Killer Coke
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Killer Coke News Archive | 2015

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"Coca-Cola lavishes £8.9mn on scientists who advise health policy," RT UK News, December 18, 2015
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"Coca-Cola has spent £8.9 million over the past five years funding top British scientists carrying out research on healthy-eating.

"An investigation by the Times found the soft drinks giant has funded or given 'professional fees' to several prominent scientists and researchers, some of whom have cast doubt on the widely acknowledged link between sugary drinks and obesity.

"As part of this, some 27 British scientists received £350,000 (US$520,000) from the multinational corporation.

"Coca-Cola disclosed data on its website on Friday morning showing that eight scientists who advise the government on healthy eating also received fees or travel expenses from the company. Not all of the researchers denied sugary drinks are linked to obesity."

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"'Paris Plages' refuses partnership with Coca-Cola," France 24, December 16, 2015
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"The Paris city council on Tuesday rejected a financial partnership with Coca-Cola to help fund its summertime Paris Plages (Paris Beaches) event during which sand beaches are set up along the River Seine in the French capital.

"The decision, which denies giving Coca-Cola a virtual monopoly on beverage distribution at the event for up to three years, came after four days of debate that pitted an alliance among the Green Party, Communists, Left Front and Les Republicains (formerly the UMP) against the ruling Socialist Party, which called the decision "irresponsible".

"'Coca-Cola's image, already tainted in 2001 by a €192 million racial discrimination case against African-Americans, is not compatible with the values Paris defends,' said Jerome Gleizes, regional councilman for the Green Party, who called the partnership 'unacceptable and incomprehensible'."

"Journalists Fail to Reveal Sources Funded by Coca-Cola: A Short Report" By Gary Ruskin, Organic Consumers Association, December 14, 2015
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"During the investigation and subsequent collapse of the Coca-Cola front group Global Energy Balance Network, The New York Times and Associated Press discovered that prominent university professors working on obesity issues had been funded by The Coca-Cola Company.

"This is not just a public health scandal. It is a journalistic one as well.

"Journalists have quoted two of these professors at least 30 times in news articles, after the professors had received their Coca-Cola funding, but without mentioning that funding in their articles. Many of the news outlets that published these articles are influential, such as The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Boston Globe, The Atlantic Monthly, U.S. News and World Report, Newsweek and National Public Radio.

"It is a conflict of interest for professors working on obesity issues to accept funding from Coca-Cola. There is now substantial medical evidence that soda and the soda industry — and especially Coca-Cola and PepsiCo — are in part responsible for our nation's obesity epidemic, and increase the incidence of diabetes and heart disease.

"If a professor takes money from one of these soda companies, that is crucial context for their views on obesity, and journalists disserve their readers by failing to report it. Readers need to know who pays sources to evaluate the legitimacy and biases of these sources."

Killer Coke

"Coca Cola May Quit India Over Sin Tax," The Economic Times, December 11, 2015
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"NEW DELHI: The Indian subsidiary of Coca-Cola Co said on Friday it may have to close some bottling plants if the government pushes through a proposal that would subject fizzy drinks to a 40 per cent 'sin' tax, as part of a broader fiscal overhaul.

"The beverage maker, which operates 57 factories and bottling plants across India, said a proposal to group sugary sodas with higher-taxed luxury cars and tobacco would hurt demand for its drinks.

" 'It will lead to a sharp decline in consumer purchase,' Coca-Cola India said in a statement. 'In these circumstances, we will have no option but to consider shutting down certain factories...'

"Several countries are debating so-called 'sugar taxes' to tackle obesity and encourage healthier lifestyles. While more than a fifth of India's population lives below the official poverty line, the country is home to the third-highest population of obese people after the United States and China, according to medical journal The Lancet."

"Coca-Cola workers call for company to abide by court decisions" By Adolfo Lujan, DEMOTIX, December 12, 2015
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"The Coca-Cola workers are calling on the multinational US corporation to comply with the Spanish court judgments against them, reinstating their jobs, and reopening the factory in Fuenlabrada."

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Remember the Real Bears?

"The Real Bears"

Watch on YouTube

"Coca-Cola pulls Mexican ad after accusations of racism" By Ker Blakinger, New York Daily News, December 7, 2015
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"Coca-Cola is facing heavy criticism after airing an ad that some have deemed racist.

"Still available on YouTube, the now-pulled advert features a gaggle of white hipsters bringing Coke to an indigenous village in Mexico.

"The visitors help the locals build a weird Christmas tree out of wood and plastic red Coke bottle caps as they share their smug, first-world joy with the villagers...

" 'I consider this type of advertising an act of discrimination and racist, and it also promotes the breakdown of the social fabric by trying to impose a consumer culture a culture of consumption and outside communities,' indigenous advocate and lawyer Elvira Pablo told Aser Litigio."

"Coke's Chief Scientist, Who Orchestrated Obesity Research, Is Leaving" by Anahad O'Connor, November 24, 2015, The New York Times
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"Coca-Cola's top scientist is stepping down after revelations that the beverage giant initiated a strategy of funding scientific research that played down the role of Coke products in the spread of obesity...

"Michael F. Jacobson, the executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group, said it was concerning to see 'how a major corporation is using a professor to propagate their views.'

"Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University and the author of 'Soda Politics,' said that when food and beverage companies pay for research, they do so to aid marketing efforts and to 'silence critics.'

"Dr. Nestle added, 'The Global Energy Balance Network has been a public relations disaster for Coca-Cola."

"YouTube Kids App Faces New Complaints Over Ads for Junk Food" By Cecilia Kangnovm November 24, 2015, The New York Times
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"Visit YouTube Kids and typically it will not be long before promotions for junk food appear. The advertisements regularly show up in the form of funny contests and animated stories.

