Morton International Inc.

Morton Thiokol. By Diana J. Kleiner. Handbook of Texas Online.

Morton Thiokol / Handbook of Texas Online

Morton Salt was founded in 1902 by brothers Joy and Mark Morton. (Mark Morton, 92, led salt concern. New York Times, Jun. 26, 1951.) Joy Morton was vice president and a director of Corn Products, along with C.H. and E.A. Matthiessen and Norman B. Ream, who became a director of the Guaranty Trust in 1905. (Corn Products Company Officials. New York Times, Mar. 6, 1902.) Joy Morton was a director of the Chicago & Alton Railroad, along with Ream and T.H. Hubbard. (Alton's control complete. New York Times, Oct. 3, 1907.) Paul and Joy Morton and others were sued for stock manipulation of Indiana, Illinois & Iowa Railroad stock by attorneys for the estate of John S. Cooper. (Attack Shonts and Morton. New York Times, Feb. 10, 1910.) Joy Morton financed the Morkrum Printer, the forerunner of the Teletype, which replaced Morse code operators (Newspapers adopt Morkrum Printers. New York Times, Mar. 19, 1915.) His son, Sterling Morton, was a director and chairman of the board of Morton, and was also president of the Teletype Corporation until 1930, when he and his wife sold their stock to AT&T. (Sterling Morton of salt firm, 75. New York Times, Feb. 25, 1961.) Their brother, Paul Morton, was president of the Mutual Life from 1905 until his death in 1911, and his daughters, Pauline and Caroline Morton, were married to Charles H. Sabin and William C. Potter, the presidents/chairmen of the Guaranty Trust. Mark Morton's daughter, Helen, was secretly married to Roger Bayly at Col. George Fabyan's home; three weeks later she was declared deranged on the petition of her husband, Fabyan, and Joy and Mark Morton. One of the questions she was asked was, "Do you smoke many cigarettes?" (Helen Morton held mentally unfit. New York Times, Jul. 7, 1914.)

In 1965, Morton International merged with Norwich Pharmacal, and became Morton-Norwich Products, Inc. Morton-Norwich attempted to market "Bonded Carbon Plugs" as cigarette filters to the American Tobacco Company, for use in Tareyton cigarettes.

June 18, 1970 / UCSF
July 27, 1970 (agreement) / UCSF
Nov. 4, 1970 "Morton Norwich Bonded Tobacco Plugs" / UCSF

John W. Simmons, the President and CEO of Morton-Norwich Products Inc., was a Trustee of Ernst L. Wynder's American Health Foundation between August 1974 and April 1981.

Loew's Theatres, Inc. owned a sizable number of shares of Morton-Norwich Products in 1976.

Loew's Theatres 1976 Form 10-K / UCSF

In 1982, Morton International merged with the Thiokol Corporation, developers of rocket fuel and automotive airbags, and also acquired Philip Morris' chemical division. Meanwhile, Procter & Gamble acquired the Norwich Eaton pharmaceutical business from Morton Norwich, including Pepto-Bismol, Cloraseptic, and Norwich aspirin. In 1996, Morton's airbag business was spun off to Autoliv of Sweden, and in 1999 Morton was acquired by Rohm & Haas of Philadelphia.

Nearly all of the directors of the company since 1989 have ties to the Illinois Interlock: Ralph M. Barford, a director of the Bank of Montreal; James R. Cantalupo, also a director of McDonald's Corp.; W. James Farrell, chairman, CEO and director of Illinois Tool Works; Richard L. Keyser, chairman, CEO and director of WW Grainger; Frank W. Luerssen, former chairman and CEO of Inland Steel; Edward J. Mooney, a director of Northern Trust; George A. Schaefer, also a director of Aon Corp.; S. Jay Stewart, also a director of Household International; Roger W. Stone, chairman, president and CEO of Stone Container, and also a director of McDonald's Corp.; Raymond C. Tower, also a director of Household International and Inland Steel. And William T. Creson was the former president, CEO and chairman of Crown Zellerbach - James D. Zellerbach was a crony of Paul Hoffman. Charles A. Sanders was a director from 1989 to 1995.

