The Ethical Dilemma

1. The major responsibility issue in this scenario is the company’s obligation to protect unsuspecting and uninformed consumers from the harmful effects of its products. In light of research findings, betel nuts increase the risks of oral cancer, while khat is addictive. Like betel nuts, it is a stimulant that interferes with the normal functioning of the brain and central nervous system. Producto International is under obligation to ensure that it does not market products that pose health risks to consumers. In addition, it has the responsibility to furnish the public with the information on the research findings about the effects of the plants’ activity on health.

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2.  Myron can either agree or refuse his boss’s suggestion to introduce betel nuts and khat products into the new markets. The upside of agreeing with his boss is that Producto International will have a direct access to the market of two billion consumers. This move will greatly increase the profits and give it an edge over its market rivals. In addition, Myron’s career and that of his wife will benefit greatly through promotion and higher compensation. On the other hand, refusing to play along with the idea of his boss will not only jeopardize PI’s profit-making plans, but also threaten his career, and possibly that of his wife. There is a previous incident of an employee whose career with PI suffered after rejecting a similar offer. Accordingly, rejecting the offer will hinder PI’s growth potential and hurt his young career.

3.  The ethical issue that arises from the marketing of addictive products is the compromising of the integrity and image of the company in question. Although the products are legal and therefore their sale constitutes legitimate business, they pose health risks to unsuspecting consumers. PI’s plans reveal the role that corporate greed influences the business decisions. The desire to maximize profits, evidenced by Myron’s boss’s decision to bypass pharmaceutical companies (which could refine the plants into less harmful products and inform consumers about associated health risks), shows the importance that corporations attach to profits over consumer safety. Therefore, despite the legal approval to be on market for addictive products, marketers have the responsibility to ensure consumer safety by providing relevant warnings, as is the case with the marketing of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products. 

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