"In complaints filed to federal officials on Tuesday, two prominent consumer advocacy groups argued that those ads were deceptive, particularly for children. The two complaints, made to the Federal Trade Commission, expand on the groups' filings to the agency in April and could increase pressure on federal officials to intervene in the fast-growing online video market.

"The groups, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for Digital Democracy, argue in the complaints that online video aimed at children is too commercialized and is not held to the same standards that apply to cable and broadcast television. The complaints call for an investigation of food marketers, video programmers and Google, which owns YouTube, as well as for a broad examination of advertising of such food to children online...

"The groups expand on their April complaints by asking the F.T.C. to examine the advertising practices of food companies, and by citing new evidence of junk food ads on the app. In the new complaint, the groups argue that more than a dozen food companies have fallen short of their own promises to abstain from marketing junk food to children on YouTube Kids. The groups say that brands like Burger King, Coca-Cola, ConAgra Foods and American Licorice have commercials on the app for products including potato chips and chocolate bars."

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"University Returns $1 Million Grant to Coca-Cola" by Anahad O'Connor, The New York Times, November 6, 2015
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"The University of Colorado School of Medicine announced Friday that it was returning a $1 million gift from Coca-Cola after it was revealed that the money had been used to establish an advocacy group that played down the link between soft drinks and obesity...

"Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, called the network 'a front group' for Coca-Cola intended to promote the message that obesity is primarily caused by a lack of exercise, not by overconsumption of junk food...

"In August, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, an advocacy group, circulated a letter signed by 37 scientists and public health authorities accusing the Global Energy Balance Network of 'peddling scientific nonsense.'" In an interview Friday, Michael F. Jacobson, the group's executive director, praised the University of Colorado for returning the money.

"'Even though the university probably returned the money out of embarrassment, it's smart that they did it,' said Dr. Jacobson. 'I hope this sets an example for other recipients of Coke money.'"

"Yes, Soda Taxes Seem to Cut Soda Drinking" by Margot Sanger-Katz, The New York Times, Oct. 13, 2015
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"... In 2013, Mexico passed a tax right out of the public health literature. And now the theoretical debate is becoming more real. Preliminary data from the Mexican government and public health researchers in the United States finds that the tax prompted a substantial increase in prices and a resulting drop in the sales of drinks sweetened with sugar, particularly among the country's poorest consumers. The long-term effects of the policy remain uncertain, but the tax is being heralded by advocates, who say it could translate to the United States...

"There are essentially three steps to figuring out whether the tax will have an impact on public health.

"Does the tax raise the price of soda...?

"Do increases in the price of soda actually reduce purchases?..

"Did rates of obesity or diabetes fall...?"

Killer Coke

A delivery of beverages in a neighborhood in Cuernavaca, Mexico.
Credit Rodrigo Cruz for The New York Times

"U.S. Doctors Associations Cancel Collaborations With Coca-Cola After Protests" by Pratap Chatterjee, CorpWatch Blog, October 1, 2015
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"Three major U.S. medical associations — the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Cardiology - have bowed to pressure from activist doctors to stop acceipting corporate donations from Coca-Cols. The campaigners say Coke exerted undue influence over the medical groups...

"The backlash from members of the medical associations picked up steam last year. Dr. Arnold Matlin, a retired pediatrician from Rochester took up the issue with the New York chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. 'You may be surprised to learn that AAP has accepted sponsorship from Coca-Cola Corporation for the HealthyChildren website,' Matlin wrote on the Physicians Against Unhealthy Corporate Influence Facebook page last February.

" 'I have introduced a resolution (#108) to terminate this sponsorship. I hope you'll take the time to give a positive response to my resolution, and say a few words about why our Academy shouldn't allow a major manufacturer of sugar-sweetened beverages to sponsor the website.' Matlin won his petition and then took the fight to the AAP's Annual Leadership Forum this past March.

"Others took the fight to the American Academy of Family Physicians annual meeting in Washington DC last October. 'We never want money and power to have a louder voice than science, and we reject sponsorship from corporations who profit from making our patients sick,' wrote Dr. Richard Bruno and Kevin Burns of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who belong to Physicians Against Unhealthy Corporate Influence, on the website of the Union of Concerned Scientists...

"In the last few months each of the three medical associations quietly ended their collaboration with Coca Cola."

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"Re-check Of Water Samples Prove Cancer Causing Chemicals" by Hafsa Sabry, The Sunday Leader, October 6, 2015
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"It has been more than a month since the Coca-Cola Beverages Sri Lanka (CCBSL) contaminated the Kelani River water with 4-methylimidazole, a chemical that causes cancer. It was reported at the beginning that the water was contaminated by only diesel following a leakage of a fuel pipe line of the factory, but an Indian laboratory Report claimed the availability of 4-methylimidazole which is a highly dangerous chemical in the source of drinking water...

"However, the question also rose against the factory in question as to why the CCBSL that was accused of contaminating the Kelani River water with a high risk level of chemical, did not give a straight answer while they respond through an advertisement company that helps to promote their business.

" 'Even if their company has been highlighted in the media many a times about their irresponsibility and about the violation of Environmental law they did not respond to the allegations directly,' claimed the environmentalists."

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"How Coca-Cola has tricked everyone into drinking so much of it" by Roberto A. Ferdman, The Washington Post, October 5, 2015
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"You may think you have come to like soda all on your own. But that desire is the product of decades worth of focused and often troubling efforts on behalf of the soda industry.

"This is, in so many words, one of the takeaways from a new book about how the industry has paid, lobbied, and hypnotized its way into the hearts of people around the world. The book, called Soda Politics, is written by esteemed New York University professor and long time food industry activist Marion Nestle. And it will leave a sour taste in anyone's mouth.

