“WOONSOCKET, R.I., Feb. 05 /CSRwire/ – The CVS Health Foundation today announced a $5 million five-year commitment to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to launch its new “Making the Next Generation Tobacco-Free” grant program. Through the program, the CVS Health Foundation will partner with Tobacco-Free Kids to provide grants to organizations committed to implementing public health strategies to reduce youth tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.”
“… February 5th marks the one-year anniversary of CVS Health’s announcement that it would stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its more than 7,800 CVS/pharmacy locations. This made CVS/pharmacy the first national pharmacy chain to take this very important step in support of the health and well-being of its patients and customers. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has publicly urged retail and pharmacy outlets to end tobacco sales and shares CVS Health’s commitment to help millions of Americans quit smoking and help those who don’t smoke to never start.”
Meanwhile, CVS is getting a pass while its competitors are not so fortunate:
“NEW YORK — Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that his office sent letters to four major retailers, GNC, Target, Walmart, and Walgreens, for allegedly selling store brand herbal supplement products in New York that either could not be verified to contain the labeled substance, or which were found to contain ingredients not listed on the labels. The letters, sent Monday, call for the retailers to immediately stop the sale of certain popular products, including Echinacea, Ginseng, St. John’s Wort, and others. Attorney General Schneiderman requested the companies provide detailed information relating to the production, processing and testing of herbal supplements sold at their stores, as well as set forth a thorough explanation of quality control measures in place.”
Store brands are just re-labeled name brands, and there’s no reason to believe that CVS is any different in its practices. But CVS isn’t even mentioned. And remember, it was smoker-persecuting Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah whose law exempted supplements from FDA regulation.
In 2012, BlackRock Inc. owned 6,2% of CVS. More than 5% is considered a controlling interest.
In 2013, BlackRock held 5.9% and FMR LLC held 5.1% of CVS.
“BlackRock was originally the Financial Management portion of Peter G. Peterson and Stephen A. Schwarzman’s Blackstone Group…” BlackRock managed AIG’s Maiden Lane LLC investments that were purchased by the Federal Reserve. “In the initial stages of the U.S. government’s bailout of the financial system, Maiden Lane III paid large sums of money to a number of other European banks, including some U.S. institutions already receiving money from the government. Though these transactions were ostensibly designed to pay debts on credit default swaps held by AIG Financial Products, Maiden Lane III ultimately served as a conduit to funnel large sums of taxpayer money to pay off private debts owed to foreign corporations.”
BlackRock is the entity with the most to lose from any decline in sales. But as noted, they invest in hedge funds, which in case you didn’t know, means betting against themselves, so even if they lose, they win. BlackRock is the world’s largest asset manager, with at least $4 billion in cash on hand. There were more than 7000 filings of form SC 13G/A in the first six months of 2014, of which I looked at 4000. BlackRock also owned controlling interests in both Altria Group and Philip Morris, and in Lorillard, too. A current director of Philip Morris and a close relative of a past director of Philip Morris were on the board of directors of BlackRock. At the same time, they owned Cardinal Health, Cigna, Covance, Eli Lilly, Gentiva Health Services, GlaxoSmithKline (Nicorette), Johnson & Johnson (Nicorette), Pfizer (Nicotrol, Chantix), and United Health Group. They even control good old ICF International (the illegal EPA pass-throughs) now. And don’t hold your breath waiting for The New York Times to tell us about this, because THEY OWN THAT AS WELL. (The Sulzburger family still controls the voting stock, though.)
And they still had plenty of money left over to likewise hold controlling interests in Berkshire Hathaway, Citigroup, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, Kraft Foods, McClatchey Co. (media), McDonalds Corp., Rio Tinto PLC (of Rothschilds fame), and Safeway (health fascist food chain). Journal Communications (the biggest media in Wisconsin). And that was only half a years’ worth of filings.
Also on the BlackRock board of directors is a Kuwaiti, a World Bank official, one from Halliburton. and two from Verizon. As for who owns BlackRock: The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. and affiliates 21.0% (whose former chairman is a director); Norges Bank (The Central Bank of Norway) 7.1%; and Wellington Management Company 5.6%.