Oscar kicks up GE boycott effort

April 8, 1992

An industry of protest has grown up around the five-year-old GEboycott over the company's involvement in nuclear weapons production.Infact, the Boston-based support group for the boycott, receivednationwide publicity last month when its film on GE,

An industry of protest has grown up around the five-year-old GEboycott over the company's involvement in nuclear weapons production.Infact, the Boston-based support group for the boycott, receivednationwide publicity last month when its film on GE, Deadly Deception,won an Academy Award for best documentary short subject.

Infact claims to have made substantial progress in persuadinghospitals to buy medical imaging equipment from GE competitorsin support of the boycott.

Two years ago, the boycott gained credible support with anendorsement by the national board of Physicians for Social Responsibility.PSR is a 30-year-old organization and affiliate of Nobel peaceprize winner International Physicians for the Prevention of NuclearWar (SCAN 10/25/89).

At the time of the PSR endorsement, Infact listed five hospitals--mostlychurch-sponsored--that had decided to buy competing equipmentbecause of the boycott. This had resulted in a total loss of salesof $2.76 million for GE Medical, Infact claimed.

Following its Oscar victory, Infact provided a medical salesloss update totaling $43 million in equipment, itemized by hospitals,that was purchased from vendors other than GE "in supportof the boycott."

While 34 hospitals were listed, some remained anonymous, suchas "a New England Hospital." Three new institutionshave been added to the list so far this year, including the firsthospitals outside of the U.S.

These 1992 additions were:

  • A Sisters of St. Francis health-care system hospitalin Pennsylvania--one CT scanner for $808,500;

  • Roentgeninstitut of Basel, Switzerland--one fluoroscopymachine for $502,500; and

  • University of Basel Regional Hospital of Basel, Switzerland--oneMRI system for $2.2 million.

Infact is targeting the international medical community inan effort to expand its boycott. Deadly Deception was shown toa conference of 1400 German physicians last month, and a prime-timeshowing is scheduled this month on Norwegian national television,the organization said.