"Over the past 60-plus years, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have invested unfathomable amounts of money to ensure that people crave their core products. And that investment has often come in forms far more devious than most would imagine, Nestle argues. Sure, the soda industry has paid for its fair share of television commercials, bulletin board ads, and marketing campaigns. But it has also worked (i.e. paid) to block unfavorable legislation, influence policy, maintain its popularity among poor people, young people, and minorities, undermining public health."

"The Shady Politics of Big Soda" by Johnny Adamic, The Daily Beast, October 4, 2015
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"Over the span of the last century — particularly from the 1950s into the first 10 years of the new millennium — soda will go down in the history books as a driving force in the obesity epidemic. We demonize fat, but sugar is probably the bigger threat. I'd go so far as to coin this period 'the years of liquid sugar' — aka, when big soda won.

But in 2015, liquid sugar may have met its match. A new culture of health is booming, and has been for the past few years. It's one where powerhouse health advocates, entire cities (Berkeley, San Francisco, New York City), and the media finally understand the effects liquid sugar plagues on the body and brain.

More importantly, we understand the arsenal — marketing, lobbying, and philanthropy that big soda companies have used to cast a spell on society, enchanting the masses to consume what once was a special occasion 8-ounce bottle of soda pop, into a daily addiction...

" '[Soda companies] are scrambling to figure out what to do,' says Marion Nestle, a professor in the department of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University, whose new book Soda Politics: Taking on Big Soda (and Winning) [came] out October 5.

"Nevertheless, the big players in the game — Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, backed by the American Beverage Association and the sugar industry — are doing everything they can, like shifting blame for obesity away from bad diets, to prevent sales from falling even flatter. But sales have been falling flat for the last decade.

"The word is out: drinking sugar in liquid form is not a good idea," Nestle says. "The publicity given to Coca-Cola's funding of researchers was a revelation to lots of people. They were shocked that a company as well known as Coca-Cola would do such a thing."

"In case you missed it, Nestle is referring to a recent analysis of beverage studies published in the journal PLOS Medicine, as pointed out recently in The New York Times, that studies funded by Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, the American Beverage Association, and the sugar industry are five times more likely to find that there is no link between soda consumption and weight gain...

" 'The recipients of soda industry funding deny that it has any effect on their design of research or its interpretation, but the evidence suggests otherwise,' Nestle says. 'Most research funded by the soda industry produces results favorable to sodas as benign factors in health. Research funded independently comes to the opposite conclusion. A coincidence? Hardly.' "

"Coca-Cola to Tweak Vitaminwater Labels to Settle Lawsuit" by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS NEW YORK, Oct 1, 2015
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"Coca-Cola ill tweak the labeling for Vitaminwater to settle a lawsuit that it was making misleading health claims about the drinks.

"The Atlanta company will add the words "with sweeteners" in two places on the bottles, including by the name of the drink. The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a health advocacy group that filed the suit with private law firms on behalf of consumers in 2009, had noted that the drinks have 33 grams of sugar and negligible amounts of juice, despite coming in flavors such as kiwi-strawberry and acai blueberry pomegranate.

"The proposed settlement would also prohibit Coca-Cola from using certain statements it has used in the past, such as one that said the drink is formulated to provide nutrients that could reduce the risk of eye-disease."

The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke congratulates the Center for Science in the Public Interest for their suit to end Coke's dishonesty on this issue. Our campaign began reporting on this lawsuit in July 2013. The article we posted can be found at:

"An Open Letter to Health Organizations Funded by Coca-Cola" by Kyle Pfister, Ninjas for Health, October 1, 2015
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"Dear health leader,

"It was recently disclosed that you were one of 486 health organizations who accepted funding from Coca-Cola. I'm writing to say thanks. I'm sure you're doing amazing, back-breaking work to improve the health of your community. You probably rarely get thanked. You probably stretch every last dollar and still volunteer your own time when the bank account is empty. It's probably uncommon for a partner actually pull out their wallet and write you a check.

"And that was Coca-Cola's plan when they funded you...

"It's OK. You probably didn't realize at the time that their plan actually didn't have the best of intentions.

"You probably didn't realize that soda is pure sugar....

"You probably didn't realize sugar was so bad...

"You probably didn't realize how big a problem this was...

You probably didn't realize Coke targets poor kids...

"You probably didn't realize they aren't being honest..

"You probably didn't realize their exercise campaigns are sleight of hand...

"You probably didn't realize they're actually fighting against health policy...

"You probably didn't realize philanthropy is a common corporate PR tactic...

"It's OK. You didn't know this stuff when you accepted that Coca Cola funding. But now you do. And when you know better, you do better."

Killer Coke

"Coca-Cola Ending Sponsorship Of Dietitians Group" by ASSOCIATED PRESS, SEP 30, 2015
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"Coca-Cola says it will not renew its sponsorship of a professional group for dietitians, bringing to a halt one of the many outreach efforts on health by the world's biggest soda maker.

"The Atlanta-based company said its decision was driven by its "budget realities." It said it will also not renew current contracts with the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Cardiology when they end this year. The groups were informed of the decision earlier this summer, the company said Tuesday.

"The decision not to renew contracts with the various groups also comes as Coca-Cola has come under fire for its funding of programs and partnerships on health matters."

The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke has been working with members of these groups to end these relationships since March 2014. We did a report exposing this in April 2014. The Coca-Cola Company saw the writing on the wall as pressure was mounting for an end to these sponsorships.

