that don’t shit in your neighbor’s yard. Think about how you would feel if a country dumped their waste behind your house and your kids got sick because of exposure to that material. Most underdeveloped countries already distrust western based medicine and exposing them to extensive side effects by using drugs that are considered unsafe in their country of origin can potentially cause perspectives about medicine that can last generations. The foundation of these beliefs come from an amalgamation of experiences.
My grandfather and father held personal responsibility in high regard. This coupled with witnessing blowback to others that routinely avoided it in their personal and professional lives solidified how critical it is to take responsibility for your failures and messes you create in this world. While this functions well on a personal level it becomes increasingly difficult when scaled up to a macro level where companies always seem to find a reason why they aren’t responsible for the mistakes and serious problems they create in the world around them. Even more frustrating is a constantly increasing ecosystem of laws and loopholes put in place to ensure their abdication goes unpunished and even rewarded in some cases.

Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?

I believe we should have more restrictive laws about dumping toxic and potentially hazardous materials in other countries. If companies believe they have a safety net under them for behaving in risky and or unethical ways they are more likely to engage in those behaviors and seek to “relocate” the consequences of those actions. As I said previously just because both governments agree to the dumping and potential consequences to their citizens doesn’t mean their citizens will accept it or retaliate in some fashion if they perceive these behaviors as detrimental to the health of themselves or the environment in which they live. It is very likely in everyone’s interest to avoid creating potentially negative scenarios by engaging in this behavior.

jlsager

says:

Ken,
I really enjoyed reading your post! I think you made good arguments and provided good information and facts to back up everything you stated. I really like how you used real life examples for why you think it is unethical. I wouldn’t dump garbage into my neighbor’ s yard either and I think that is a really good example to argue that side of the statement.

bpkyes

says:

Ken, before I read the book and answered the questions, I first looked at the questions and thought to myself, I don’t need to read the book to answer questions about dumping. But then I remembered their are different types of dumping and I’m glad I realized this and read the book or else my answer would have looked almost identical to yours, even to the Norway references. The problem is that this was not the type of dumping they were discussing in the book. The kind of dumping the book was discussing, was companies who have products deemed illegal in their country of origin, and so they (or a third party) take their product and sell it in a country without those laws, even though they may be endangering that countries people. You may want to read and answer the questions again my dude. Sorry to call ya out, I almost did the same thing, hope there is no hard feelings.

John Aldabe

says:

Hi Ken,
Thank you for your post, we have many good posts to decipher here and yours caught my attention regarding your opinion on dumping. I appreciate your comment “…dumping is an unethical solution to a problem you have created.” It leads to a point I agree with; organizations are morally responsible for their actions and need to responsibly care for products they created that are found to be hazardous and to provide safe corrective measures locally (keep our trash home). Protecting profits by moving dangerous products abroad (egoism) is unethical according to consequentialist theories from a utilitarianism point of view. Remember in our text (Shaw, 2017) “Utilitarianism holds that one must take into account everyone affected by the action.” This statement tells me that accounting for everyone dumping toxic product is not good for all, even if the place in which product is dumped feels it is usable or desired; the fact remains that it is unsafe. The consequence of dumping toxic items is that people will be hurt, and this is wrong.
From, John Aldabe

jlsager

says:

Question 1: Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for and against dumping?
One of the moral arguments that could be made in order to justify dumping is consequentialists. Consequentialists determine what is right based off of determining what is right by weighing the good or bad outcomes that the action would produce (Shaw 2017). Because of this view, even if it is ethic or not, if the outcome for Americans is the removal of waste then it must be okay even though for the places receiving the waste, it is not.
On the other side of that, nonconsequentialist theories would argue to not justify dumping because there are other factors that go into the action. In short terms, you can use the phrase “ the ends do not justify the means” or using the golden rule to show that there are many other circumstances that can go into the main action.

Question 2: What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?
I don’t think that I have enough information on the topic or have formed an opinion yet in order to have a position on dumping. On one side, dumping causes environmental issues with one country but waste buildup causes issues with another country. The lists like this can go on and on to where unless I was present in the situation and it was affecting me personally, I cannot say I am for or against it. The context of this issue is so large but falls into the same kinds of arguments as other ethical questions like abortions, euthanasia, and birth control, just to name a few. My position would be to help both sides in the matter such as doing my part to recycle and dispose of waste to the best of my ability.

Question 3: Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?”
I think that there should be laws prohibiting dumping because it does cause harm to humans and animals in the area. But on the other hand, even if laws were put into place, people are still going to do it. And then what about the waste buildup if they can’t dump? Will more laws be put in place for waste management? I don’t ever think that people truly have the intent of hurting others or their environment in other countries but laws might help protect future victims of dumping.

