Free Essay

A Memo - the Plumpy'Nut Controversy

In: Business and Management

Submitted By mkisengeu
Words 1064
Pages 5
TO: Board of Directors
FROM: Consultant
SUBJECT: The Plumpy’nut Controversy
DATE: December 8th, 2014
INTRODUCTION
I would like to bring to your attention the trending controversy that has come about on patenting of Plumpy’nut®. A background check on developing countries has confirmed that less children are dying due to severe malnutrition and thus, showing the benefit of this Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food, RUTF (WHO 2010). Therefore, before further discussions about the patenting rights, I would like to give a small review on the impact of Plumpy’nut.
FACTS SUMMARY
A few facts revolving around the now popular Plumpy’nut are as follows: * It is very easy to make, even in developing countries, as all is needed is peanuts, powdered milk, sugar, minerals and vitamins to make a paste-like substance full of calories and nutrients to aid the poor and undernourished people. * The product is reaching out to about 2 million children in Niger but there are almost 105 million children across Africa, Haiti and other 3rd world countries that the product hasn’t yet reached. * Nutriset has Plumpy’nut patented in France in 2010 as its intellectual property, having developed it in 1977 and later by the U.S. in 2002 (USPTO, 2009). * Over 10 countries have companies that bear Nutriset’s licenses to produce Plumpy’nut (Nutriset 2010). * UNICEF gets 90% of its Plumpy’nut supply from Nutriset.
ETHICAL DILEMMA
Business ethics entails the study of what is right, wrong, fair, reasonable and acceptable in the domestic and international business world. Ethical problems and controversies therefore tend to pose a great concern and require different points of view in every case. In this case, the ethical dilemma revolves around the manufactures of Plumpy’nut, their rights to patent it and the hardships faced in third world countries in gaining access to it (which is what prompted other companies to fight against the patent).
ETHICAL ISSUES
With this simple breakdown of the impact of Plumpy’nut in several African countries written in the factual summary above, a few ethical issues arise from it and are broken down below: * Recognizing the work of inventors: this is usually done by giving them 20 years’ patent rights so that they can benefit from their work before allowing its duplication. The patenting policies governing the replication of this product manufacturing in developed countries is thus an ethical issue affecting of the manufacturers and inventors of the product, in this case, Nutriset. This is because, they need to be credited for their work since without this product, and millions of lives of children would still be at risk. Throwing away the patent policy will probably affect their business structure. * Humanitarian need to help prevent death of children: This is another ethical issue that counters the need to pay Nutriset and leave them the manufacturing rights all to themselves because the current production does not meet the targeted 100% population (UNICEF 2009). Their thousands of metric tons of Plumpy’nut can’t reach out all over developing countries which make up most of the world’s population today. This now gives a chance to neighboring investors to question the moral ethics in patenting the product. * Slander and Political Propaganda: This third ethical issue now targets the company as seen in the recent attacks in newspapers and Internet campaigns. These have so far prompted Nutriset to give user-agreement-patents to local companies for more distribution to humanitarian organizations. The quality may be compromised in the long run, but the court cases and bad publicity have put the company in the limelight, not as life savers but as deterrents to the same. The price will have to go down as a lot of competition will be encountered from the developed countries if the patent rights are overthrown.
SOLUTIONS
On the first ethical dilemma, I believe the Board should seek to get a pricing from the French and U.S. governments for the innovation in order to compensate the research work done and the great innovation. Is Nutriset more concerned with the benefits from Plumpy’nut only? Is expanding the business and getting more international support a solution to the patent policy? If so, the company can sit and draft new rules that counteract all negative limelight focused on them and offer to work with the humanitarian groups to boost production, Secondly, the patent probably stands in the way of saving more lives in the hard-to-reach regions and as a result, I would recommend you to think of ways in which the humanitarian issues are addressed so that the Company does not give the impression of obstructing healthy living. Is revising the patent an option? Provided it doesn’t affect the company goals, its amendment would work in favor of both the company and the public.
Lastly, Nutriset should seek further measures to curb the ongoing online controversy, not in the business view but in a more humanitarian approach. Campaigners should counter the ill publicity with amended policies or better still, educational material on patenting and the recent online changes made.
CONCLUSION
The question now becomes: would you rather save the company’s reputation and products altogether or is there going to be a compromise in the final press conference requested by the New York’s Times? Pursue other alternatives to the patent as the incentives explained above and avoid any statements that suggest a “money comes first” kind of approach. Address your genuine concern for the poor and attempt to lift the rules only in favor of developing countries just like you have for the 10 or so African nations. Plumpy’nut has saved many malnourished people, therefore let this be the guiding business spirit and let long-term considerations be made.