Buying Respectability: Coca-Cola & the Co-opting of the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement

"Coke Spends Lavishly on Pediatricians and Dietitians" by Anahad O'Connor, The New York Times, September 28, 2015
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The New York Times story highlighted the role retired pediatrician Dr. Arnold Matlin played in bringing intense pressure on the American Academy of Pediatrics to end its relationship with The Coca-Cola Company : " 'The purpose of the academy, of which I am a proud member, is to protect the health and lives of children,' said Dr. Arnold H. Matlin, a retired pediatrician from New York who drafted the Coke resolution. 'Coca-Cola is bad for children, and the A.A.P. should never accept sponsorship from Coke or any other company that makes sugar-sweetened beverages. It's obscene...'

Dr. Matlin met Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Director Ray Rogers in Rochester, NY, when Rogers received the International White Dove Award in March 2014 from the Rochester Committee on Latin America for his human rights work. Matlin learned of the American Academy of Pediatrics ties to Coca-Cola at that time and committed to wage a campaign to pressure the AAP to end to its relationship with Coke.

Dr. Richard Bruno and Dr. Orlando Sola, members of the American Academy of Family Physicians, stayed in touch with the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke and campaigned tirelessly and successfully to pressure the AAFP to end its relationship with Coca-Cola. Dr. Bruno and Dr. Sola wrote an article "AAFP & Coca-Cola: Unhealthy Bedfellows" published in The Maryland Family Doctor, Summer 2014. They wrote:

" 'Since 2009 the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) has had a financial relationship with the Coca-Cola company (TCCC), providing advertising space and consultation in creating what they define 'healthier' forms of sugar-sweetened beverages in exchange for contributions totaling over $1 million...For the past four years, students and residents — the future of family medicine — have requested that the AAFP Board of Directors end any relationship with corporations that are associated with products that contribute to poor health outcomes...'

" 'Many Academy members were upset by the AAFP's financially motivated decision, and some quit. The ethics of the move were called into question. Every year since then, at the AAFP's National Conference of Students and Presidents, concerned members have spoken out against this alliance and passed resolutions calling for an end to partnerships with TCCC and other companies whose ethical shortcomings represent conflicts of interest with the Academy. The board of directors has ignored these actions, and a two-year alliance was renewed in 2013...'

" 'Psychologists have labeled TCCC advertising campaigns as 'predatory marketing,' with recent research estimating the average child is exposed to almost 200 Coca-Cola ads each year...' "

The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke published a report in April 2014 exposing these relationships. "Buying Respectability: Coca-Cola & the Co-opting of the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement" describes how many of these organizations receive financial support from The Coca-Cola Company.

Does big money from Coke co-opt and buy support from the non-profits?

The New York Times story reported "...the list showed that Coca-Cola provided many large grants to community organizations, including more than $6 million to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. It also donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to minority groups like the N.A.A.C.P., which received $500,000 since 2010, and the Hispanic Federation, which received $325,000. Both of those groups filed amicus briefs supporting a lawsuit filed by the beverage industry in 2013 to block a proposal by New York's mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, for a citywide ban on large sugary beverages."

"Yoni Freedhoff, an obesity expert at the University of Ottawa, said he was surprised by the sheer number of community and medical organizations that had accepted large sums of money from Coca-Cola.

" 'These organizations are forming partnerships with a company whose products are absolutely thought to be a major player in obesity and the spread of chronic, noncommunicable diseases,' he said."

Coca-Cola logos were on various items at the Academy of Pediatrics' national conference in 2011
.Credit Alan Greene/

"CEA prepared to eyeball Coca Cola on clean-up bill," The Sunday Times, By Aanya Wipulasena, September 6, 2015
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"A report commissioned by the Central Environment Authority (CEA) on the total bill for the clean-up of Coca Cola's diesel oil spill into the water supply is due next week and the CEA warns it is prepared to go to court to extract compensation estimated to be up to Rs. 1 billion.

" 'A survey is currently being undertaken by an academic of the Sri Jayawardenapura University to calculate the total expenditure and loss the NWSDB bore. This report will be ready by next week,' CEA Chairman Prof. Lal Dharmasiri said, adding that if Coca Cola disputed the report it would have to fund a 'full investigation'. If disagreement persisted, the CEA would take the case to court."

"Will Brits Give Up Soda After Jamie Oliver's Rotten Teeth - Pulling Stunt?," Take Part, September 4, 2015, Liz Dwyer
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"If statistics about obesity and diabetes don't get U.K. residents to cut back on soda and other sweetened drinks, a clip from Jamie Oliver's new documentary, Sugar Rush, might do the trick. The hour-long program aired on BBC Channel 4 on Thursday night as part of the chef's latest crusade to raise awareness of the role the sweet stuff is playing in the global health crisis.

"As seen in the clip above, Oliver heads to Saint George's Hospital in London, where he watches a six-year-old named Mario, who has an affinity for drinking soda, get six teeth pulled. The "completely avoidable" situation, as Oliver puts it, is common in the U.K. In July, health officials in Britain warned that tooth decay in children had become a crisis, with 26,000 five- to nine-year-olds being admitted annually because of rotting teeth."

View Petition

"UPDATE 8/22/15: Today activists from our team raised a large banner obscuring the mountain with the message 'Heritage of Hate: Coke stop sponsoring racism' during a confederate rally in support of Stone Mountain and the confederate flag...

"The park — which draws an estimated 4 million visitors per year, and includes Coca-Cola as one of it's biggest corporate sponsors — features several confederate memorials, including a reconstructed Antebellum Plantation, a 'Confederate Hall,' and a Civil War museum. The most famous and prominent attraction however is the face of the mountain itself, which is carved with the image of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and Confederate President Jefferson Davis riding on horseback...

"...Segregationists in Georgia hoped the monument would serve as a reminder of White Supremacy, and in 1958 the state of Georgia purchased the mountain for $2million, paving the way for the sculpture's completion. It remains there today as a reminder of our state's brutal history.?