Reference:
Shaw, W. (2017). Business Ethics: Ninth Edition. Cengage Learning.

smmacander

says:

Hi, thanks for your perspective. I like how you explained how a consequentialist could come to the conclusion that dumping is ethical, while a nonconsequentialist would see it as unethical. However, I do think that both perspectives are a bit more complicated and you could make arguments both for and against dumping with both perspectives (especially with a consequentialist perspective). For instance, depending on what is determined to be the measure of happiness, a utilitarian could see dumping as either ethical or unethical. If the health of a population was more negatively affected than the positives the product would produce, then it would be unethical from a consequentialist perspective. Also, I think the moral argument concerning dumping would have a different ethical argument than abortion, birth control, or euthanasia due to dumping not being a personal choice that a person makes, but a decision a company is making to maximize profits. While a person could have a moral argument for or against abortion, birth control, and euthanasia concerning whether or not it is ethical for a person to make such a decision, it is not the individual who decides whether or not to participate in dumping. I do agree that companies will likely participate in dumping even if it is frowned upon, however, I do think there would be ways to disincentive the practice that countries like the United States could enforce that would decrease the prevalence of dumping.

Chief

says:

Question 1: Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for or against dumping?
“Consequentialist theories: Those that determine the moral rightness or wrongness of an action based solely on the action’s consequences or results”
Based on the reading from this Chapter and the related slides for this module my argument for dumping simply boils down to largest profit margin and the bottom line number for the American companies. The Chairman and heads of major corporations aren’t loosing sleep over the consequences and impacts that their decisions have morally, on people, or the environment. What keeps them awake at night is profit losses and staying ahead of the competition. I would further add that it is also makes the easier when everyone one else is doing it without fear of any accountability.

Question 2: What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?
My position on dumping based on my moral values and beliefs is that I don’t agree with it and I think it’s wrong to do it simply because everyone else is getting away with it or excuse it because the ends is a justification for the means. The first argument that I have comes from the stand point that we are killing people whether it’s a slow painful death or quick and painless the end result is still results in loss of lives, secondly the environmental impact that dumping poses locally and aboard is still the same earth so it poses a detriment to us all. In the end I feel that mans creed and total disregard for long term consequences is going to be the undoing to us all.

Question 3: Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?”
We have more than enough laws and more in the works. The problem though isn’t a lack of laws it’s a lack of regulation, enforcement and consequences combined with the financial greed of corporations and legislators. The problem needs to be handled heavy handed. One idea that I think would work is to levy huge fines towards the Chairman and board members of the corporations and not the corporations. If the only language the CEO’s speak is money that make results of their actions cost them heavily and I think that we’d quickly see a change in the corporate mind set. A good example of this is if you’re a Commanding Officer of a ship that spills fuel or runs aground for the fines will come directly out of your pocket and most likely you’ll will be fired so can you guess what 2 things CO’s reemphasize and are passionate about the most?

John Aldabe

says:

Hello Chief,
Thank you for your post, it seems we are in line with this topic, so it makes it easer for me to comment. I find your response to question #3 asking if we should have more regulation for dumping interesting. Many in the post argue for more heavy regulation, however we and some others side with more regulation as not the answer. What I find of interest is your point about holding the boss accountable, rather than the organization. I relate this back to the text (Shaw, 2017) in the discussion of diffusion of responsibility. Shaw states “…responsibility for what an organization dose can become fragmented…with no single individual…responsible…” so, as you propose, holding the ‘commander’ personally liable seemingly would put an abrupt end to dumping and could result in more carful product development. Perhaps ‘lying awake at night’ may be spent pondering better products for the greater good for all and considering if all are better off, profits would naturally follow.
From, John Aldabe

srtukua

says:

I enjoyed reading your post Chief. I responded to the first prompt in the same manner that you did, articulating the ethics and morality of the individual versus the ethical decision making of the corporation. The motives of both are uniquely independent. The individual ethics tend to be more heavily empathetic and the emotional connection with them, much higher. Conversely business ethics, as you so clearly identified, are driven by profits and losses. The end consequence may very well be of little or no concern to the company or organization since there have been possibly no consequences for their actions outside of the United States.

Additionally, I agreed with you that dumping is inherently wrong. The consequences that may be suffered through illness and death from use of these products and the impact to the environment should not be taken lightly. There should absolutely exist some form of ethical responsibility in order to participate in commerce anywhere. I agree that the right for the consumer to buy whatever they want and for companies to see whatever they want, if there is a market, should be allowed. A possible solution would be to include any known health consequences from the use of those products to a would be consumer, prior to their purchase, so they can make an educated decision on whether to purchase the item(s).

Nice Post.

srtukua

says:

Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for and against dumping?
I think depending on the angle of the argument you could make many moral arguments for or against dumping. An argument for justification of dumping could include the moral rightness of an action determined solely by its outcome, by using the consequentialist theory (Shaw, 2017). Additionally, capitalism within a company, can lend itself heavily to egoism. If the bottom line is drive by profit and preventing loss, then dumping would be a viable option and considered morally acceptable.
In contrast, the application of the consequentialist theory establishes the rightness or wrongness of an action based on the action’s actual consequences (Shaw, 2017). If we applied this theory to the study, then selling items that are known to contribute and/or cause health problems to other countries with reduced safety and/or health standards is not morally responsible. And since the only justification is selling these items to reduce loss or even make profits, knowing their risks, the company is acting morally poor.

