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CBC Airs Shocking “Big Sugar” Documentary

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) is now airing an eye-opening documentary, "Big Sugar: Sweet, White & Deadly."

Big_sugar_1 Thanks so much to Anita in my free, online KickSugar group for telling us about this film. Here’s what she wrote to my group:

"I wanted to tell you that I watched Part 1 of the CBC documentary on sugar. It was unbelievable. Did you know that in the US, the 3 major sugar companies are all subsidized by the government?  Yup, only country in the world where that happens.

"They interviewed the head of one of these companies (run by a family in Florida). They have a sugar farm in the Dominican Republic.

"His workers on his farm eat only once a day, are prevented from growing their own vegetables and, if they are recruited from Haiti, often are never given back their passports. The reporter indicated that this man’s one son lives in an $8 million U.S. house while the other lives in an $11 million U.S. house in Florida.

"Meanwhile, their workers in the Dominican have to cut, BY HAND, one tonne of sugar cane PER DAY in order to get their daily wages. Their kids often help out in order to make the quota.

"If there ever was a reason to kick sugar, the human rights issues are enough.  I am so disgusted after seeing this.  (And the CBC is known for its journalistic integrity. So this isn’t made up.

"Part 2 of "Big Sugar" will be this Tuesday, Sept 27 from 9-10 EST."

Thanks, Anita, for sharing!

Now, here’s the description from Galafilm, which produced the documentary.

"Written and Directed by Brian McKenna

"Big Sugar explores the dark history and modern power of the world’s reigning sugar cartels. Using dramatic reenactments, it reveals how sugar was at the heart of slavery in the West Indies in the 18th century, while showing how present-day consumers are slaves to a sugar-based diet. A lost chapter of Canadian history is discovered, illustrating how 18th century sugar lobbyists in England used blackmail and bribes to determine the fate of Canada."

Can’t wait to get ahold of a copy of this extraordinary sounding documentary!

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11 thoughts on “CBC Airs Shocking “Big Sugar” Documentary

  1. If true, then these claims are outrageous and disturbing. Maybe a hundred years ago you would expect these sorts of conditions. However I suspect there are many other such operations in the world. Everything from coffee to soy is grown in these monocultural farms where workers are exploited to such a degree that they have few other options.

  2. I would like to have the name and address of the priest featured in the Documentary. I could send a few dollars for some of the workers on the plantation.

  3. Hi – I was the head researcher and assistant director of Big Sugar/L’Empire du Sucre. If you would like any info on the subjects featured in the film, feel free to drop me an email, and I will reveal what I can. At this stage, however, we are not in a position to sell or send copies of the program – please contact CBC audience relations. Thanks for your interest!

  4. I was just wondering, if the assistant director Hugh John Murray could leave his email address so i could as a few questions on the movie “Big Sugar”. Thanks Alot

  5. Hi – I just returned from a “mission trip” to the Dominican Republic and saw 1st hand the appalling conditions the sugar cane workers endure. Our group watched a poor copy of “Big Sugar” and we would love to get a good copy – Galafilm said they can’t sell copies until CBC is done airing the program. Anyone have any ideas when that might be? CBC audience relations have not replied??
    EVERYONE should see this – its a “Supersize Me” for the sugar industry!

  6. Hi there,
    Does anyone know where I could get a copy of the ‘Big Sugar’ series? I live in the UK but could easy orgainse it from here. I really want to watch it, sounds so fascinating and informative. Any ideas?

  7. I just saw this documentary and am flabberghasted! I do hope that the CBC will re-air this program. This is front page news folks. I wish provicial/federal newspapers would write an article about this program. Very informative and very important. This is a huge story! Congratulations and great work to those involved.

  8. I have been showing the documentary ‘Big Sugar’ to my grade 12 food and nutrition classes since it first aired. I still get angry everytime I see it. I have had students crying in their seats. I only buy fair trade organic sugar since watching ‘Big Sugar’. I hope it is available on DVD for purchase very soon! We need to send Oprah a copy!! I would love to have the address of the priest. The social science department does an annual fundraiser and I would love the students to be able to donate to his cause.

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