Friday, January 29, 2016


The Problem With Walmart

Slightly lower prices lure shoppers, local farms suffer

Myrtle Macdonald, MA, Chilliwack


t is hard to know what to say and do about this rather odd assessment of Walmart below. I am not one to ignore injustices. You and I are responsible to help find ways to improve wrong situations, so here are my tentative responses:


There is much that is morally wrong about this type of retail business.


The lower prices they charge are only slightly lower.


By charging less they cause local retail stores to go bankrupt.


By charging less they cause local family farmers to find a second job to make a living. Farm youth even if they like farming, give up and go into another career.


The profits they make should be heavily taxed by government, because I think the owners and share holders get richer and richer. Are there annual reports with full data about all these concerns?


The workers are underpaid I have heard. I would like to know how much. What benefits do they get, if any (dental, overtime, sick leave, holiday income, etc)?


The employees are are not allowed to have a union. Do they have any freedom to protest or to whistle blow about unsafe products or working conditions? Are their reports ever investigated honorably and scientifically?


Most of their food produce is not locally grown. Is any at all?


There was a finding of Listeria bacteria in their burger meat last week. Are goods imported from other countries produced in safe and fair conditions for their employees, and for us?

Packaged goods contain hydrogenated oils, glucose/fructose, sucrose, artificial flavoring and colors, preservatives, pesticides and herbicides. All contain genetically modified products. All of these additives are harmful and the consumers are not warned.

I buy mostly from Safeway and Save-On-Foods because they are within walking distance. I read labels carefully and avoid the above unsafe food. That takes I donít like the extra time that takes. Sometimes, inadvertently, I buy something of the above. Quite often I phone the number given on the label and tell their Customer Service. Sometimes they send me coupons and say they will investigate or improve the situation. 


Regarding meat loaf at Safeway I protested about the sweet tomato sauce on it. To my surprise within three weeks they stopped putting that sauce on their meat loaf and put it in a small plastic package beside the loaf. And they have continued to do so for several months. 
Should not a retail store deal only with ethical producers? Is that possible? Actually, Costco also sells a lot of products that are of questionable safety and quality.

Do you in other parts of Canada, have the same concerns?


Help find out where to send our protests. I rarely buy at Walmart, so I have no particular purchase to phone their Customer Service about. All of the above are the reasons I do not go to Walmart.


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