What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?
I believe you can make justifications (or even rationalization) for just about any decision, however if I to pick a single position, I believe that dumping is a morally unacceptable action. If I apply the ethics of non-consequentialist theory, my moral compass suggests that this is inherently a very poor decision based on all the information that we have for the different items discussed in this article (Shaw, 2017). Increased profits or reduced corporate losses do not justify the increased risk of illness and death to citizens in countries with reduced safety standards. Although business ethics could be internalized to take the humanity out of the decision making, it is difficult to argue the human cost potential measured against a company’s quarterly statement.

Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?
I believe we should have international laws against dumping. I believe in capitalism and the ability to sell your products in other countries to anyone that wants to buy them. However, if they have been known to cause illness or death based on the design or compositions of materials the responsibility of the manufacturer to disclose the health risks and safety concerns should be advocated and displayed on the product packaging. I believe there is a moral obligation to share this information with would be consumers even if the importation and sales are not restricted in other countries.

Shaw, William H.. Business Ethics: A Textbook with Cases. Cengage Learning. Kindle Edition.

zsstallings

says:

I agree I think that we should regulate dumping and one of them should be that the companies have to label their product and notify the other company and country of the hazards. Then the country and other companies can decide for themselves if they still want them. We as a society try to dictate too much of other countries and their population why can’t they decide for themselves? As long as all the information is out there and easily visible they should have that option.

twmcclendon

says:

Moral arguments for dumping seem to be simply national sovereignty. Every other argument seems to fail Kant’s theory of universal maxims. “This product is too dangerous for me to buy, but safe for them” is not universalizable, because then nothing could be considered too dangerous to sell. Dumping also seems to be the epitome of treating people as a means – I would lose profit if I don’t sell my dangerous product, so those who are unprotected are my means to profit.

From how it is presented in the textbook, dumping seems to be a completely amoral endeavor. I am basing this statement off of what I have said above, but also from a complete personal aversion to the idea. I simply don’t understand what it is in people that makes them treat human beings as less than money.

Should we have more stringent laws on dumping? Absolutely. We should not treat the health and dignity of people in poorer countries as less than our own.

I would say more, but I find this topic deeply upsetting and would rather not dwell on it.

jafishersalmon

says:

Yes I think it dehumanizes people who are on the receiving end of the dumping. There has to be a way to protect the poorer societies from dangerous products. I wonder if the United Nations has sessions on this topic.

ischnauder

says:

I think this is a great point that lacks objectivity. I know this won’t fit every scenario but it does fit some, thus it brings me to my hesitation of expanding regulations against dumping. What is dangerous to our society might not be so dangerous to others. Additionally, a consideration would be that a cheap but slightly dangerous product that solves an absolutely deadly issue may be worth the risk to lesser developed countries. The entirety of my point is that what is important to us may not be important to others. As only one of nearly two hundred nations who are we do determine what another nation deems safe?

bjferris

says:

“Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for and against dumping? What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on? Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?”

The moral argument against dumping is knowing that you are putting harmful products out for people to still use. Both domestic and international, some cases of dumping when the products being dumped cause health problems put both sides in danger. Also in terms of economic disadvantage, dumping can cause competition issues for consumers on all sides. Unfair for third world companies to compete with developed western companies dumping mass produced items that they cannot make in a year.

My position on dumping is our laws should reflect more common sense. We shouldn’t require companies to manufacture furniture to be flame retardant because you technically can’t prevent things from being 100 percent fireproof. As we learned from the book, trade offs need to be made and requiring harmful chemicals being woven into products to prevent one health hazard may cause harm to others that’s less visible. To hold companies liable for manufacturing harmful products is morally sound, especially if they knowingly commit harmful products onto domestic or international consumers. It’s quite frequent that some companies don’t realize the full health implications of certain material in their products. By legally penalizing them into oblivion, you help some victims but may also jeopardize more citizens associated within these companies and people whose intentions were to just do their job.

We should ultimately streamline the process of our agency investigations into the health and safety of products and dumping them. It’s a little troubling for me to see the amount of time it takes the EPA or FDA to complete a review or investigation of a product and its harmful nature and then alert state officials on the next course of action, As the book states. It seems like with technology and research available, we should be able to determine the harm of products quicker and notify the public so we can get recalls and psa out faster to save lives. The process being longer for alerting overseas partners is even more troubling, because there are even more bureaucratic hoops to jump through.

shsackinger

says:

Question 1) Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for and against dumping?

One argument for dumping would be that it is up to the country to decide how to use the dumped product. According to Shaw, foreign countries should be free to decide for themselves if the benefits of the product are worth the risks. One example noted the risks of the Dalkon Shield intrauterine device posed to its users, but when presented to third world countries with high infant mortality rates the device is seen safer than going through with pregnancy (Shaw 2017). Few cases work out like that however. Many dumped products are dumped without relaying their dangers and risks, and many of the products are dumped without much regulation. This is not ethical to the people in the countries receiving the product because it is unlikely that the product’s risks, if it is relayed to the country’s government, will then be relayed to the common person.

Question 2) What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?

