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AUGUST 27, 2002
9:34 PM
CONTACT:  Food First Books /CorpWatch:
Joshua Karliner 415-561-6567
Kenny Bruno (in Johannesburg) + 27-82-370 0579
Nick Parker, Food First Books, (510) 654-4400, ext. 229
The Corporate Takeover of Sustainable Development

Powerful people within the U.N. believe in a strange idea: that multinational corporations, like super-rich Peace Corps volunteers, are going to save the planet out of the goodness of their hearts. Kenny Bruno and Josh Karliner bury this dangerous fantasy with name naming, muckraking research. This isn't just an exposé, it's a scathing obituary for the dominant development model of our time.
--Naomi Klein, author,
No Logo

SAN FRANCISCO / JOHANNESBURG - August 27 - An energy company plants trees and donates electric cars to advertise its environmental commitment while polluting the air with coal-fired power plants for three-quarters of its energy. Hypocrisy? No, business as usual for many corporations, according to, the latest from Food First Books and CorpWatch, published to coincide with the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

Framed between the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa,, written by Kenny Bruno and Joshua Karliner, investigates how corporations, in partnership with the United Nations, champion environmental sustainability and human rights while hiding their polluting and exploitative practices with sophisticated campaigns touting concern for a sustainable future.

“At a time when corporations can’t be trusted to regulate themselves, the U.N. Earth Summit in Johannesburg is asking for just that: calling on the polluters to be their partners and voluntarily solve the planet’s most pressing environmental problems,” said Joshua Karliner, co-author of the book and director of CorpWatch. “This book exposes how the U.N. has cozied up with big corporations and stresses the need for greater corporate accountability, not only in financial matters but for environmental protection as well.” analyzes case studies of corporate green- and bluewashing campaigns, such as an oil company that boasts of its solar energy program but invests most of its money in oil exploration, the “environmentally responsible” car from a leading manufacturer of gas-guzzling SUVs, and a tobacco company that spends more on advertising its commitment to charitable programs than on the programs themselves.

“Most corporations, when left to their own devices, are attracted to irresponsible behavior like moths to a flame,” said co-author Kenny Bruno. “The same hands-off, deregulatory approach that has led to so much corporate crime, bankruptcy, and economic turmoil is also giving global corporations some of the most environmentally destructive entities in the world a free ride while fostering greater ecological turmoil across the planet.” advocates greater democratic control over corporations through international campaigns and the formation of a “Citizen’s Compact,” a network of NGOs, community, labor, indigenous groups, and professional associations dedicated to ensuring that human rights come before corporate rights.

Food First, founded in 1975 by Frances Moore Lappé and Joseph Collins after the success of Diet for a Small Planet, is a policy think tank that carries out research and education for action. Food First works to identify the root causes of hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world, and to educate the public as well as policymakers about these problems and alternative solutions to them.

CorpWatch <> counters corporate-led globalization through education and activism. It works to foster democratic control over corporations by building grassroots globalization diverse movement for human rights, labor rights, and environmental justice.

For more information on, or to schedule interviews please contact Nick Parker at (510) 654-4400, ext. 229 or Or visit our website at:


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