References
New York Times Magazine: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/05/magazine/05Plumpy-t.html?pagewanted=all&_r=2&. Accessed on 8 December 2014
The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/plumpynut-the-lifesaver-that-costs-well-peanuts-8783650.html accessed on 8 December 2014
World Health Organization, WHO 2010 report. Health in Central and West Africa. Web, 8 December 2014.
United States Patent and Trademark Office, USPTO 2009. Patent Full Text and Full Page Image Database 12 December 2009. Accessed on 8 December 2014.
Nutriset Website accessed on 8 December 2014.
United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF. A Supply Chain Analysis of RUTF for the Horn of Africa. “The Nutrition Articulation Project” May 2009 Print.…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Controversies

...“ “Controversies with church music VS. Reformation” Many controversies are over worship and the nature of the music. Although, some are adamant that the only should use the resource of the hymnbook; while others never seem satiated in their quest for new material or the ancillary technology which it presents. There are For many evangelical congregations, the character of worship is determined largely by one or two individual with a specific personal agenda that support a power base. Often, a congregation will work together deliberately to discern what, for them, is appropriate corporate mode of worship language. But rare instances, the question of how to worship is usually part of a larger, ongoing discussion over how to be the Body of Christ in a community. Each perspective, each point of view, carries some part of the totality of what worship signifies in the life of the believer and of the Christian community. The diversity of worship setting can be a valuable asset; it prompts creativity from many voices, and keeps worship vital and energized. But diversity without focus is often destructive; competing forces can tear down a congregation apart, creating pain and wounds, and rendering the whole ineffectual. What lies at the heart of the controversy over current forms of worship practice across the evangelical movement? The declaration of many who have experienced frustration and discord on all sides of the issue, the root cause is simply not one of the contentions......

Words: 920 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Missouri Controversy

...In November of 1818, Missouri petitioned Congress for statehood and ignited a controversy over slavery and a balance of power in the Senate that would span two sessions of Congress and threaten the dissolution of the Union and a civil war. Prior to the Missouri question, the Union had eleven free states and eleven slave states, each with two Senators. The Missouri Territory, carved out of land acquired in the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, covered an expanse of land just north of the Ohio River and just west of the Mississippi (these rivers joined in the southeastern corner of the territory). According to the terms of the Ordinance of 1787, which prohibited slavery in the Northwest Territory, the Missouri Territory was designated a free territory, but many of the settlers had brought their slaves with them when they settled the area and were determined to enter the Union as a slave state. With the growing abolitionist sentiment in the North and the South pressing to legalize slavery, permitting Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state would tilt the power of the Senate in favor of the South and make the realization of legalizing slavery more attainable. Since 1809, the issue of slavery had been relatively quiet, but Missouri’s request to enter the Union as a slave state just at the nation was beginning to expand westward, thrust the question of slavery back into the spotlight of national politics. A set of compromises, known as the Missouri Compromise of 1820, allowed......

Words: 2749 - Pages: 11

Free Essay

Controversies: Necessary?

...undergoing downward spiral progression. We are most certainly in this era of modernism, where freedom of speech is exercised at large through various platforms. The controversies that keep arising due to people expressing their opinions in public doesn’t require any introductions. So, are we evolving to be insensible to others feelings? Or are others pretending to be hurt and making unwanted issues over nothing? Be it the film industry, be it from literature society, be it the cartoonists or be it youngsters who update status messages over current affairs, somebody somewhere in the world or in their country is not happy with what they are doing. The recent controversy and ban over Salman Rushdie’s book-cum-movie “Midnight’s children”, clearly depicts the degree of our exercise over right to expression. The author exercises it to put down his perspective, the public exercises it to tell him he is hurting and disrespecting certain communities by doing so. The ban over the movie ‘Dam 999′ in Tamil Nadu, however, was due to the time of its release. Thereby it could be considered fair. Ongoing issues between the Kerala government and that of TN would have been agitated further with the film’s release. But a total ban over it was something not called for. These two perspectives of viewing this issue where from one, controversies appear totally senseless or could be handled in a more clear way and from other where they seem necessary, puts us down from coming to any possible......