I do not believe dumping is the right thing to do in many cases. Take the pesticide DDT for example. Before it was banned by the EPA in 1972, DDT was used to combat insect-born diseases in humans and it also was great insect control in agriculture. This in turn helped profits on many fronts, and as profitable as it was to some it still eventually was banned. That is because it was harmful to many more than it was profitable. Build up of it kills wildlife and causes cancer and it was more harmful than good. It especially effected the populations of Bald Eagles and Osprey because DDT thinned eggshells to the point that the birds were crushing their own eggs. If a dangerous pesticide like this is banned in the United States, then it should not leave the United States to be dumped in a different country with more relaxed restrictions. Other countries’ use of DDT is already affecting the United States through our imports. Not to mention the countries using DDT are probably feeling the effects of it. Of course this is an extreme example, but in most cases of dumping the products prove to be harmful and unethical. While dumping is unavoidable, I believe there is much more that can be done to lower the risks and consequences of it.

Question 3) Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?

I personally believe we should, but realistically I do not think that we could even enforce them. Rather than try to completely control dumps leaving the United States, at the very least I believe that the information about the risks the product poses should be relayed to the receiving government and its people. Risks are often lost through the grapevine as the product travels, and on the United States end we could impose stricter restrictions of product leaving the country. That way we could keep better track of what product gets dumped where and when and in turn broadcast the information. There is no easy answer here but I do believe there is more we can do.
Reference:
Shaw, W. (2017). Business ethics: Ninth edition. Cengage Learning.

bjferris

says:

Great write up! Thanks for bringing up DDT. That one is a really interesting and controversial case even today. There has been quite a bit of debate about whether to reintroduce DDT usage in the world over the last 20 years. There has been widespread usage in countries hit hard by malaria pandemics because of mosquitos gaining immunity to other pesticides. Its also interesting how its not illegal to produce DDT in America (through the vector control program) its just banned from being used even in severe cases domestically. Yet we produce it to dump on other countries because its politically favorable, after we told everyone it should not be used at all? So do we call it essential dumping or emergency aid for these countries? the term dumping I feel is a little evil sounding when it can be done for good. Its interesting how government agencies can greenlight this sort of “controlled dumping” but if we leave it up to free enterprise its viewed as all bad. Strict dumping laws still in place yet other harmful items are still being dumped today. There is a lot to think about.
Thank you for bringing this up it I enjoyed discovering new articles to read about this!

https://www.epa.gov/caddis-vol1/case-ddt-revisiting-impairment
https://www.epa.gov/history/epa-history-ddt-dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane
https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ddt-use-to-combat-malaria/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2821864/

hllivengood

says:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. There were a few points I thought I would touch on. You mentioned that there is more that could be done to lower the risks and consequences that arise as a result of the dumping of harmful products. This reminded me of the question of ethical relativism. When we are evaluating a product the US has it’s own standards to determine if a product is safe. Many other countries have their own standardized tests. If they both have safety standards and testing and the product is harmful in the US, but found safe in the import country, who is to say if it actually is harmful or not What we may consider dumping of harmful products on another market may actually be something of higher quality than is found there locally. Which is ethical? To ban the export of US so-called harmful goods or to allow those same products to be consumed by other countries who deem them safe

I agree with you that additional dumping laws would be challenging for the United States Government to enforce. It seems that the system that we currently have to regulate exported goods is not functioning properly. In April a very common over-the-counter drug, Ranitidine, was found to have higher than standard levels of a carcinogenic compound, N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) and the FDA requested the manufacturers pull the drug from the US Economic Market (Commissioner). The question that I asked myself is exactly where is the process broken and what new laws and checks would need to be imposed after an item has been found to be harmful so that it would not be dumped onto a new market. Briefly looking at the U.S. Government’s website for the Bureau of Industry and Security exports only need to be reported if they are under a specific dollar amount. If an item has been removed from the U.S. economic market what is it’s the new value at that point in time, considering it cannot be resold. Just as you stated there is more The underlying issue that I can see with dumping is not that we need new laws, but that there needs to be more accountability within the system.

Again, thank you.

Reference:
Commissioner, Office of the. “FDA Requests Removal of All Ranitidine Products (Zantac) from the Market.” U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, http://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-requests-removal-all-ranitidine-products-zantac-market.

ischnauder

says:

Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for and against dumping?
The moral argument for dumping is simple, as Americans it is not our position to police the worlds actions. If a country does not feel that a product that we have deemed unacceptable is such, then the morality issue is on them.
Alternatively, the argument against dumping would be to prevent irresponsible countries from buying banned products, using them for production of a new product, and selling it right back to us. This argument focuses on the bigger picture and the follow-on effects that take place in trade actions amongst nations.
What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?
My position is fluid. Many situations where the FDA deems a product harmful is well founded and no one should use it so dumping of said product would be a tragedy. Alternatively, I can say that for some people the risk is worth the reward. For instance, when I was in the Army, I heard a story from multiple sources that the ‘Old’ version of a particular lubricant was the most reliable lubricant anyone could ever wish for. Only downside was that it was proven to cause cancerous tumors to form after continued use, so the Army changed the formula and the reliability went away. Now when it comes to something as critical as ensuring that when a trigger is pulled it sends a round out of the chamber, I’d prefer to have the never-failing cancer-causing lubricant. If the weapon fails at a critical point that lives are on the line irreversible damage could occur, but if you use the lubricant that America deemed unsafe you might just live to fight another day. My principles are based on a cost benefit analysis on the part of the consumer. I believe it is everyone’s choice to make even if it leads them to harm. If we didn’t believe that we would ban smoking.

Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?
I think after developing my thoughts on this a little further I believe that we should implement better measures to inform other governments of our banned items. Additionally, we need to regulate what comes into our country better than we currently do.

adavis107

says:

Respectfully disagree. As part of the world, as you have stated, it is our moral obligation as the product maker to ensure they are responsibly handled. If that means disposing of them in a responsible way, then spend the money to do that versus making a dime on a gullible third world country with little to no import regulation against harmful products as stated in the text example. Take a stand versus being fluid.

jafishersalmon

says:

“Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for and against dumping? What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on? Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping”

The arguments that can be given against dumping is that its immoral to dump toxic waste onto other markets. In any situation manufacturers should be held liable for their produce. It should be their responsibility to dispose of it safely. Dumping produce that was recalled due to health violations shouldn’t be sent to third world countries just because their market is willing to pay the cheaper cost. If a product deteriorates peoples health it should be disposed of.

My position on dumping is that it shouldn’t be done, I understand that there will be cases where manufacturers produce a product that ends up being dangerous and that there’s no system that disposes of the product safely. However it does not mean that the waste wont continue to effect our lives. Even if its shipped to an entirely different country. We all share a planet and waste continues to be an international problem, in one way or another we will still be exposed to the issue. Manufacturers need to be responsible for the products they release to the public. The testing for toxic chemicals should be done before the mass production. Testing after the product has already been mass produced just insures an uncontrollable amount of waste. The principles and values I base my opinion on is just respect for nature. That’s all it comes down to, don’t make unnecessary waste if it can be avoided. Use common sense and do they safety tests before hand.

We should have laws to prohibit dumping, the article mentioned that other countries felt as though our regulations threatened their sovereignty as a nation. Our regulations and laws are our responsibility and our nation should be conscious of the foot print we leave on the planet. Our laws should be based off of a common sense approach. Testing before hand, creating labels and warnings that tell the consumer what they’re ingesting or putting on their body. Dumping should have extensive laws, basing what is okay to internationally transport based on the level of toxicity the product has.

ischnauder

says:

I disagree with the premise that the planet should be our reason to restrict dumping. As one of nearly two hundred countries that populate this planet I believe that we do not have the legal right or the moral obligation to restrict other countries from buying our goods regardless of toxicity. I believe this mindset puts the situation into an all or nothing scenario. Your example cites toxic waste but not all scenarios are to this level. An example could be that a pesticide producer in our country creates a great pesticide that has only negative. It causes farmed cows that are near the pesticide at the time of application to lose their hoofs. Well if the FDA bans that pesticide but india who doesn’t farm or consume beef decides to buy this cheap and effective surplus pesticide, who is actually being hurt?
Long and short if that I believe that the planet is important but we can only truly control what happens on our piece of it. Secondly, I feel that laws prohibiting dumping would be a knee jerk reaction to a much more complex issue.

hllivengood

says:

The article, Dumping Our Mistakes on the World, by Adam Hochschild introduced the term dumping to the American public after it was discovered that more than one million hazardous IUDs were exported overseas by the manufacturer, Dalkon Shields. “Dumping refers to the practice of exporting to other countries products that have been banned or declared hazardous in the United States” (Shaw 32).

What moral arguments can be given for and against dumping?

By using the alleged fact, that the action of the dumping of hazardous materials in third-world countries, I was able to build moral arguments for and against the act. A moral argument for dumping can be; if an action redresses past injuries that have disadvantaged a group, it is morally permissible. The action of the dumping of hazardous materials in third-world countries redresses past injuries that have disadvantaged a group. Therefore, the action of the dumping of hazardous materials in third-world countries is morally permissible. In contrast, we could also build a moral argument against dumping. Our moral standard would be; if an action violates the will of the majority, it is morally wrong. The alleged fact would be; the action of the dumping of hazardous materials in third-world countries violates the will of the majority. Our resulting moral judgment is, therefore, the action of dumping hazardous materials in third-world countries is morally wrong. In order to determine if these moral arguments are sound or not we would need to evaluate the moral judgment using moral reasoning and evidence.

What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?

Dumping was not a topic that I was very familiar with until now. I had felt it was more of an economic issue than a moral issue. If we are basing our opinions on the definition of dumping being materials deemed hazardous by United States regulatory agencies and sold/distributed overseas than I would have to say it is a moral issue. That is simply because there is a risk of serious consequences to human welfare as a result. My principles are guided by my Catholic Faith, well-formed conscience, and personal experiences. There are three questions I ask myself when deciding if a human act is moral or not. What is the object chosen? What is the intention? What are the circumstances of the action (CCC 1749)?

Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?

I strongly feel that it is better for humanity’s posterity to teach ethical behavior and morality than to impose frivolous laws that will need to be enforced by an already over-taxed government.

References:
Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd ed. (Washington, DC: United States Catholic
Conference, 2000), 1749-1754.
Hochschild, Adam. “Dumping Our Mistakes on the World.” Mother Jones, Mother Jones and
the Foundation for National Progress, 1 Nov. 1979,
http://www.motherjones.com/politics/1979/11/dumping-our-mistakes-world/.
Shaw, W. H. (2017). Business ethics, Ninth edition. Boston, MA. Cengage Learning, Inc.

Sandra

says:

I agree with much of what you said, this sentiment not so much:

I strongly feel that it is better for humanity’s posterity to teach ethical behavior and morality than to impose frivolous laws that will need to be enforced by an already over-taxed government.”

I would be interested to know how you would define a frivolous law. One could see where a law regulating the type of clothing a person wears would be frivolous, but regulations pertaining to dumping do not strike me as such.

And why is the government overtaxed? Discretionary spending is a small part of the federal budget, and when you look at agency spending for the FDA, EPA, FTC, etc., it’s very little. As is direct assistance non-military assistance to other countries.

Many regulatory functions run into trouble because they need more resources; for example, the IRS has too few employees to conduct enough audits to effectively deter tax evasion/fraud. Committing to an international agency overseeing the safety of exported products and providing some of its funding is a potential solution.

Since the introduction of this topic, I haven’t been able to find any definitive domestic regulation pertaining to the export of products that are banned domestically. That doesn’t mean that the laws don’t exist – I know very little about the topic – but could be an indication that we’re not exactly swamped with regulations. Court remedies are a problematic avenue to pursue, especially for the poor: legal remedies require; first, an awareness by the injured party that they’ve been harmed, and then, time and money to address.

zsstallings

says:

1) Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for and against dumping?
A moral argument that can be given for dumping is, by selling these products to other third world countries, they are committing a utilitarian act which is the greatest good for the greatest amount of people. Example: Say that those pajamas were sold to Afganistan were children die or lose limbs daily, and children run around half-clothed in ratty old clothing or even none at all. Being able to buy clothes at a fraction of the regular price is helpful to those families. And the risk of cancer is probably less than dying in an explosion. Plus, the company makes some sort of profit or at least breaks even. Then families are happy, companies are happy.

A moral argument against dumping could be that the company is only acting in their Self-interest. When a product becomes baned, they either have to take the loss, which could destroy the company or find any other means to sell the product for some sort of profit. The company’s morals would not have universal acceptability.

2) What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?
I think that it depends on one side dumping might help some third world countries in need. I look at it as if I am a consumer and understand the risk of buying the product that identifies those hazards, and then the responsibility is on me. It’s like buying a gun if I shoot someone with that gun the responsibility is on me and not the gun company. On the other hand, If it causes bodily harm and death and is un-announced to the public, then it should not. My point of view is on both Utilitarianism and egoism.

3) Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?
To an extent, there should be laws regulating dumping. What’s acceptable to dump and what must be said to the other countries. It should be announcing that the products are hazardous to the Other country and their businesses, and if they still want them, then it’s on them.

bpkyes

says:

Question 1
My original answer to this was my answer to question number 2, but I realized I was giving my personal opinions, so I am going to try and keep this without them. There are many arguments for and against dumping, however each case is different and should be judged on a case by case basis. The reason I say this is due to examples like the intrauterine device from Shaw (2017), where even though there are potentially dangerous side effects, due to the infant mortality rate being so high in certain countries it could be considered more humane. Another reason I think it is a case by case judgement, is that if you aren’t harming anyone or being deceitful, then your operation seems to be fairly moral. On the other side if there is deceitfulness then that same exact operation could be then considered immoral. The problem is that the majority of companies doing the dumping are not being ethical about it, which is why some governments believe it should not be allowed at all.
Question 2
For starters I do believe there are moral arguments both for and against dumping, and I also think that a certain product can have a differing moral stance depending on the way a company dumps it. The main factor for me is that as long as you aren’t harming people that are uninformed of possible consequences it is pretty moral. For example, as a social libertarian I believe that you should be able to buy any drug you want to put in your body. It’s your body and as long as you feel you have done enough research, and as long as you doing the drug won’t harm someone else, it is your decision to do as you see fit. On the other hand, if the company selling the drug knows there are adverse effects from the drug and are not disclosing it to the buyers, that is not moral at all. I think like most things I base this opinion on my golden rule principle, do onto others as you would like done to you.

Question 3
I do not believe that there should be laws flat out prohibiting dumping. I think general bans on specific things are usually pretty egregious. I do however believe there should be regulations that have stipulations for selling in other countries. For example, I believe that if there was a sheet with documentation that came with the product, in the language of the country it was going to that outlined any known issues with the product, that it should be allowed to be sold.

