#1Feb 27th, 2007
"Have you tried getting it banned?" ... Prince Charles
Prince Charles slams McDonalds
By ONLINE REPORTER
February 27, 2007
THE Prince of Wales today slammed fast food chain McDonalds as he attended the launch of a public health awareness campaign aimed at fighting diabetes in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
As Charles toured the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre in Abu Dhabi and was told about new initiatives to improve the nation’s diet and fitness levels, he said to a nutritionist that banning McDonald’s was the “key”.
The Prince, who visited the centre with the Duchess of Cornwall, is a keen advocate of organic food and in 1986 set up a farm on his Highgrove Estate that does not
use artificial pesticides or fertilisers.
The royal couple watched as a group of young children chose from a selection of “good” and “bad” snacks for their school packed lunch boxes.
Encouraging pupils to eat sensibly is one of the initiatives of the campaign - Diabetes Knowledge Action - and it is hoped UAE youngsters will pass their healthy eating habits on to their families.
When all the children picked up the bottles of water and tiny bags containing fruit and vegetables but left behind the chocolate and crisps, Camilla and Charles laughed.
The Prince then chatted to nutritionist Nadine Tayara from the centre, who had put the children through their paces, and asked her: “Have you got anywhere with McDonald’s, have you tried getting it banned? That’s the key.”
The UAE has the second highest prevalence of diabetes in the world with more than 20 per cent of those aged 20 to 79 already diagnosed with the illness, while 40 per cent of the population are prone to the disease.
A McDonald’s spokeswoman said Charles’s remark was “disappointing”.
Other members of his family had visited the chain and “have probably got a more up-to-date picture of us,” she said.
The spokeswoman added: “This appears to be an off-the-cuff remark, in our opinion.
“It does not reflect our menu or where we are as a business.”
Charles was clearly unaware of some of the moves the company has made, she said, such as improved labelling, supporting sustainable agriculture and nutritional changes with choice and variety.