Reviews | I don’t care about the de-sexification of M&Ms, let’s talk about child labor

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Green M&M has lost the one thing that made her sexy to all people around the world – she high heel boots.

Downgraded to an inferior pair of heels, the brown M&M can at least keep her glasses fashionable while her green counterpart has been downgraded to wear arguably the most hideous shoes of all – sneakers. How could Mars, the company behind this decision, desecrate such an attractive candy? My week, if not my whole life, has now been ruined because of this heartbreaking news.

Even in my attempts to make jokes about the situation, the whole ordeal remains just plain weird. Mars decided to remove the stereotypical femininity from these two M&Ms to promote inclusivity and embrace “self expression.”

While Mars seems pleased with this change, Twitter and media across the country have been widely discussing this new topic. Even though Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson seems being very clueless who doesn’t want to ‘have a drink with one of them’ anymore, there are tons of people on the internet who are mock to this bizarre marketing move.

In this new frontier of brands and companies try to be as awake as possibleMars isn’t the first company to do something weird with its marketing strategies, and it won’t either. be the last. But in everything this nonsense about de-sexifying green and brown M&Ms, we are completely unaware that a federal trial said Mars and other major chocolate companies take advantage of the worst forms of child labor to source cocoa. Instead of focusing on the new “androgynous” candy cartoons, can we please turn our attention to a lawsuit that alleges a gross violation of human rights.

Now, if you didn’t know, and I hate to break it to you, a good majority of the chocolate we eat is probably from unethical work. About two thirds of the cocoa the three main confectionery companies – Mars, Hershey and Nestlé – receive comes from West Africa. Child labor is most likely at the center of the sweets we all know and love.

Ivory Coast, where most of these farms are located, is home to the nearly 2 million children who must complete the dangerous cultivation of our beloved cocoa beans. Cocoa cultivation is a labor-intensive industry where children and exploited victims of trafficking, sometimes as young as 10 or 11 years old, must use machetes to cut cocoa beans, spray dangerous pesticides and carry over 100 pounds of cocoa beans day in and day out . In addition to the dangerous demands of the job, the young workers are kept in despicable conditions with limited access to food, water and education, where they are paid only pennies a day for their tedious work.

These big companies made a wish in the early 2000s cease participating in unethical labor practices by 2005. Under pressure from Congress, big business was expected to eliminate and lead the fight against the use of child labor in the cocoa industry. Unfortunately, little progress has been made and none of the companies have honored their agreements.

Since 2019, March can trace approximately 24% of its supply returns to farms suspected of child labor, which is less than the other two major chocolate brands. Hershey can trace less than half while Nestlé can trace 49% of those same farms.

When you actually look at the world, you will discover how frightening reality really is. It’s not always a bad thing to highlight insignificant or less important news to occasionally break a darker news cycle. I love when channels share segments of good news, and I even love reading nonsensical banter from online debates like this. Yet when lives are at risk and corporations are not held accountable for their actions, even if the The Supreme Court has ruled that they are not liableit’s time to change direction and change the narrative to a more serious one.

It would be doing every child who suffers on the cocoa plantations a disservice not to start a serious conversation about this tragedy. The public should be outraged that small children who have been trafficked into the system with no escape are likely harvesting our beloved chocolate.

Instead of focusing our attention on women M&Ms who just wanted a more comfortable pair of shoes, let’s focus on children who are being abused so that we can fully enjoy chocolate without worrying that someone was abused to produce it.

Livia LaMarca primarily writes about American politics and pop culture. Write to him at [email protected].

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