GRAIN | 2 March 2015
Free trade and Mexico’s junk food epidemic
For several years now, transnational food companies have understood that their main growth markets are in the South. To increase their profits they need to “dig into the pyramid”, as one company puts it, meaning they need to develop and sell products targeted at the millions of the world’s poor. These people generally eat food from their own farms or informal markets selling locally-produced foods, and in which many of them earn their livelihood.
To get at these potential consumers, food companies are infiltrating, inundating and taking over traditional food distribution channels and replacing local foods with cheap, processed junk foods, often with the direct support of governments. Free trade and investment agreements have been critical to their success. The case of Mexico provides a stark and horrific picture of the consequences for people.
– Read the full report from GRAIN (March 2015) here : http://www.grain.org/e/5170
– Download the PDF : http://www.grain.org/article/entries/5170-free-trade-and-mexico-s-junk-food-epidemic.pdf
– Or check out an opinon piece in The Guardian based on this report (April 2015) : http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/apr/06/global-south-has-free-trade-to-thank-obesity-diabetes-epidemic