Coca-Cola does have a history of racism. They had to settle a number of racial discrimination lawsuits, including Ingram vs. The Coca-Cola Co. ($192 million).

Learn more at

Visit the website, Stop Coca-Cola Discrimination

Killer Coke

"Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets" by Anahad O'Connor, August 9, 2015, New York Times
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Coca-Cola has funded studies and organizations for years including those that indicated that Coke was not involved in the killing of union leaders in Colombia, medical organization like the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics and many non-profits:

"Health experts say this message is misleading and part of an effort by Coke to deflect criticism about the role sugary drinks have played in the spread of obesity and TYPE 2 DIABETES. They contend that the company is using the new group to convince the public that physical activity can offset a bad diet despite evidence that exercise has only minimal impact on weight compared with what people consume...

" 'Coca-Cola's sales are slipping, and there's this huge political and public backlash against soda, with every major city trying to do something to curb consumption,' said Michele Simon, a public health lawyer. 'This is a direct response to the ways that the company is losing. They're desperate to stop the bleeding...'

"Since 2008, the company has also provided close to $4 million in funding for various projects to two of the organization's founding members: Dr. Blair, a professor at the UNIVERSITY of South Carolina whose research over the past 25 years has formed much of the basis of federal guidelines on physical activity, and Gregory A. Hand, dean of the West Virginia University SCHOOL of Public Health.

"Records show that the network's WEBSITE,, is registered to Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta, and the company is also listed as the site's administrator. The group's president, James O. Hill, a professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said Coke had registered the website because the network's members did not know how...

"Marion Nestle, the author of the book "Soda Politics" and a professor of nutrition, food STUDIES and public health at New York University, was especially blunt: 'The Global Energy BALANCE Network is nothing but a front group for Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola's agenda here is very clear: Get these researchers to confuse the science and deflect attention from dietary intake.' "

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"Coke's Skewed Message on Obesity: Drink Coke. Exercise More," Letters, August 13, 2015, The New York Times
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To the Editor:

Re "Coca-Cola Funds Effort to Alter Obesity Battle" (front page, The New York Times, Aug. 10):

The scientific nonsense being peddled by the Coca-Cola-funded Global Energy Balance Network is outrageous. You report that the group's vice president says in an introductory video: "Most of the focus in the popular media and in the scientific press is, 'Oh they're eating too much, eating too much, eating too much' -- blaming fast food, blaming sugary drinks and so on. And there's really virtually no compelling evidence that that, in fact, is the cause."

The Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee provides compelling evidence for the causal link between sugary drinks and disease, as well as the need for exercise. Unfortunately, Coca-Cola and its academic helpers won't accept the well-documented evidence that sugary drinks are a major contributor to obesity, heart disease and diabetes.


The writers are, respectively, president of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and professor and chairman of the department of nutrition, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. The letter was signed by 34 others in the fields of public health, medicine and nutrition.

To the Editor:

Taking a cue from tobacco companies, Coca-Cola is supporting scientists who help them deny the role sugary drinks play in causing obesity. As your article correctly notes, the true scientific consensus is that reducing calories consumed is more effective for preventing obesity than exercise.

But the health effects of soda, sports drinks and fruit drinks go well beyond their effect on "energy balance."

Sugary drinks increase the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, tooth decay and liver disease, independent of the calories they contribute to the diet. They alter the body's metabolism, affecting insulin, cholesterol and metabolites that cause high blood pressure and inflammation.

While physical activity yields myriad health benefits, it is not the solution to the harms caused by sugary drinks. Consuming less is the answer, and that's the real thing Coke does not want you to hear.


The writer, executive director of Action for Healthy Food, is a clinical professor of medicine and health services at the University of Washington.

To the Editor:

This effort by Coca-Cola is just the latest attempt to confuse the American public about science and health. While we know that the right amount of exercise is good for you, simple math dictates that it is more effort to get enough exercise to work off extra calories than it is simply to avoid these excess calories.

Congress needs to properly fund scientific research that provides unbiased information on our health, including the effects of diet and exercise. Continuing reduced sequester funding for critical federal research agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration, shows the willingness of our representatives to sacrifice our long-term health on the altar of short-term fiscal conservatism.

Increased medical research funding intended to answer important health-related questions is in the interest of the long-term fiscal and physical health of all Americans.


The writer is administrative director of the MGH Clinical Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital.

To the Editor:

Shame on you, Coca-Cola.

Sadly, like many politicians, scientific investigators can be bought.

Northport, N.Y.

The writer is a retired dermatologist.

Killer Coke

Two responses to Coke's 'Apology' in the Wall Street Journal:

"OOPS! COKE APOLOGIZES AFTER GETTING BUSTED SPENDING MILLIONS TO MANIPULATE SCIENCE" by Dr. Harold Goldstein, Executive Director, California Center for Public Health Advocacy
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"... the company's (soon-to-be-former) Chairman and CEO, Muhtar Kent reached out to the masses (well, at least those who read the Wall Street Journal) with a mea culpa of sorts, and a vow to "do better." Oops!
Kent is making promises of 'even more transparency' and being committed to 'acting with integrity.' Come on!

"- He's running the ship that established a non-profit group of expert shills to tell us we simply need to walk or 'Mixify' a little more when we drink all that Coke.

"- His company spends billions each year on marketing--particularly marketing that targets children and teens of color.

"- Coca-Cola and its beverage industry brethren spend millions to try to defeat citywide and statewide measures like sugary drink taxes and warning labels. And the list goes on."

