Websites owned by weapons manufacturers (part one)

In contrast to arms dealers, who any terrorist or warmongering government will tell you are a laugh a minute at the very least, weapons manufacturers are not normally associated with yucks a plenty. They're serious people who look after their bottom line, involved in the serious business of manufacturing machines to kill people.

These are some websites they would probably rather you didn't know about. Too bad. This is the first part of an ongoing series.

General Electric don't just produce lightbulbs and refrigerators; they also make parts for anti-personnel landmines, weapons so brutal and indiscriminate that 156 countries have opted to ban them. 36 are still holding out, but these are the usual suspects; places where human rights don't always take pride of place. Places like Iran, North Korea, Somalia, Syria and the United States.

As well as landmines, General Electric also makes American Gladiators, a fact that perhaps deadlock seals its reputation. It has an 80% stake in NBC Universal, the company behind the NBC television station, and movies like Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins, an upcoming Martin Lawrence vehicle. And in turn, NBC owns, a site that urges members to sent in "amateur horny manatee pictures or stories". The copyright principle of fair use dictates that we're allowed to include a screenshot of the aforementioned; good taste dictates that we will not.

The Solae Company homepage

Okay, this isn't anywhere near as funny as horny manatees, but there's something darkly comic about Solae. Really darkly. The company produces isolated soya protein, an ingredient in many processed food products. However, as well as the corn dogs and chocolate bars that are helping America spread its influence without leaving its comfy armchair, Solae's ingredients find themselves in all kinds of vegetarian and vegan products by partner companies: SoLean, Linda McCartney, Gardenburger, El Burrito and Mori-Nu are some of the brands that use it, according to the company website. We think you'll agree that the customers of these brands try and buy ethically, care about the environment, avoid products whose production would involve killing animals, and so on. Lovely.

But Solae is a joint effort between DuPont and Bunge Ltd. While the latter has nothing to do with weapons, the former has historically had a number of fingers in the weapons pie, and was originally founded to make gunpowder. Historians disagree over whether or not it produced Zyklon B, but as well as revenue-makers like Kevlar, it got into a little hot water in 2002 for supplying Iraq's nuclear weapons programme (as well as other well-known firms like HP, Eastman Kodak, NEC and Saab).

Enjoy that meat-free soya protein burger product!


Do you know about a website or otherwise innocuous product that's owned by a weapons manufacturer?  Let us know!  It's fun for all the family, ha ha!

What do you think, did we get it right? Comment here...