Words: 636 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Article Controversy

...du http://kno wledge.wharto n.upenn.edu/article/finding-co mpanys-co ntro versy-sweet-spo t/ Finding Your Company’s ‘Controversy Sweet Spot’ Dec 05, 2013 Research No rth America Market ing As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Extend the aphorism, and there is no such thing as bad controversy — especially if that controversy causes conversation. By that thinking, any buzzgenerating event, even if wrapped around something less than wholesome, should be a positive f or a company or brand looking to get some attention. But Wharton marketing prof essor Jonah Berger says that’s not the case. Instead, he has f ound that there is a limit to how much conversation can be generated by a modest amount of controversy. Increase the controversy, however, and the volume of conversation goes down — exactly the opposite of what a good brand manager wants. “T hey assume that controversy garners discussion,” he says. “We actually f ound out it’s more complicated than that.” Berger and Z oey Chen, a marketing doctoral student at the Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology, discuss these f indings in the paper, “When, Why, and How Controversy Causes Conversation,” published in the October edition of the Journal of Consumer Research. Berger and Chen set up a series of experiments to judge the relationship between controversy and conversation. First, they collected about 200 articles posted on Topix.com, an online news resource, and coded......

Words: 1240 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Memo

...The purpose of this memo is to explain the role of technical writing in professional sports, specifically the Colorado Avalanche Management and Team Services department. The information was gathered from an interview with Francois Giguere the former General Manager and Executive Vice President. Background Mr. Giguere previously worked as the Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Hockey Operations for the Colorado Avalanche and he also worked in the Quebec Nordiques organization before the team moved to Colorado. He was promoted May 2006. He has won two Stanley Cups in his career with Colorado. Methods of Communication Mr. Giguere explained to me that he sends a lot of emails to people within the organization. The emails he sends are to department heads such as Scouting, Communications, Marketing, Player Development and the Team Services department. He also uses memos to communicate with his colleagues. He also sends text messages if he is in a hurry and needs to be more direct with a certain people. Management Hierarchy Forms of Writing Within The Organization Within the Colorado Avalanche organization there are several forms of writing: Memos. Keep everyone up to speed on daily activities. There are different forms of memos used to do this. • Manager Memos. A memo is sent out by the General Manager after every trade, free agent signing or contract extension. This is to keep people informed about contract negotiations. A memo includes player......

Words: 506 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

The Controversy of "Friendship"

...The Controversy of “Friendship” The word “friendship” is a generic term, yet it is a topic with much controversy over its precise nature. Over the years, society has become misguided by materialistic and superficial values, and we’ve defined ourselves as “individuals” while disconnecting from everyone and everything. Friendship no longer carries significant philosophical importance to us because we live in a world where individualism predominates. Dawn Powell’s “Big Night” accurately depicts a time when all values are being overtaken by business values. The characters in the play all act with ulterior selfish motives, and Powell accentuates this theme of disillusionment through the dialogue and the characters’ interactions with each other. She encourages the reader to question the legitimacy of the characters’ “friendships” and makes the reader wonder, “Are Ed and Myra really husband and wife, or are they merely two different people using one another for their own gain?” This idea of “false friendship” can also be seen in the teachings of Greek philosopher, Aristotle. Aristotle knew the necessities of friendship, but also realized the different forms that friendship could take shape of. The characters of “Big Night” all together effectively represent a form of Aristotle’s friendship that is ultimately based on utility. Friendship is necessary to life and in a way, one can say the friends around us may define who we are. In Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, he elaborately......

Words: 1873 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Surveillance Memo

...IT 500 Help With Memo Assignment Here is a general structure that you can use for your memo assignment. To: All Employees From: HR Department (or your name) Date: Today RE: My Memo Assignment XYZ... Opening lines would state what is being done, such as a policy on recording phone calls, monitoring emails, and so on. There is no minimum or maximum length here. Averages tend to be two or three paragraphs. Controversies Note the section heading. This helps to distinguish the text that you include to discuss controversies. As a hint, why is your topic controversial? What part of the opening paragraph stating the policies might someone find controversial and why? One may assume that stating “we are reading your email” is controversial, but why? Is it that the employees may expect such things to be private, but the company states otherwise? Best practice is to spell it out and not assume (even though in many cases the controversy may seem obvious). This is your chance to show critical thinking and analysis of why this is a controversy. Within the context of the memo, you can use writer’s prose to explain this to your employees if you want (not required, just a suggestion). Legislation Again, note the section title; this helps the reader distinguish your objective. Think of it in terms of you as an employee. If HR sends you a memo, you may not want to read an entire law word-for-word. Instead, consider mentioning a law by name, and giving a three- or......

