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Fruit Loops, Leninism, and Lunacy

by Thomas Riggins Monday, Aug. 02, 2010 at 1:52 AM
pabooks@politicalaffairs.net

This article is a critique of the way the food industry in the US places ads for unhealthy products on children''s TV programs.

Fruit Loops, Leninism, and Lunacy

Thomas Riggins

Do you eat Fruit Loops? Do you let your children eat them? Well you would have to be a lunatic to do so after reading about how the food industry dumps all sorts of junk into processed foods and cereals just to make a buck. Take a look at "Ad Rules Stall, Keeping Cereal a Cartoon Staple"-- New York Times 7-24-2010 front page article by William Neuman).

Here is some of the lunacy. President Obama has recognized that there is an obesity epidemic spreading among American children. An epidemic which is increasing cases of diabetes and leading to premature heart problems among kids. No laughing matter. It's caused by junk food being passed off as healthy and nutritious food by the US food industry whose ONLY INTEREST is making big profits-- the kids can go to Hell for all they care.

The government isn't trying to force these food fascists to change what they put in their "food": it was just trying to set nutritional standards for food that could be advertised as healthy to small children watching Saturday morning cartoons.

The food industry has its own standards for child nutrition (it includes candy bars). Here are some perfectly healthy foods for children according to the industry: corn dog with fries (ConAgra), McDonald Happy Meal, Lucky Charms, Cocoa Pebbles, and Fruit Loops. Emm, emm, good! Not!

If you like fat, overweight, rolly polly children these are the foods for you.

The government would allow 8 grams of sugar per serving (too much anyway) but Cocoa Pebbles has 11 and Fruit Loops 12 grams according to the Times.

Anyway, not to worry, the pending rules have been stopped in their tracks.

Congress is paralyzed. The main reason? The food industry objects. That is the only argument against the new rules according to one expert in the field.

Here are some really great quotes from the article. This one from the Association of National Advertisers: "The [government] proposal was extraordinarily restrictive and would virtually end all food advertising as it is currently carried out to kids under 18 years of age."

The proposal was that kid's foods "would have to contain significant amounts of wholesome ingredients." Well that would definitely put an end to the foods currently being advertised since it's all junk.

Here is a gem: "With obesity rates the way they are, it is no longer acceptable for companies to be marketing foods to kids that contribute to obesity and heart disease and other health problems." Ok, this was from the good guys at the Center for Science and the Public Interest, but when was it EVER ACCEPTABLE to make kid's food that contributes to obesity and heart problems?

Some companies know their food is junk and have agreed NOT to pitch it to young children (Coke Cola, Mars, Hershey, Cadbury) but others insist on poisoning kids to make a buck-- Kellogg, McDonalds, Burger King and others.

These are little children we are talking about and these companies have no right to make money by exploiting them and selling junk food. If the government is afraid of big business too bad. But parents would have to be lunatics to buy this stuff.

So much for lunatics and fruit loops, but what has Leninism got to do with it? Well, the theory of monopoly capitalism spelled out in State and Revolution and Imperialism the Highest Stage of Capitalism make fine summer reading and will explain just how this rotten capitalist system works. You will never again think good healthy food is the business of the "food" industry-- it's raw naked profits.

Thomas Riggins is the associate editor of Political Affairs online.

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