4 reasons never to drink Budweiser ever again

Calling its beer "America" is the least of it. Anheuser-Busch is synonymous with tax evasion and union busting

By Alexandra Rosenmann
May 14, 2016 6:00PM (UTC)
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This article originally appeared on AlterNet.

AlterNet

Is Budweiser's rebranding its beer to the name "America" a poor attempt to make beer great again? Because beer is pretty great already. What's not is the controversy Anheuser-Busch and its parent company Inbev (the company behind Budweiser) has caused with these missteps, even more so than the confusing rebrand announced Tuesday.

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1) Rape Culture

Budweiser made headlines this time last year due to a slogan on a Bud Light beer bottle.The slogan, part of the company's "Up For Whatever" campaign, read: "The perfect beer for removing 'no' from your vocabulary for the night." After being called out for potentially promoting rape culture, Anheuser-Busch quickly apologized. "It's clear that this message missed the mark, and we regret it," Alexander Lambrecht, vice president of Bud Light, said on the company's website.

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2. Union Busting

Numerous anti-worker and union-busting initiatives have been championed by ALEC's Commerce, Insurance and Economic Development Task Force, of which Anheuser-Busch is a member. Not only that, the beverage company went so far as to sponsor the 2015 ALEC annual conference's open-bar cocktail hour.

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3. Tax Evasion 

The European Commission announced in January 2016 that a corporate tax break to multinational companies that included Anheuser-Busch's parent companty InBev, “amounting to total reductions equivalent to about $765 million, was illegal," the New York Times reported:

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One of the [35+] companies known to have used the technique is a Belgian subsidiary of the international brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev. Although Belgium’s official corporate tax rate is 34 percent, the subsidiary paid a rate of only about 4 percent on annual profit of about 60 million euros, or $65.5 million, in 2013.

Anheuser-Busch also uses a range of other tax benefits in Belgium, where the parent company has its headquarters, and paid a tiny fraction of 1 percent on its reported profit there of $1.93 billion in 2014.

4. Safety Violations

OSHA has cited Anheuser-Busch for safety violations in multiple cities, including Columbus, Houston and Jersey City, where the company was fined over $150,000.


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