Words: 452 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Abortion Controversy

...Universidad de las Américas. Mayor in R.R.I.I. EN361-22 Hills Peter Matthew Gálvez Manuel 76251 Abortion Controversy September 22, 2014 Abortion Controversy. Abortion is a very sensitive issue. Many people are constantly debating whether abortion should be allowed or not. Some people think abortion is very bad and that it should not be allowed at all. They think abortion is like committing murder as it is killing the human fetus. Others feel that the parents should have the right to choose and it is not murder until the baby is born. People who think it is bad say that the fetus is something alive, a human being who is partly formed and to do abortion is to kill it and commit murder. The people who think it is ok say that it is not murder until and unless the child is born. I think that abortion has to be seen about which stage the fetus is in. If it is in the very early stage, then it is not murder. But if it has already developed into a larger fetus, it can be considered as murder. There are other times when abortion is also fine. For example if there is a complication in pregnancy and the mother can suffer because of the child, it is ok to do abortion. It is important to understand the various ideas that go behind abortion. The right of an abortion for a mother should be left on her own decision as the mother knows best about her condition. She is going to be the 'host body' for the baby, even though her own, for nine months and according to Thompson, the......

Words: 963 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Vaccination Controversy

...Vaccination Controversy Julie S. Bertram Excelsior College Author's note This paper was written for MLS 500: Graduate Research and Writing taught by Dr. Kyla Hammond Most healthcare professionals and leaders attribute vaccination as the single-most important reason for increasing the health of the human population during the past one hundred years. As a result, required immunizations are common in the U. S. and other developed countries. However, there is a segment of society who argue against vaccination due to worries that immunizing negatively impacts future health. More and more information is becoming available that presents allopathic vaccination in an ugly light. (Sharma, 2003) For the past century, vaccines for diptheria, pertussis, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, and now more recently, hepatitis B and varicella have programmed our immune systems to be powerful protectors of our health. Compulsory state immunization laws have increased the U.S. immunization rate to 77%, the highest ever. (Largent, 2012) Despite high immunization rates, there is an underlying progression of a movement of parents questioning whether the vaccines are contributing to health conditions such as autism. Contributing to the uncertainty are occasional anecdotal accounts of parents with children who experience adverse reactions. Fear causes many parents to entirely forego vaccines for their children. Regardless of mandatory school vaccine laws for school children, physicians......

Words: 1554 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Marketing Controversy

...Controversy in marketing Contents Introduction 3 Controversy in Marketing 3 Reasons of Controversies 4 Effects of Advertising Agency 5 Conclusion 6 Bibliography 7 Appendices 8 Introduction Advertisers in their mission to gain the customers attention use bold formats to high light their products and in this mission of theirs they often push the boundaries of the society. For example, Calvin Klein since 1980 is promoting nudity and is always in controversies due to their bold advertisements. (Arneas, 2005). Secondly many liquor companies and smoking companies hire famous sportsmen for advertising their product, these sportsmen’s are treated as heroes by the children and they follow them blindly. (Mvivo, 2012) Advertisements are created by the advertising agencies that at times purposefully or innocently make advertisements which become controversial and result in government implementing restrictions on the advertising of such products. (Waller & Fam, 2000).A products fate depends on the strategies which are adopted for marketing. Hence in today’s global and international marketing the most faced challenge which needs proper organization and planning is the advertising of the product, how is it executed, what hinders its progress and what advertising strategy can help it grow. This paper aims to make a report about the reasons, impacts and solutions to deal with marketing controversy. In addition this paper also aims to help the advertising......

Words: 1406 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

Memo Assignment

...IT 500 Help With Memo Assignment Here is a general structure that you can use for your memo assignment. To: All Employees From: HR Department (or your name) Date: Today RE: My Memo Assignment XYZ... Opening lines would state what is being done, such as a policy on recording phone calls, monitoring emails, and so on. There is no minimum or maximum length here. Averages tend to be two or three paragraphs. Controversies Note the section heading. This helps to distinguish the text that you include to discuss controversies. As a hint, why is your topic controversial? What part of the opening paragraph stating the policies might someone find controversial and why? One may assume that stating “we are reading your email” is controversial, but why? Is it that the employees may expect such things to be private, but the company states otherwise? Best practice is to spell it out and not assume (even though in many cases the controversy may seem obvious). This is your chance to show critical thinking and analysis of why this is a controversy. Within the context of the memo, you can use writer’s prose to explain this to your employees if you want (not required, just a suggestion). Legislation Again, note the section title; this helps the reader distinguish your objective. Think of it in terms of you as an employee. If HR sends you a memo, you may not want to read an entire law word-for-word. Instead, consider mentioning a law by name, and giving a three- or......

