Ethics are codes of conduct that decide what is wrong and what is right in a particular circumstance. If they had not existed, we would not have known which human behaviours are good or bad. For instance, stealing is a bad code of conduct. Therefore, ethics guide humans to behave properly in society. Ethics should also be followed by people doing commerce, but often in the purpose to make more profits businessmen forego their ethics. So, is it always correct to say that ethics and business are fundamentally incompatible?
One of the codes of ethics of businesses that deal in food is to make food that is safe to consume. However, nowadays many cases have cropped up where the businesses have been running unethically. For example, in 2009, 9 outlets of KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) were closed down in Mauritius as Salmonella bacteria had been found in over 10 tons of seized chicken meat. Yet, the KFC food poisoning is not only a problem in Mauritius, but also in other countries where this fast food exists. In Australia, in 2005, a girl suffered brain damage from salmonella poisoning after eating a chicken twister at KFC. That girl is now confined to a wheelchair. Another recent case of food poisoning is the Marday cake shop one; the incident claimed one life and infected over 100 people. The culprits, Staphylococcus bacteria, were later discovered in the cakes. These bacteria cause mild to severe illnesses. In fact, they produce a toxin, which causes nausea, severe vomiting, dizziness, and abdominal cramping, in dairy products, salads and cakes filled with cream. These cases are loudly screaming the fact that employees are growingly violating business ethics; they are not concerned with the health safety of their own people.
Deceptive advertising is another unethical issue becoming rifer nowadays. Many advertisements dishonestly attach less importance to the negative effects of a product and emphasize only on its benefits to increase sales. There are innumerable instances to illustrate this, but one famous example is the coca cola advertisement. They include everything in the commercial: well-known footballers, stars and even “Father Christmas”. All this noise is made for only sugar and colour dissolved in carbonated water. Coca cola has no nutritive value except for carbohydrates. Besides, a can of coke contains approximately 10 teaspoons of sugar and its continuous overconsumption can lead to diseases like diabetes. This unscrupulous practice in the pharmaceutical industry can cost people their lives. The case of Merck Company is more prominent; it advertised Vioxx as a painkiller, but constantly buried the fact that the drug could cause heart attack. The Wall Street Journal published emails of the company showing clearly that the latter was well aware of the health risks of its drug as from 2000, but concealed this information from the public. A study from the Food and Drugs Administration revealed that Vioxx led to an estimate of 27,785 heart attacks and sudden cardiac deaths. The company went even far by threatening scientists to suppress the negatives effects of its drug. As evidence, we have Gurkirpal Singh, a Stanford University researcher, who was threatened by the company to stop going against the drug, the contrary of which will cause him to lose his job. Pornography is a business where the latter and ethics do not co-exist at all. It is indeed a big business with gigantic revenues. In fact, this industry generates higher incomes than that of Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple and Netflix combined together and according to a statistics in 2006, worldwide pornography revenues was $97.06 billion. However, many religions preach that the act of sexual procreation should occur between married couples only and in that sense pornography is immoral because it involves copulation between unmarried people. The sex industry usually arouses a person's lust, but lust is one among the 7 sins of the Bible.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document