Morton International 1994 DEF 14A / Securities and Exchange Commission
Morton International 1998 DEF 14A / Securities and Exchange Commission

Morton and the US EPA

US EPA boasts: "U.S., Mississippi reach environmental agreements with Morton. $20 million penalty is largest-ever civil fine for environmental violations at one factory." (US EPA Headquarters Press Release, Oct. 26, 2000.) The EPA claims that Morton released methanol, methyl ethyl ketone, and toluene into the air and soil, and that discharge monitoring reports were falsified to conceal the "possible" release of hazardous wastes from closed hazardous waste lagoons. Morton's former environmental manager, Joe Magazzu, took the fall and pleaded guilty to a felony Clean Water Act charge. It is vague about details such as quantities, dates, and what damage to the environment and "community health" resulted. There is no indication of why it supposedly merits that "largest-ever civil fine for environmental violations at one factory."

But the EPA and the state of Mississippi will get to split the $20 million; Morton will have to pay over ten million more for "investigation" and upgrades; $4 million "to repair and replace sewer lines from private residences to the central Moss Point sewer system." And the School of Polymer Science at the University of Southern Mississippi will get $2 million for a research project "to produce renewable and environmentally-friendly replacements for more hazardous chemicals." And they have created a legal precedent which can be used a weapon to intimidate other firms. Only the consumers will have to pay for it, and they don't matter - especially not when they've been brainwashed for decades to go into hysterics over "chemicals," to worship "the environment" unconditionally, and not to think about the harm inflicted on them indirectly by unnecessary expenses.

Headquarters Press Release / US Environmental Protection Agency
Plea Agreement - US v. Morton International

Morton International entered into this plea agreement "with the advice of its attorneys, Judson W. Starr and Joseph G. Block." In 1998, these two were also the attorneys for Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., which likewise pled guilty and was fined $1 million for dumping oil at sea. The ship's chief engineer took the rap.

"The criminal case of Royal Caribbean was unusual in one key respect -- the wealth of criminal defense lawyers and experts the company procured in an unsuccessful attempt to convince federal judges that the prosecution was illegal under international law" [sic - or perhaps merely to put on a public pretense like the attorneys for Philip Morris et al. -cast]. "For its legal defense, the company hired Judson Starr and Jerry Block, both of whom have served as head of the Justice Department's Environmental Crimes Section, and former Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti. All three lawyers are with the Venable, Baetjer law firm. Hired on as experts on international law issues were former Attorney General Elliot Richardson, University of Virginia law professor John Norton Moore, former State Department officials Terry Leitzell and Bernard Oxman, and four retired senior admirals. As the case proceeded to trial, Royal Caribbean engaged in a massive public relations campaign, taking out ads during the Super Bowl, putting former Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [officials] on its board of directors, and donating thousands of dollars to environmental groups." Naturally, the true-believing pc types fall for the charade hook, line and sinker and hype it as a triumph for justice - and never mind the millions of gallons of oil which naturally seep up through the beds of the oceans. (Corporate Bullies. The 10 Worst Corporations of 1998, by Russell Mokhiber. Multinational Monitor 1998 Dec;19(12). Royal Caribbean, corporate criminal.)

Mokhiber / Multinational Monitor 1998

Block and Starr are quoted in a December 1993 Reason magazine article, "Crimes Against Nature. The new vice crusade is turning Justice upside down," by Rick Henderson. Henderson notes that it was in 1990, "with the blessing of the Bush administration," Congress voted to increase the number of criminal investigators in the EPA from 60 to 250 by 1995.

Henderson / Reason 1998

Block and Starr were planning chairs for the American Law Institute - American Bar Association Tenth Annual Advanced ALI-ABA Course of Study for the Defense and Govenrment Bars on Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Laws in 2001.

Criminal Enforcement of Environmental Laws / American Law Institute - American Bar Association

Finally, it would be interesting to know what, if any, family relationship Block and Starr have to Inland Steel (which once operated a fleet of ore carriers on the Great Lakes) and to Cornelius V. Starr, respectively.

cast 07-04-15