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2000-07-08
Goshen, IN. Wal-Mart Wins "Toxicity" Award

Wal-Mart's public relations people must have scratched their heads over an unwelcomed "award" the company received a couple of weeks ago from a group of Mennonite's in Goshen, Indiana. The South Bend Tribune carried a story in late June about a group of 30 Mennonite's who were attending a "multistate weekend conference" in Goshen, and went toy shopping. The group visited 6 area stores that sold toys, to measure how accessible violent video games were to children in the stores, and how often toy weapons and violently-themed books appeared on store shelves. So the Conference's justic and peace service commission visited local stores -- and the results are in! The Wal-Mart supercenter on E. Lincoln Way tied with another local store for the most violent rating, receiving a "Certificate of Toxicity" award from the Mennonites. Based on a scorecard with 9 criteria, each store was evaluated on whether violente toys were displayed and accessible to kids, if its sold realistic looking guns, etc. The Mennonites want Wal-Mart to follow the lead of Searas and Montgomery Ward, both of which have agreed to stop selling Mature rated video games. The "Toxic" Wal-Mart store was found to have violent video games at eye-level for children, and "40% to 50% of the coloring books had violent themes" the group said. The store also stocked violent games like Mortal Kombat and Tomb Raider. The Wal-Mart store manager referred reporter's questions to corporate headquarters in Arkansas -- but Wal-Mart did not return the South Bend Tribune's calls.

What you can do: The three day conference in Goshen attracted about 1,000 Mennonites from Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee and Kentucky. You can be sure that the Wal-Mart manager of the E. Lincoln Way Supercenter is not displaying the "Certificate of Toxicity" award in the check out line.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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