Cole Sudkamp Walker

says:

Putting aside the question of legality, what moral arguments can be given for or against dumping?
Morally you can argue that dumping is moral since those purchasing have the choice to not buy a product that may harm them. This argument centers on personal human freedom and respecting that the values you have aren’t the same as people who are buying these products. Another argument for dumping is that these products have inherent value if someone wants them and by not selling them you are destroying that value that could benefit another human being.
On the contrary, dumping can be considered immoral since the people buying these products may not know the ill effects or that selling a product that isn’t good enough for a first world nation shouldn’t be considered good enough for third world nations. Also since the company that made these products didn’t do the research into the ill effects of a product, that company should be held responsible for disposing of a product, not the people of third world nations. This point of view suggests that companies that make products not suitable for first world markets are still able to profit by exploiting people that may not have another choice or are unable to afford another one.

What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?
Morally I am mostly against dumping. First flooding a market with under market value goods chokes out local businesses this keeps the economy poor and the benefits don’t outweigh the costs. So a first world selling poor products that they are responsible for producing, benefits while the third or developing world businesses pay the price for. Even from a selfish point of view hurting the economy of third worlds also hurts first world nations. A developing economy has far more trading potential because they are able to invest in better technology for producing more at lower costs and are wealthier to buy first world products and technologies. Secondly low quality goods that decrease quality of life for the people of that country is exploitation of vulnerable people who don’t have the information on the potential effects of the low quality.
There are some exceptions for me, however, like medical supplies that are needed for public health even if they are below first world standards if it’s better than nothing and the people in that country are informed on its effects and willing to buy it. As Shaw mentions in chapter 1.2 poor birth control is better than none. The other personal exceptions are goods that improve infrastructure. This helps the country beyond the initial purchases and stimulates their economy improving quality of life.My general rule is that trade must benefit both nations beyond just the company.

Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?
I think that transparency between companies and governments are necessary since the public health of people and their environment are at risk. I also think that the company dumping should pay tariffs to the country that is receiving these goods. This helps to grow government funding that benefits the public while providing the people with a product they may not have access to otherwise. Adding these tariffs also may make properly disposing the products more beneficial to a company rather than selling them to countries that need their businesses to grow. The public must also be aware of risks. This can be hard as the countries receiving these goods may not have a mostly literate population so either other methods of displaying risks or simply not selling to these countries may be necessary.

rjmccrossin

says:

Cole,

I enjoyed reading your response. I definitely agree with you being exceptions as to where shipping hazardous products may be a better alternative in some cases. It’s a dilemma in which you are having to choose getting sick one way or another. Plus, in some countries, a certain material might not be deemed dangerous to public consumption that is in another. Having the option open depending on the hazards is a positive in the legislation with dumping.

I also really liked how you described “transparency”. By outlining what the companies are dumping (as well as supplementing the receiving countries’ economies), the public can determine where the companies’ ethics lie. Companies, at least in my eyes, have a responsibility to protect their consumers. I mentioned in my answer that it is not fair to hold liable the company that dumps the products onto another country, but I feel that I should rephrase it as “to a certain extent”. Having both countries know the risks in the sense of complete comprehension is important in these trades.

Good answer Cole!

rjmccrossin

says:

1. Putting aside legality, there are many moral arguments both against and in support of dumping. On one hand, you have the idea that dumping materials that are banned from one country (for a reason) could lead to people in another country getting sick, hurt, or worst case scenario dead. You also have the idea of putting profit over people for the reason listed before. Also, there is an inherent risk with messing around with chemicals and creating things like carcinogens or toxic products.

However, one could argue that companies who do not know the dangers of a certain material before it was banned should have some opportunity to make money back. Also, some would argue that a material is not that harmful to people as the government would have you believe. Having a chemical that gives you a rash is different than a chemical that causes your heart to stop. Finally, it’s not fair to judge a company based on what the receiver of certain materials does with them. It’s the same as it not being fair to hold me liable if a person I sell my car to crashing it into a building.

2. With dumping, it honestly is a case-by-case basis. Again, it ultimately depends on what the product is being banned for. For instance, brominated vegetable oil is banned in the EU because the FDA determined that the bromine “can affect one’s memory, skin and nerves”. [1]. This means Mountain Dew is not allowed to be consumed in the EU. But when it was created in the EU before the law passed, perhaps Coca-Cola in the EU had the ability to dump it in the US, as the US determined consumption in small moderated amounts was okay? This is different than sending products with asbestos or lead to another country, which is universally regarded as unsafe. I base it on the question of “Will someone get hurt or sick to the point of permanent damage?”. The brominated vegetable oil example and the consumption of Mountain Dew in the US answers the question “not necessarily”. Asbestos answers this question “Yes, of course, people have died from asbestos poisoning”.

3. As far as increasing dumping laws, dumping is a lot different than exporting. You are creating a risk to others in many cases of dumping. While there may be few exceptions, you might be killing people to turn a profit. Common sense might be enough, or it might not be. I can understand it’s also difficult at times to predict what materials could cause illness in some people. Nobody predicted that lead paint could kill someone at the time of use. No one predicted that the talcum powder in the Johnson and Johnson’s baby powder would cause ovarian cancer. More and more examples will pop up through history as far as chemicals being unsafe. I feel that if we as a society cannot reliably trust a company to be ethical enough to not dump, we should implement something. Heck, that might be now for some folks! If we are going to perceive corporations as entities with the same rights as people, this is one of the things we must keep in mind.

