El Cártel de la Chatarra/Arrest of the Junk Food Cartel

Cártel12_568Here’s one news story that I absolutely love! This morning in Mexico City the Alianza por la Salud Alimentaria (Alliance for Nutritional Health) reenacted the arrest, for violation of human rights, of four “Captains of the Junk Food Cartel”! Bravo! It’s about time!

Cártel03_568Arrested were the Coca Cola polar bear, the Cocoa Krispies’ elephant, Tony the Tiger, and Ronald McDonald. They are accused of violating the rights of Mexican children under two principal charges: manipulating and cheating children via the publicity and marketing of their products, and introducing food and beverages that contribute to the obesity epidemic of Mexico’s children. During the arrest, officials explained the specific criminal actions of which each of these captains is accused:

  • Tony “the Tiger” falsely tells children that eating Frosted Flakes will lead to success in sports, despite the fact that 40% of the weight of the product he peddles is sugar. He is held responsible for displacing oats and amaranth from the diet of Mexican children.
  • Melvin “the Elephant” is accused of distributing Cocoa Krispies, a substance containing 35% sugar and four artificial colors, three of which are associated with hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder in children. Yet, this is the most advertised product on television.
  • Ronald McDonald, alias “the Clown,” entered Mexico in 1985. He now operates out of 400 locations in Mexico. He uses toys, images of parties and healthy, happy play to induce children to ingest high volumes of fat, salt and sugar. He has previously been fined in Brazil for his nefarious activities.
  • “Coca” the polar bear, is accused of being one of the major causes of both the obesity and diabetes epidemics facing Mexico. Each 600 ml bottle of the Coca Cola that she deals contains more than 12 TABLESPOONs of sugar. Coca’s reach has penetrated every nook and corner of the country, far and wide, and has helped make Mexico the world’s largest consumer of soda. Despite Coca’s agreement with the World Health Organization not to publicize to children under 12, she has conducted numerous campaigns aimed at that very population.

Héctor Bonilla, one of the arresting officers, stated, “The unregulated presence of multinational corporations in the food sector is truly criminal. I welcome the attempt to counter the millions and millions of dollars in publicity of these organizations, with horizontal communication and the moral authority of those who are motivated by social conscience to collaborate, rather than by economic interests. New technologies are fertile territory for cunning and the unveiling of great lies to the public.”

Such a public demonstration seems to me a great way to raise awareness among kids. Congratulations to the arresting officers! Kids, let’s get outside, breathe some fresh air, and run around! Try some new, whole foods and you’ll be surprised just how good real food can make you feel!

pzqfmruAbove is one of those photos recently circulating the internet, of a school science project that illustrates the quantity of processed white sugar in various commercially available bottled beverages.

Fruit Loops, GMO and artificial coloring



About Dianne Hofner Saphiere

There are loads of talented people in this gorgeous world of ours. We all have a unique contribution to make, and if we collaborate, I am confident we have all the pieces we need to solve any problem we face. I have been an intercultural organizational effectiveness consultant since 1979, working primarily with for-profit multinational corporations. I lived and worked in Japan in the late 70s through the 80s, and currently live in and work from México, where with a wonderful partner we've raised a bicultural, global-minded son. I have worked with organizations and people from over 100 nations in my career. What's your story?

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