"Food Politics" by Marion Nestle, August 20, 2015
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"...I can't wait to see the list of Coke-funded research activities. Want to bet how many of those studies came out with results that Coca-Cola can use to claim that sugary drinks have no effect on obesity or type 2 diabetes? I'd also like a count of the number of studies Coca-Cola has funded to cast doubt on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the country's major dietary monitoring program, which has the annoying habit of linking sugary drinks to those conditions...

"Unless Coca-Cola stops pouring millions of dollars into fighting soda caps and taxes, stops targeting its marketing to minorities, and stops lobbying against public health measures to help people eat more healthfully, keeping Mr. Kent's version of an open mind will be difficult.

"Steven Blair, one of the scientists involved in Coke-funded research, posted this statement today:

"I have asked that my video addressing energy balance be taken down from the GEBN website. I regret that a statement I made in this video has been used by some to brand GEBN as a network focusing only on physical activity. This is not true and never has been true...My dismissal of diet as a cause of obesity did a disservice to their work. I hope many of you can relate to feeling so passionate about an issue that you say some things that you later regret. I believe that both diet and physical activity are important in obesity and that we must address both together to help people achieve healthy weights..."

"Coke Tries to Sugarcoat the Truth on Calories" by the Editorial Board, The New York Times, August 14, 2015
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"The Coca-Cola Company, which has suffered a large decline in consumption of sugary sodas as consumers worry about obesity, has formed a new organization to emphasize exercise as the best way to control obesity and to play down the importance of cutting calories.

"Coke and other beverage makers have long funneled money to industry-leaning scientists and formed innocent-sounding front groups to spread the message that sugary sodas have no deleterious effect on health and should not be taxed or regulated. The new organization, the nonprofit Global Energy Balance Network, is the latest effort to put a 'science based' gloss on industry positions, as described by Anahad O'Connor [in the above article] in The Times...

Meanwhile, the evidence continues to mount that sugar-sweetened drinks are a major contributor to obesity, heart disease and diabetes, and that exercise makes only a modest contribution to weight loss compared to ingesting fewer calories.

"Does Big Grape Juice Control Nutrition Research? An Interview with Michele Simon" By Beth Skwarecki, PLOS Journals, June 22, 2015
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"Corporations cozying up to researchers create massive conflicts of interest. It's an old story when the villain is a pharmaceutical company. But food companies need to make money too, and what better way than funding and publicizing research on their products?...

My previous report was a deeper analysis of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics [a trade group for nutritionists in the US] and that organization is even more influenced by the food industry. That was a good example of what happens when you form these kinds of cozy relationships with the junk food industry. It's not just dietitians, but also nutrition researchers that have conflicts. The ASN and its members' research form the foundations of the nutrition advice that comes from other professions, like dietitians, and even the federal government.

"There have been exposes here and there of individuals in the ASN, such as David Allison, who was called out on ABC News for his connections to Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, but I wanted to look at how this membership trade organization sets a tone. When you go to your professional annual meeting and you see sponsorships by the likes of Coca-Cola, what does that tell you as a researcher? That it's perfectly acceptable to say yes when, the next day, the Coca-Cola scientific officer says 'let's team up on some research...'

"Obviously it's better than nothing, knowing that Coca-Cola funded that study that says soda doesn't cause obesity. OK, now I can completely discount that study. But you [the consumer] may not have seen this disclosure. There are many examples of industry funded research that gets widely reported in the media without disclosures."

"Mexican soda tax cuts sales of sugary soft drinks by 6% in first year
"Anti-obesity campaigners now want levy on drinks such as Coca-Cola doubled, in line with experts' recommendations"
The Guardian, By Sarah Boseley, June 18, 2015

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"A tax on Coca-Cola and other sugar-sweetened drinks in Mexico has succeeded in bringing down sales, which experts hope will help curb the nation's obesity problem.

"The 10% tax was implemented on 1 January 2014 after a battle with the beverage industry. More than 30% of the Mexican population is obese and a love of Coca-Cola and other sugary drinks has been held at least partly responsible. The average Mexican drinks the equivalent of 163 litres of Coca-Cola a year, or nearly half a litre a day.

"The Mexican National Institute of Public Health and the University of North Carolina have now carried out an evaluation of the impact of the tax, which shows it cut purchases by an average of 6% across 2014, and by as much as 12% in the last part of the year."

Change the Tune

See a fresh take on the Hilltop ad — where real people, suffering from real soda-related health problems — could tell their stories. It’s time to change the tune.

Watch on YouTube

This segment appeared on CBS News on June 24, 2015 and it included a representative of the Center for Science in the Public Interest:

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"The bitter aftertaste of a sugar deal gone bad" by May Titthara & Daniel Pye, The Phnom Penh Post, June 6, 2015
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"Houy Mai has lost everything to the global demand for cheap sugar and biofuel. The 54-year-old mother-of-eight has fought a years-long battle with Mitr Phol, Asia's biggest sugar producer and one of three major suppliers to Coca-Cola...

" 'I think that what Coca-Cola has done here is illegal, because they buy sugar from this company that uses violence against villagers, forcefully takes over our land, and then Coca-Cola makes drinks to sell back to us,' she says.

" 'I don't have a problem with Coca-Cola buying sugar from farms in Cambodia, but they need to find somewhere else to plant [sugar cane] that does not affect people like this.' "

"Doubts on Coke's Water Numbers, Court Orders Verification: IRC Seeks Investigation of Water Recharge Claims," India Resource Center, June 4, 2015
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"Coca-Cola's claims on their water management at their disputed bottling plant in Varanasi, India are now under investigation by the court and the government. The India Resource Center has also written to the state and national pollution regulatory agencies, as well as the national groundwater authority, asking that Coca-Cola's groundwater recharge claims be verified. Coca-Cola claims that it has recharged almost three times the amount of groundwater than it extracts at its bottling plant in the village of Mehdiganj.