Sources:
[1] Advisory Board. (2019, January 3). Why these food additives are banned in Europe-but not in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.advisory.com/daily-briefing/2019/01/03/banned-foods

AlaskanT

says:

What moral arguments can be given for and against dumping?
According to Shaw, dumping endanger or risk the health of majority. One example is the Tris pajamas that causes kidney cancer in children. Another is the 450,000 baby pacifiers of the type known to have caused chocking deaths that were exported overseas. Because of the risk of dumping to society, dumping is not acceptable. According to the idea of utilitarianism, which is focus on the morality of an action, anything can be morally praiseworthy in some circumstances if it promotes the greatest balance of pleasure vs. pain for the greatest number of people (breaking a promise).

What is your position on dumping, and what principles and values do you base it on?
My position on dumping is I disagree with it. Even thou some perspectives supports dumping as a saving for people and governing bodies in the third world countries, from a moral thought, I follow the theory of utilitarianism that we should always act to produce the most pleasure or happiness for the greatest number of people affected by our actions. I think the process of dumping to other countries should be based on after careful investigation of the product before it goes to the third world countries, and the consequences should be acknowledged and prevented if it shows risk to the society.

Should we have laws prohibiting more types of dumping?
Yes, there should be laws for companies who are dumping products to comply with, and so they know that there is an appropriate system through which things must done, and all, and rules to follow. Because if there are no laws, those companies who are dumping products have no respect at all to society, and we have chaos.

Maria Heskett

says:

Hello, you did a excellent and succinct job, answering the questions. I appreciate your understanding of risk in society. Seems to be a skill, reducing in popularity. Risk involves the empathy for other souls and how an event can impact them. This is something corporate America, is destroying. However, as consumers of their products, what right do we have to condemn their actions, given our supporting roles. We will still buy oil, despite where it comes from or who it benefits. So this indicates that we should reexamine our understanding of our own morals, choose to shop locally and live green,

I am confused; because, these questions are slightly different from the questions in my book. I have the correct one from the syllabus.

Maria Heskett

says:

#2 Explain what Dumping is, giving some examples. Does dumping raise any moral issues? What Are they? What would an ethical relativist say about dumping?

#2 Answer: Dumping is the act of disposing unneeded and unwanted items. Some corporations, will purposely dump their waste in countries where opposition would be smaller. This raises moral issues, given that the corporation knows not to carry out activities like that. It is not right for a corporation to abuse people, all while seeking to make their incomes, a little more. An ethical relativist, may agree or disagree. Depending of the sociological background of the person, relative to dumping process.

Critically assess, the present notification system. Is it the right approach, or is it fundamentally flawed? The present notification system is the incorrect approach. There is no standardized form of communication. As in incident management, common codes and simple statements go a long way. The case discussed how communiques will be overly-complicated. It is clear that this is the caveat being used by corporations, to exert their will.

If no law is broken, is there anything wrong with dumping? Yes there is! Just because i can, does not mean i morally should. We must be tough on corporations and corporate America. Our corporations lead the way in corruption. This type of behavior influences the global marketplace, to seek greed before caring for others. To go forward, interpol and every nation, must have a world justice system that will handle humanity impact crimes and multinational corporate justice. In return, the corporations will have to discuss their plans with the justice system in private. Corporate control is the way of the future

ajlynch

says:

(Amanda Hanson)

I believe the following line perfectly sums up the arguments for and against dumping, “Foreign countries should be free to decide for themselves whether the benefits of those products are worth their risks.” (Shaw, 2017, p. 33) The U.S. appears to attempt to absolve themselves of wrongdoing by establishing a policy against being the “arbiters of others’ health and safety standards. “ (p. 34), but lack of communication negates their efforts. If the country receiving unsafe goods is not fully informed, how are they able to make an educated decision as to whether the product meets their own safety standards?

Using my own ethical principles as a guide, I believe fervently in an individual’s right to make decisions for themselves. However, my principles also tell me dumping is immoral and negligent. Case 1.1 mentions that even though the regulatory agencies are required to report to the State Department, communications are flawed and the consumers are not given the opportunity to be fully educated about the products they are purchasing and/or consuming.

I would like to see more regulation on the front end of production. Two large production areas I’ve become aware of in recent years, fashion and technology, have a very high production rate and it would be beneficial to have a plan for disposal before production begins. Production should consider factors such as environmental impact of production, health concerns to consumers, and disposal or recycle options. One of my favorite clothing companies, Ibex, uses their website to detail their material sources, their efforts to reduce production impacts on the environment, and providing ethical working conditions. When the company reopened recently I suggested adding a “repair” element to their business. Though they deal in natural fibers, the ability to get more life out of few items would have multiple benefits, including limiting dumping.

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