Sunday, August 06, 2006
Pesticide or Pepsi?
There was this Big Fight in NDTV, yesterday. The fighters - an adman, an activist, and, I think, a politician, were vociferously defending their view point.
Oh forgot! The topic was pesticides in cola drinks.
Only in the morning, I watched the documentary 'Supersize me!'. It was a documentary on the effect of fast foods on the American population. How more and more Americans are becoming obese. The documentary claimed that all this was because of McDonald, KFCs, Burgerkings, and the likes. The director takes upon himself to prove that the food served by these fast food (or junk food) outlets are at fault. So, Mr. Director decides to eat McDonald burgers for the next one month. He eats them as his breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Snacks as well. He, intelligently, uses doctors to study his body's response/performance and infers that the burgers are dangerous to the human society.
Wow! That was innovative.
Coming back to the Cola controversy. If the levels of pesticides are not as per the international standards, why is it that cola companies which otherwise would have been accountable anywhere in the West, are strongly rejecting the findings of this communication.
If I were the head of either cola giant, instead of fighting the report, I would choose to work very closely with the agency and try to bring down the pesticide. Just like what J&J did in its worst crisis. The image of the brand would have gone significantly up in the minds of the customer. I would have beaten my competition blue and black.
Well, I guess that is something that one can dream off.
The other party who is central to the whole issue and yet prefers to be a mute spectator is the Government. What is their stand on it? The Cola guys are here to do business and make huge profits. The testing agency has done its job and brought 'facts' before the consumers. But the Government, the one which is more responsible than anyone else for the safety of its citizens decides to not act upon this.
What can it do? I hope, they know. I am not going to give any suggestions to them.
Well, not sure how many of you have heard of 'caveat emptor'. www.answers.com says caveat empÂ·tor (?mp'tÃ´r') n. The axiom or principle in commerce that the buyer alone is responsible for assessing the quality of a purchase before buying.
If I understand well, its the consumer alone who is responsible for her/his decisions. Of course, www.wikipedia.com has little additional information its says ...Generally Caveat Emptor was the property law doctrine that controlled the sale of real property after the date of closing. Under the doctrine of Caveat Emptor, the buyer cannot recover from the seller for defects on the property that renders the property unfit for ordinary purposes. The only exception was if the seller actively concealed patent defects.'
I guess sellers will always try to conceal facts and figures but now with consumer activism, information is available to all. Despite documentaries like Supersize me! and activists against pesticides in colas, if consumers still take a decision of buying or consuming such products/services, they should be the only one to be blamed and held responsible. Of course, unless, the Goverment decides to do something about it.
I was also upset with the Supersize me!. Savitha, my wife, was all the more. Savitha was upset because she felt that one cannot blame Big Mac or anyones else for selling food stuff. They did not ask you to come daily and eat their burgers, they did not ask you not to exercise. If the consumers prefer to harm themselves despite God offering them the power to think, then do not blame others.
One should not blame other for their own actions is what we are always told. How can it be different in Cola or Big Mac case?
It is stupidity to sue others for your own folly.
Before, I finish, Aamir Khan is considered to be a responsible celeb and ambassador. Will he ask Coca-Cola to prove themselves or will he still say Piyo Sar Uthake, of course, with the pesticides.