Texas beer firm Manhattan Project Beer Company has been forced to address concerns about its beer Bikini Atol, the island chains used by the U.S. Government in the 50s for nuke testing. The Dallas firm has recorded several products with nuclear designations, including Half-life, Plutonium-229, Particles Collide, and 10 nanoseconds, which they claim have not been named for “the nuclear testing of bottles to mock or trivialize them.”
Also, a letter was sent to its co-founder Jack Niedenthal from the Secretary for Health and Human Services of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, which criticized the name of the beer. For us, that’s unacceptable, wrote Niedenthal.
A motion from Change.org had 2.600 signatures by Tuesday (15 August) and called on Whole Foods not to sell beer. According to the minister, nobody enjoys beer like Pacific Islanders who especially love island bbq paired perfectly with beer. But the name can be seen as exploitative and derogative.
The beer company is considered to be in the wrong to sell a commodity called Bikini Atoll. According to islanders, it’s not good enough to simply address their concerns. In their eyes, nuclear testing is no fantasy. The islands–and their inhabitants –were used in bomb tests by the US, France and the United Kingdom. Only in 1996 did the nuclear testing final stop in that specific region. As the Marshall Isles, Kiribati and French Polynesia reside in the center of a nuclear history locations like the North Marariana Islands and Guam colonization remains unchecked. However, Islanders in the sample fields were moved while villages were subjected to lethal radioactive ash from other experiments downwind.
In the 1980s, a treaty allowed Marshall Islanders to travel and work in the United States without a visa after a nuclear test made much of the Marshall islands uninhabitable.
Many of them settled in Springdale due to Tyson Foods work opportunities. There are now approximately 15,000 living in the region, the largest concentration of Marshalle in the United States. Since the 1980s when, under the Compact of Free Association (COFA), the Marshall Islands became a sovereign state under the constitution, thousands of Marshalleans have legally transferred to the US. “It’s colonial exploitation to me and many other Marshallans,” said Benetick Maddison, “Many of our individuals die from cancer.
He claims the business wants to increase consciousness, but says nothing supports this on its website. And even centuries ago, a number of nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands continue to have health implications.
“To have a business using our name for your own profit I believe it is really, it should not be used in that manner,” Sosylina Maddison said, not thinking about the mental effect it would have on the Marshalle people. They have taken advantage of a tragedy that occurred to us not even 100 years earlier,” says Kassalae Leyjena, and believes that this business should modify its name. We do not promote it, but they tell individuals and their clients that we do, “said Lejjena.
The company released an Instagram post addressing the issue and apologizing for any misrepresentation or harm that the beer label caused. Read the full article on the nuke test inspired beer label here. You can also read more breaking beer news below.