Herbalife, Savers, and 6 Other 'Evil Companies' That People Don't Talk About Enough

Herbalife Headquarters Building


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Herbalife Headquarters Building

Evil Enterprises

Amazon is so evil that it’s almost too on the nose. To begin with, the e-commerce giant is helmed by an out-of-touch billionaire who wants to colonize space. And then there are the company’s countless controversies. Spying on customers. Forcing employees to pee in bottles. Stealing tips right out of drivers’ pockets.


But whereas everyone pretty much knows Amazon is no good, some unethical companies go relatively unnoticed. In a recent 10,000-comment thread, Redditors refused to let these little-known scoundrels off the hook, sharing a list of truly reprehensible businesses that fly under the radar.

Nurse assisting senior with walking cane

1. Brookdale

The nation’s largest nursing home chain, Brookdale, has found itself embroiled in multiple scandals. In 2013, a Brookdale nurse in Bakersfield, California, refused to resuscitate an 87-year-old woman due to the facility’s “no-CPR” policy. More recently, more than 80 families of Brookdale residents sued the provider for neglect and financial abuse. “Brookdale is evil,”  one Redditor writes of the company. “And most of us will have to deal with them or someone like them as we’re entering our most vulnerable adult years.”

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3. Susan G. Komen

Although Susan G. Komen’s breast cancer foundation was once the paragon of nonprofits, the organization's reputation and revenue declined steeply following a spate of controversies. In the interest of preserving its brand, the organization spent its donations to take legal action against more than 100 small charities that used some form of “for the cure” in their names. Meanwhile, Komen aligned its brand with companies and products that cause cancer, leading to accusations that the organization was in the pocket of big business. Since then, the nonprofit has rehabilitated its reputation somewhat, earning three out of five stars on the ranking platform Charity Navigator.

Purdue Pharma Building
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4. Knoa Pharma (formerly Purdue Pharma)

Purdue Pharma’s hand in stoking the opioid crisis is proof that companies are ultimately motivated by profit, not their consumers’ well-being. The pharmaceutical giant, which produced the powerful drug OxyContin, fueled the deadly opioid epidemic by aggressively marketing the drug while downplaying its addictiveness.

As investigations revealed that Purdue Pharma knew about the drug’s potential for abuse, the company became overwhelmed with lawsuits, ending with its bankruptcy and dissolution in 2021. The Sacklers, the billionaires behind the company, received legal immunity from civil claims in exchange for paying up to $6 billion to combat the opioid crisis. The bankruptcy plan also restructured Purdue Pharma into Knoa Pharma, which will continue to produce OxyContin in addition to addiction treatment drugs.

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Herbalife company office in Plaza See Hoy Chan,  commercial office building.
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A second hand clothes shop in the center of the city with a lot of clothes

6. Savers (aka Value Village)

The country’s largest for-profit thrift store chain has come under fire for its deceptive marketing, which a lawsuit has alleged portrays the business as a charity. Although Savers won that case in Washington state Supreme Court in 2023, the thrift store company has faced similar legal complaints in the past. In 2015, the Minnesota Attorney General sued Savers for misleading the public “about the extent to which donated clothes and merchandise benefit the for-profit retailer vs. the charity.” Savers settled the case, agreeing to modify its donation practices and paying $1.8 million to local charities.

Related: Thrifting 101: What Is a Thrift Store and How Is It Different From Other Shops?

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Johnson & Johnson

8. Johnson & Johnson

Although Johnson & Johnson was praised during the coronavirus pandemic for producing a one-shot vaccine in record time, the company has a dark past. Thousands of lawsuits have alleged that the company’s talcum powder was contaminated with asbestos, leading to ovarian cancer and mesothelioma. In April, Johnson & Johnson agreed to pay $8.9 billion to tens of thousands of plaintiffs in a landmark settlement.

Related: The Surprising Reasons These Companies Changed Their Brand Names