Jungleburger by Peter Heller

This Quicktime Movie is a 30-second extract from an interview in 1982 with Sergio Quintana, the Marketing Director of Co-op Montecillos, a huge meat processing factory in Costa Rica - a country whose tropical forests have been devastated in the last 40 years by cattle ranching for export. Co-op Montecillos has been the sole supplier for McDonald's local stores in Costa Rica since the early 1970s. (See transcript of the full, uncut interview)

The clip is an extract from the prize-winning, pioneering documentary 'Jungleburger' made by the German film-maker Peter Heller and widely broadcast since 1983. By interviewing and filming key personnel involved in all links of the chain, it adds up to a devastating expose of how Central and South American tropical forests are being destroyed to be replaced by cattle production for export to the USA and other industrialised countries. There the beef is mixed in with locally raised beef and put on the market for use by the fast food industry. (In the USA, once any beef consignment has entered the country and passed official inspections it is recategorised as 'US beef').

International campaigns in the 1980s by environmentalists and others put the hamburger corporations, banks and governments on the defensive about tropical forest destruction. The clip flatly contradicts McDonald's own propaganda of the 1980s and 90s. In 1989 for the first time the Corporation produced a written 'policy' against the use of ex-rainforest beef. Whether or not this 'policy' is genuine, enforced in reality or even enforceable at all, they remain the world's largest user of beef and they irresponsibly promote increased beef consumption through their annual $1.5 billion global advertising and promotions budget. It is this massive overconsumption of beef and the consequently huge and unnatural overproduction of beef which is responsible for the destructive pressure on forests, rainforests and soils throughout the world. The cutting down of tropical forests is frequently due to landless peasants and small ranchers being displaced from nearby regions where large scale ranching for big companies has taken over the land.

McDonald's have tried to suppress the showing of 'Jungleburger' in the UK and abroad. However it continues to be broadcast and the clip has been played as evidence in the McLibel trial.


(The following info was found wandering about on the Internet, and as such may be out-of-date.)

"Jungleburger" and its sister-video "McProfit" are available in the USA in VHS format tapes. Unfortunately the price is pretty steep, in fact prohibitive, almost guarranteeing that the movie will not be distributed by video rental places.

To buy both videos with rights to *show* the video to audiences the cost is $390.00 (for both) plus $10 shipping.

To rent the videos as a school, or non profit or other organization the price is $75.00 each plus $10 shipping. You need to fax them details of your organization, when and where it will be shown. It might be worth asking your local video store to get or find a copy.

First Run - Icarus International Films
153 Waverly Place
New York NY 10014
Phone 800-876-1710
FAX 212-989-7649

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