The carbonated soft drinks industry has slammed Mexico’s chief coronavirus spokesperson for describing the sector’s products as “bottled poison.”
Hugo Lopez-Gatell said Mexicans can reduce the risks of Covid-19 by cutting soft drinks from their daily diets.
“Why do we need bottled poison, soda poison?” he asked. “Why do we need donuts, cupcakes, chips that bring toxic food and environmental pollution?”
Lopez-Gatell has repeatedly emphasized that diabetes and obesity are a significant Covid-19 comorbidity factor in Mexico.
Lopez-Gatell also took aim at the advertising methods employed by soft drink manufacturers which “fool” people with “happy lifestyles.”
The National Association of Producers of Soft Drinks (Anprac) struck back immediately, issuing a bulletin stating that it was unheard of for a federal public official to “stigmatize an industry that fully complies with all the rules and regulations in Mexico.” The organization accused López-Gatell of trying to find a scapegoat for the pandemic, and demonizing one of Mexico’s most strategic sectors.
Anprac didn’t hold back in its criticism of the health minister, accusing him of having “ideological bias,” “personal animosity,” “a simplistic vision” and imparting “imprecise information.”
“Anprac advocates a comprehensive solution to obesity, based on scientific criteria, that attacks all causes of the problem and that is not based on ideologies and/or personal phobias,” the missive said.