Those seven are just the tip of the iceberg. It's appalling how many innocent little products are own by monster corporations. Remember Brer Rabbit Molasses? It's owned by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company.
Many years ago I found a book listing companies which should be boycotted because of various nefarious practices -- treatment of employees, polluting, etc. A quick leaf through it showed that there was nothing one could buy without supporting evil, exploitive businesses.
I agree that most of these companies are doing good things in most (developed) places, but if you are at the receiving end in a country like Ethiopia, you will see them unloading their crap without any consideration for the local population -- expired items, products that were banned in other countries, etc., while at the same time creating monopolies with the corrupt rulers to make sure that more acceptable competing products are not allowed in the country, all for the glory of the stockholders back home.
Well, I'm not sure what the alternative would be. Offering them products they can't afford? Not dealing with the corrupt rulers - then who would they deal with? Leaving the business for companies from more responsible countries - like China? Not providing a return for the stockholders back home - even if you don't hold these stocks directly, how many pension funds, mutual funds, government pension planes etc. do?
The Cyclamed program had to be ended a year ago, because too many suppliers were fobbing off their expired dangerous medicine in the program -- so now all leftover medicine must be destroyed. Don't these companies realize that they are sawing off the branch we are all sitting on? If we keep poisoning and starving the people in these coountries, the raw materials without which we think we cannot live will become unavailable. France finances a lot of the corruption in West Africa just to ensure that we don't run out of chocolate, coffee, uranium and a few other treats. If some of those regimes collapse into chaos -- or are provoked into revolution by greedy companies -- we can look at our empty hi-tech shelves until our lights dim out.
It seems like ethical considerations are never going to be in the foreground in a supply and demand market economy where the bottom line is the bottom line. If "ethical" behavior can be rationalized as useful PR or increases the firm's profitability- great, otherwise there's no point. A small privately held company can perhaps resist some of the pressures to put profits before ethics, but once a company becomes a larger publicly owned entity, the responsibility to increase the company's profitability for the shareholders will always be paramount, and I don't think most businesses really even seriously consider ethics except as they might effect the bottom line. Morality must be imposed on business through regulation, it will never survive corporate culture if being ethical might be thought to affect profitability or to afford one's competitors any sort of advantage. From a purely business perspective, slavery made perfect sense, if it were legal to put heroin into baby formula and profitably create addicts for life, I have no doubt corporate culture would have no qualms about doing so if the profits were sufficient. Morality has no natural place in business once it becomes large enough that the owners aren't interacting personally with the suppliers and customers.