"The need to verify the amount of water actually recharged by companies such as Coca-Cola and other water intensive industries in India is important because the government -- due to the sustained campaigns against beverage companies across India — has new rules which make groundwater usage by such industries contingent upon the amount of groundwater recharged."

"Coca-Cola Plant shut over death of worker" by Jethro Ibileke/Benin, pmnews,, May 31, 2015
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"Bottling operations at the Benin Coca-Cola plant of the Nigerian Bottling Company was abruptly halted on Friday by casual workers following the death of one of their colleagues whose name was given as Jerry Ayo.

"The angry workers completely shut the plant located at Eyean in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of Edo State, while protesting the death of their colleague. They also barricaded the company's gate and set-up bonfires.

" Joined by relatives of the deceased, the protesters alleged that 21-year old Jerry died of electrocution while at work.

"The protesters who prevented other workers from gaining access into the building, vowed to sustain the protest until the company issues a statement on what led to Jerry's death, because, according to them, they had complained severally about electric leakages at the plant but that the management simply told them to go if they were tired of working."

"Coca-Cola employees protest 'humiliating' company policies in Spain," RT, May 30, 2015
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"Hundreds of employees from different corporations protested in Madrid's Puerta del Sol on Friday against low wages and unemployment. The protesters, many from Coca Cola, Movistar and Bankia, are demanding far-reaching changes to the structure of the companies including a review of their dismissal policies. Other demonstrators from Correos (the national postal service of Spain) and forest firefighters joined in chanting slogans such as 'the fight is the only way' and 'long live the fight of the working class.' "

"The Hypocrisy World Cup"

WATCH: Documentary exposes 'dreadful' conditions of Qatar labor force, calls out World Cup sponsors

Watch on YouTube

Read Article in New York Daily News





"A World Cup built on the back of human rights abuses and corporate hypocrisy"

"Tamil Nadu cancels land allotment to Coca-Cola bottler" by S. Bridget Leena, Live Mint, April 22, 2015
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"The Tamil Nadu government on Monday night cancelled the land allotted to Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd at Perundurai in Erode district to set up its bottling facility...

"Over the last two years, the farmers and residents of the 10 villages in and around the area have been protesting against the facility. They alleged that the unit will use 2 milllion litres of water a day and this would affect groundwater level in the area. The villagers also said that the discharge from facility will pollute the water resources."

"Campaigners defeat Coca-Cola plant in South India," The Ecologist, April 21, 2015
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"Local campaigners fearful of water shortages and industrial pollution have forced state authorities to cancel an unpopular plan to allocate land for a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Tamil Nadu, India...

"The cancellation came as the result of a powerful local campaign led by farmers and political parties who opposed the Coca-Cola plant because it would worsen the already existing water shortages in the area, and bring more pollution into the area.

"Residents in Perundurai cited the dismal track record of Coca-Cola in India - creating water shortages across the country and polluting with toxic chemicals - as their main reasons for their opposition.

" 'This is a great victory for the people of Perundurai', said V. M. Kandasamy, chairperson of Perundurai Environment Protection Trust. 'We put all our efforts to stop Coca-Cola and we have succeeded!' "

Killer Coke

Protest at Coca Cola's bottling plant at Plachmada, Kerala.
The plant has since been closed for rampant pollution.
Photo: kasuga sho

PRESS RELEASE: "AFT President Weingarten's Deal With Coca-Cola Questioned by Campaign to Stop Killer Coke"
Corporate Campaign, Inc., April 15, 2015

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"Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Director Ray Rogers issued a statement today questioning the terms of the agreement reached by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and The Coca-Cola Company, ending the AFT's 4-month boycott of Coca-Cola products aimed at stopping alleged child labor and human rights abuses."

"Study documents sugar industry influence on dental research in the 1960s and 1970s" bBy Marion Nestle, Food Politics, March 11, 2015
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"A newly discovered cache of industry documents reveals that the sugar industry worked closely with the National Institutes of Health in the 1960s and '70s to develop a federal research program focused on approaches other than sugar reduction to prevent tooth decay in American children.

"The archive of 319 industry documents, which were uncovered in a public collection at the University of Illinois, revealed that a sugar industry trade organization representing 30 international members had accepted the fact that sugar caused tooth decay as early as 1950, and adopted a strategy aimed at identifying alternative approaches to reducing tooth decay."

""Coca Cola company advertisement celebrates Fanta by giving the feeling of 'the good old times' of 1940's Germany," Daily Mail, March 12, 2015
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"Cola-Cola has gotten rid of a Fanta advertisement that referred to the 1940s, the time period in which the drink was first produced in Germany, as 'the good old times.'

"The advertisement, which was broadcast in German, was in honor of Fanta's 75th anniversary and promoted a new drink recipe.

"The clip detailed how Fanta was created by the soda company's employees, because there were limited supplies available to produce Coke."

"Sugar tax a slurp closer for Connecticut" by Bill Cummings, Stamford Advocate, March 10, 2015
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" A bill which would make Connecticut the first in the nation to slap a penalty tax on sugary soda products passed a legislative committee Thursday and moved a few inches closer to becoming law...

"State Rep. Diana Urban, D-North Stonington and the children's committee chairwoman, said even if the bill does not become law -- she acknowledged similar efforts failed in New York City and California — the discussion helps educate the public about the dangers of surgery drinks.

"'The more we put this out there I think we are educating the public because we are highlighting the issue,' Urban said, referring to obesity and other diseases linked to surgery food products."

"Coca-Cola Forced To Shut Bottling Plant in India" by Corp Watch, OpEdNews, March 9, 2015
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"Coca-Cola, the world's largest beverage producer, has been ordered to shut down its bottling plant in Varanasi, India following local complaints that the company was drawing excessive amounts of groundwater...

