Food movement leaders tend to stick to their specific issues, whether it’s advocating for healthy food, fighting for workers’ rights or curbing marketing to children. For each of these issues, there are numerous food corporations that need to change. But there is one organization that conveniently provides us with one giant target for all of them: the National Restaurant Association.
Posts Tagged ‘Corporate Accountability International’
The Other NRA: National Restaurant Association eviscerates the rights of customers, workers, and children
It seems both ironic and fitting that while most Americans are obsessed with food for the Thanksgiving holiday, this week also marks International Food Workers Week, organized by the Food Chain Workers Alliance.
While many large restaurant chains and other sectors of the food industry bear responsibility for mistreating their workers, recently, McDonald’s has engaged in a series of jaw-dropping and idiotic communications with its workforce. Each one is a painful reminder of how impossible it is to live on fast-food wages.
I am pleased to see so many media outlets take an interest in my recent report, produced in collaboration with Corporate Accountability International and the Small Planet Fund. Below is a round-up of the coverage so far.
USA Today: McDonald’s slammed over Ronald McDonald House giving. Also published in:
- Democrat and Chronicle
- Tucson Citizen
- THV 11
- The Indianapolis Star
- Green Bay Press Gazette
- Livingston Daily
- Courier Post Online
- Wausau Daily Herald
- Wisconsin In a Rapids Tribune
- Ithaca Journal
- Press Connects
- UTNE Alt Wire
- Daily Tribune
- Journal News
- Press & Sun Bulletin
- The Post-Crescent
- Fort Myers News-Press
The headlines certainly sounded impressive: “McDonald’s to Scrap Soda From ‘Happy Meal’ Ads” and “McDonald’s Ditches Soda In Happy Meal Menus.” In a grandiose announcement from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (an offshoot of the Clinton Foundation), McDonald’s proved once again that it’s not only the world’s fast-food leader, but also the king of spin. This time, Bill Clinton himself was on hand for the nifty photo op with McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting. Despite the seal of approval from the (mostly vegan) former president, I’ve learned to approach these sorts promises from McDonald’s with skepticism.
Last month, I participated in an important panel at a childhood obesity conference to discuss the current strategy backed by some advocacy groups: asking industry to market “healthier” foods to children. But as Susan Linn and I recently argued, any marketing to children is harmful, regardless of the product’s nutritional content. Instead of begging corporations to tweak the grams of sugar, fat and salt that these highly processed junk foods contain, we should demand that industry stop exploiting children altogether. Some advocates argue this approach is too radical. But it’s actually far more practical and ultimately more effective because of certain key tactics that industry uses to target children.
Read rest at Corporate Accountability International.
By Michele Simon and John Stewart
This week, when tobacco giant Philip Morris International hosts it annual shareholders’ meeting in New York, the company will honor outgoing CEO Louis Camilleri for his years of service. But a look back at Camilleri’s tenure shows a trail and death and destruction unworthy of celebration.
In 2008, parent company Altria Group spun off the international division of Philip Morris to focus more on “emerging markets,” the euphemism corporations use to describe the exploitation of Global South nations. For decades, as the regulatory environment and public sentiment has turned against smoking in the U.S., tobacco corporations have set their sights overseas. As a result, Philip Morris International now derives more revenue from Asia than from the European Union, and nearly 80 percent of tobacco-related deaths occur in the Global South.
Many food advocates mistakenly believe that we just need to follow in the footsteps of the tobacco control movement and then we will win. It’s certainly true impressive gains have been made in reducing smoking rates in the United States. And the World Health Organization’s global tobacco treaty has tremendous potential to save lives around the world. Nevertheless, the public health crisis caused by tobacco remains quite serious.
Last week, the National League of Cities, which represents over 19,000 cities, villages and towns, hosted its annual meeting in Boston, with one of its three aims to “strengthen neighborhoods and families.” What better way to accomplish that goal than to challenge fast food’s influence in their communities? While a couple of conference sessions featured First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! program, missing from the agenda was the role fast food plays in communities. That’s why Corporate Accountability International released a report and action guide earlier this year called “Slowing down fast food: A policy guide for healthier kids and families” – to fill this void. Read rest at Corporate Accountability International…
Over the past few months, I’ve been writing about Proposition 37, the California initiative that would require foods made through genetic engineering to be labeled, a policy that is common sense in 61 other countries, but has been denied to Americans thanks to lobbying by Big Biotech. One of the most prominent food myths perpetuated by the likes of Monsanto is that we need genetic engineering “to feed the world.”