Amidst the uproar regarding Michael Phelps alleged pot-smoking, let’s not miss a larger point. See, since Kellogg’s claims it is really looking out for kids, you know, that “role model” stuff, isn’t it fair game to look at how Kellogg’s itself looks after kids (and us adults for that matter)?
This is the very company that pushed the FDA in the mid-80s into changing the way it regulates food, essentially allowing the company to manipulate its cereal health claims to imply that its products prevent cancer (even in the face of opposition from the National Cancer Institute and the Federal Trade Commission). This is the same company that pushes sugar-laden cereal on our kids (and us) and markets directly to children since it helps them sell more of their products (using taxpayer subsidized corn, of course). Indeed, this is the company that shamelessly markets to children (Hannah Montana cereal anyone, with “strawberry milkshake flavoring”!) and pushes cereals that include sugars 11 ways (and that’s the “healthy” stuff — “Smart Start”). In light of our national obesity epidemic, this is hardly the kind of responsibility and role modeling we need.
Care about kids? Oh puhleese! How about care about their profits? (Note: They posted better-than-expected earnings for the last quarter). Regardless of whether Phelps should or should not get the endorsement, let’s not overlook the fundamental hypocrisy of corporations who profess to have our kids’ welfare in mind when the fundamentals of their business models suggest bottom line corporate welfare is paramount.