msnbc | May 21, 2010
>>> proposed curriculum for politicizing education.
>>> he is one of the most recognizable advertising icons in the world. but some are now calling for ronald mcdonald to be shelved for good. the famous clone promotes unhealthy eating habits for children. but mcdonald 's ceo says he's the force of good not evil. joining me live now from chicago, is the senior organizer with corporate accountability international. deborah, thanks for being with us, i understand that you really believe this retirement is essential. why is that?
>> well, for the past 50 years, ronald mcdonald has been hooking kids on unhealthy food causing our kids to get sick at an alarming rate. today one in three kids will get diabetes as a result of diet in his or her lifetime. so we believe that it's time that mcdonald 's --
>> obviously there's an issue with childhood obesity, but the question is whether ronald mcdonald is the culprit. mcdonald 's ceo says he communicates with children and families around balanced, healthy lifestyles. and ronald mcdonald is there at the ronald mcdonald house that provides housing for families of ill children.
>> mr. skinner's contention that ronald does not hock food is patently untrue. you only need to look at the commercials over the past 50 years of ronald 's appearances to see that. also in the last year, we have seen ronald in schools, libraries and children's hospitals marketing directly to kids. and we found him in libraries for example reading out of a book called i'm hungry, handing out free gift certificates to kids who participated for mcdonald 's food. in terms of the charities, i want to make clear that there is no question that the charities do a great deal to help sick children and that work is to be commended. however there are some serious questions that must be raised when you have the face of a charity that's helping kids get better is the same face that's marketing unhealthy food that's making our kids sick. why does the corporate --
>> i want to go back to what you said about them getting certificates to go to mcdonald 's. mcdonald 's has put more healthy items on their menus, fresh foods, salads, the options are out there, parents should be making the decision to give their kids fresh future rather than maybe the fried stuff.
>> mcdonald 's uses so-called healthier options to lure parents into his franchises and while apple and caramel dipping sauce can substitute for fries, it's bread and butter is still burgers, fries and soda. and it's absolutely about working with parents to make healthy decisions for their childre children. the fact is that mcdonald 's targets kids with hundreds of millions of dollars of predatory marketing and uses ronald to --
>> we appreciate your perspective, it was an interesting debate, we appreciate it. thanks for being with us.