It has been around two years since the license of Johnson & Johnson to make cosmetics at a plant outside Mumbai was cancelled in March 2013 on finding that ingredients causing cancer to babies. But there had been no outrage by the highly qualified media (national and international), intellectuals and obviously government about this. This is quite strange and obvious as well. What we can expect from us than this? We as a nation prefer to just talk about something that has passed but not something that is challenging us.
This is not an isolated and single case of such negligence by the reputed MNCs in India. There have been a lot of controversies for different products qualities such as Nestle, Cadbury and soft drinks by Coca-Cola and Pepsi. In case of colas, claims have been made by farmers across India that they use different soft drinks as pesticide. Also there had been numerous reports that cola products can be used as toilet cleaner. That means colas are not good for health in any ways if these claims are true and can be substantiated. But there had hardly been any investigation about these claims. Rather these claims have underplayed by so called experts, media houses and intellectuals coloring these as false, saffron and other.
Besides these there have been a lot of controversies relating to transfer pricing mechanism, by MNCs to avoid taxation in India. Many MNCs have been found to be engaged in unethical and sometime illegal practices to decrease their tax liabilities in India while paying their homes countries and some were found to be trying to avoid in both the countries by misusing transfer pricing practices and different bilateral and multilateral taxation treaties between India and other countries.
Apart from these there is a question about these MNCs ethical behavior. It is not just J&J but many other MNCs across other developing countries have been found to be engaged in such unethical as well as sometime illegal and immoral activities and when caught red handed found to assort to arm twisting by their governments. Nike was found to be engaged in sweatshops practices in Asian countries. Controversies relating Vodafone in India regarding taxes are not very old when the governments India and the UK had to intervene in the matter and finally Vodafone succeeded in arm twisting India.
These events are just some examples. There are numerous such examples. These practices by MNCs just put one question about the globalization. “Is it the real face of so called globalization?” Perhaps this is the real face of globalization. Joseph E. Stiglitz has rightly said in his book 'Globalization and Its Discontents' that the international institutions have broken all the promises that they had been making.