Monday, 26 November 2007

Reason #451,986 Why We Don't Live in Israel

I just happened along this interesting little article, Osem Recalls Snacks With Lead-Tainted Toy Jewelry in the English version of Haaretz; one of the biggest newspapers in Israel.

The jist of it, is that Osem, Israel's largest snack-food company, made a promotion of putting a little plastic necklace in packets of their salty snack foods, Bissli, Bamba and Dubonim. Turns out (like pretty much everything that comes out of China lately), the necklaces contain 3.5 times the acceptable levels of lead.

The Israeli Ministry of Health standards director said "The danger is not immediate, like electrocution, but there is clear danger".
Yep; clear danger. Lead poisoning, in fact.

Of course, the CEO of Osem, Aviezer Kaplan didn't want to do a recall, saying "there was no point". In fact, "All the experts we checked with say there is no danger to public health."

How convenient that the "experts" the company checked with (and which experts might they be, I'd like to know) say there is no danger to public health. Yet, the Ministry of Health (whom would count pretty high amongst the list of experts, and are easily found in the Israel Yellow Pages, not to mention in direct contact with Aviezer Kaplan) gave a direct order that they toys be recalled.

So basically, though Osem has been ordered to recall the snacks, they're still on the shelves. All that Osem has so far done is run a small newspaper ad.

and yes, this is more-or-less acceptable to Israeli standards.

Seems that while the CEO of Osem may or may not care about the health of children in Israel (who happen to be his best customers), he is much more afraid of his boss, Nestle, who owns 50.1% of the company. Nestle, as we all know, don't have any issue with killing children in third world countries.


  1. I tagged you over at my blog.

  2. oh, dont worry, I worked it out ;)

  3. Well, don't live where you don't want to leave. Judging by the behavior of a (big) company is not a reason to live in a place IMO.

    I think all companies have one thing on their mind - make more money. They don't care about children, or health or anything else.. this is just the way it works. With small/family companies, you might have people enforcing their moral on the company. With big companies it's the board members enforcing their need-for-money on the management...

  4. um, yeah, yhager. Ibeleive I did point out in my post that the whole thing stems from a board of directors.
    and I will assume you're not implying that I would base my decision to leave a country on the actions of one multi-national subsidary company.
    If its at all interesting to you, I did yesterday make a more detailed post about why we dont live in israel any more.


Thanks for your lovely words, witty banter and entertaining discussion :)