Words: 452 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Nats Controversy

...1775 Guidelines for Technological Controversy Assignment Instructor: Dr. Vera Pavri Once you have selected your academic and popular sources, I want you to gather information about each side of your debate and then start organizing the various arguments. Don’t worry about choosing sources that only present one side of the argument or another. That is not the point. Many scholarly sources for example, are likely to provide you with arguments that you will use for both sides of your controversy. While you don’t have to worry about choosing the same number of “for” articles and “against” articles, it is important to make sure you have a balanced number of arguments for each side of your debate. Finally, you also don’t need to separate your popular and scholarly sources as they are likely to examine similar issues. You don’t want to be repetitive when describing various arguments, so think about a way of effectively organizing the arguments you will presenting. Your paper is essentially going to be divided in two parts. The first part will be about describing the arguments on either side of the debate. I call this the descriptive component of your paper. The second part of your paper is the analysis. You will be analyzing two things. First, I want you to compare and contrast how your topic is presented in scholarly versus popular media. Think of areas like language (simple versus complex), use of references, and length of article as a starting point for your analysis.......

Words: 1997 - Pages: 8

Premium Essay

Memo

...Memo To: Representative Howard Hughes From: Date: Re: Panel discussion on funding Medicare crisis Message: Below please find outline of current Medicare cost concerns as well as some history on the program as well as some plan options to cutting overall costs. Medicare is facing a major financial crisis. The federal government subsidizes medical care for more than 45 million elderly and disabled Americans through Medicare. Medicare is the third-largest federal program after Social Security and defense, and it will cost taxpayers about $430 billion in fiscal year 2010. Medicare is one of the fastest-growing programs in the federal budget, with spending likely to double over the next decade and to surpass Social Security spending by 2028. Numerous studies suggest that about one-third of Medicare spending is wasted. [ (Edwards, 2010) ] Many elderly people may believe that Medicare is an insurance plan as they pay into the cost and are charged for co-pays. Although it’s been known as welfare program, led by the government there is controversy regarding this. AARP Vise President, Joyce Rogers stated AARP is focused on protecting Social Security and Medicare for the millions of beneficiaries who have paid into the systems over their working lives. Rogers’ statement follows: “Medicare is not a welfare program. Seniors pay into Medicare their entire working lives based on the promise that they’ll have secure health coverage when they retire. Applying a means......

Words: 2487 - Pages: 10

Premium Essay

Immigration Controversy

...Controversy of Immigration Growing up as an American citizen, one never truly realizes how much freedom and opportunity they posses in comparison to other significantly under privileged countries. Many other countries around the world are not progressively advancing as quickly as the United States is. Our country has a growing population of immigrants, both legal and illegal. There is much controversy on whether or not immigrants should be allowed to live in the United States. My personal opinion is that immigrants play a crucial role in our country’s very existence and are necessary for the development of our society. Immigrants have not only had an impact on us in present times, but they have affected our past substantially and will indefinitely affect our future. Immigrants founded the country of the United States of America. Europeans came to the states and began setting up colonies, political systems, and other customs and traditions. Given they were not the first inhabitants of the new world, they were the ones who ultimately influenced how we live now. If you put things in perspective, life, as we know it today would be entirely different. America is the melting pot for a wide variety of races, cultures, religion, beliefs, etc. The fact that the United States contains so much diversity has allowed the country as a whole to progress so much faster than other countries. Most of the money that is made in the United States is due to immigrants and the cultures they......

Words: 1575 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Controversy in Ads

...Title: Controversy in ads Author: Elbert Smith Contact Email here: elbesmi@peoplepc.com Story: Controversy in Ads Zest TV commercials are very catchy. Their first ad came out in 1959, however due to lack of plentiful TVs in my neighborhood I didn’t get a chance to see Zest commercial until around Dec.1963. (Soap and other detergents. except specialty cleaners, 2012). I happen to see the commercial of Zest on TV on a U.S. Air Force Base stationed in Glasgow, Montana and I bought into that commercial and purchased a bar of Zest soap. However they should have had a warning label attached stating: WARNING: Due to chemical composition of this product, it may not be suitable for all users, may cause skin irritation. Recommendations to use, while taking a shower/bath and if after a couple of days, you happen to notice any changes in the outer layer of the skin of the body, for instance, red spots appears or you get itchy all over, we recommend to cease using Zest and consult your own physician. My doctor recommended that I cease using Zest and use Dial a milder soap and I have been using Dial every since. Zest lost me as a customer after that incident One thing that I noticed right away about Dial is, that it doesn’t have a label on it either, warning the user(s) that it may be harmful to humans and should be used with caution. The Zest’s commercials targeted the young active people however, it left that warning label out of the commercial, reflecting harm on some of it......

Words: 377 - Pages: 2