"This is not the first time that the company has been in trouble in India for unsustainable water extraction practices. In 2004 a bottling plant in Plachimada, Kerala, was closed for excessive water consumption. Later Kerala passed legislation that allows Coca-Cola to be sued for as much as $47 million in damages as result of the operations. And last year, community organizers in Charba, Uttarakhand, defeated Coca-Cola's plans to build a new factory as soon as the proposal went public."

"Coca-Cola, Mcdonald's Accused Of Waging Unhealthy 'War' On Russia, "Malaysian Digest, March 6, 2015
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"Russian officials sharply criticised US fast-food giants Coca-Cola and McDonald's yesterday for their "unhealthy" products, comparing aggressive advertising campaigns to a war on citizens...

Coca-Cola withdraws an advert that referred to Nazi Germany as 'the good old times'

Watch the controversial Fanta advert that has been thrown out by Coca Cola after outrage over its message.

"Coca-Cola has been forced to withdraw their latest Fanta advert in Germany. All they did was refer to 'the good old times' during which Fanta was created...

"But Fanta was developed in Germany in 1941 during the 'good old times' of the Third Reich. Back then there was difficulty finding supplies available to produce coke."

Video: Coca-Cola celebrate 'good old times' of 1940s Germany

Killer Coke

Syafiq Adi

"Killer Coke: Coke is indeed 'the real thing' if reality is about shrewdly offloading risk and responsibility in order to make loads of money."
(Review of "Citizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism" by Bartow J. Elmore)
By Nicholas Freudenberg, The American Interest, February 3, 2015

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"A central theme of Citizen Coke is that Coke has created a brand of capitalism that increasingly dominates the global economy. What are the essential elements of Coca-Cola capitalism?

"First, Coke capitalism looks to protect profit by outsourcing expensive or risky operations to others...

"Second, Coca-Cola avidly pursues government subsidies...

"Third, Coca-Cola has lots of local partners who look out for the company's interests...

"Finally, Coca-Cola capitalism is well-suited to the age of globalization...

"So what's wrong with Coca-Cola capitalism?...Elmore's detailed examination of Coke's history highlights some of the problems. It turns out that what's good for Coke's bottom line is not so good for American or global health, the environment, democracy, or most typical workers. Furthermore, as Elmore shows, the support that governments and taxpayers provide Coca-Cola allows the company to ship and sell more products and, in the process, deplete public goods such as water and land that could grow healthier crops. This in turn generates more diet-related disease and solid waste that consumers and taxpayers must pay to remedy."

Trabajadores de Coca-Cola Fuenlabrada denuncian el desmantelamiento de la fabrica

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Dani from Madris:

"This happened January 15th. Police covered people inside the factory who were dismantling the factory behind the Audiencia Nacional (the court).We took out those people and got inside the factory two times. You can see the video; police used violence against us.They used the sticks on our faces and heads -- mine is one of them.But we stopped the dismantlers."

"Drink less soda? Coke cuts jobs" by Marion Nestle, Food Politics, January 12, 2015
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"That Coca-Cola is cutting between 1600 and 1800 jobs in the next few months, 500 of them in Atlanta (Coke's home town), is big news.

"Why is Coke doing this? According to The New York Times, the company says:

"to streamline our business"

"to help fund the stepped-up marketing it believes is needed to drive up beverage sales" (oh, great)

IBTimes offers another reason:

"Americans just aren't guzzling carbonated drinks as much as they used to."

"As Mexico's Sugary Drink Tax Turns 1 Year Old, US Health Proponents Hope It Can Sway American Voters" by Maria Gallucci, International Business Times, January 11, 2015
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"Mexicans are guzzling fewer sodas, juices and flavored waters since a nationwide sugary drink tax took effect in 2014. The policy aims to help curb rising rates of obesity and diabetes in Mexico, which recently overtook the U.S. as the world's fattest country. Now public health proponents north of the border say they're hoping Mexico's positive start can sway U.S. voters to adopt similar taxes...

"Proponents of taxes on sugary drinks, including public health researchers, say raising the price of sweetened beverages is an effective way to reduce consumption and, in turn, lower health risks. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto approved the action in October 2013 after years of interest from national health experts, who saw the tax as one antidote to Mexico's alarming diabetes rates. As many as 10 million Mexicans have diabetes, or roughly one-sixth of the population, according to government data. Nearly a half-million people died from diabetes from 2006 to 2012, a rise of nearly 60 percent from the previous six-year period...

"Yet even without drink taxes, American attitudes toward junk food and sugar-rich drinks already may be changing. Nearly two-thirds of Americans said they avoid soda in their diet while more than half said they avoid sugar..."

Mexico's Sugary Drink Tax

"Oregon hospital system Providence bans the sale of sugary drinks" by Tom Hallman Jr., The Oregonian/Oregon Live, January 6, 2015
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"...Providence Health & Services...will no longer sell or stock sugary drinks in Oregon hospitals and business offices as part of what's called a healthy dining initiative.

"On Monday, the organization removed the drinks at its Northeast Portland business office.

"During the next two months, the drinks will phased out at all eight of Providence's Oregon hospitals, clinics and businesses offices, said Sandy Miller, the organization's director of Health and Nutrition.

"Miller said studies have shown the average person in the United States consumes 48 gallons of sugary drinks each year. She said a 20-ounce bottle of soda contains as much as 18 teaspoons of sugar. Studies have shown, she said, that sugary drinks play a significant role in obesity, Type 2 diabetes and tooth decay.

Oregon Bans Coca-Cola

These drinks — and all other sugary beverages — are no longer for sale within Portland's Providence hospital system. (The Associated Press)