Campaign to Stop Killer Coke | Update February 26, 2007
Campaign Surges on Campuses
Contents of Newsletter
- Campus Updates on Jan. 25 Day of Action and Other Activities
- Bryn Mawr College
- Cornell University
- Illinois State University
- Kings University College, Canada
- Michigan State University
- McMaster University, Canada
- Queen's University, Canada
- Ryerson University, Canada
- SUNY Albany, New York
- Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania
- Trinity College, Ireland
- University of Alberta, Canada
- University of Chicago, Illinois
- University of Miami, Florida
- University of Vermont
- University of Waterloo, Canada
- Vassar College, New York
- MALDEF Award to Coca-Cola: Just Another Phony Award
- KillerCoke Canada Faxing Day of Protest
- 2007 Coca-Cola Annual Shareholders Meeting Coming Soon
- Ten Critical Killer Coke Talking Points
- Make TIAA-CREF Ethical Coalition & SINALTRAINAL Action Alerts
- Colombian Foreign Minister Resigns in Scandal
- Coke's Labor Abuses in Haiti
- New Coke-Nestlé Green Tea Drink May Be Consumer Fraud in a Can
- Fuze Acquired by Coke
- New KillerCoke Videos
- Ray Rogers' Presentation at University of Alberta
- Coca-Cola: Coke Kills
- Parodies of Coca-Cola's Shameless Black History Ads
- Ronald McCroak's Song Attacks Coke & McDonald's
- Major reports from the campaign that are useful in organizing
- Do you need a customized Campaign leaflet?
- Campaign's 'Campus Activism' Section
- Take Actions Against Coke!
- Please send photos, reports of events, etc. for the Campaign website
The Campaign just received an email last night from Bryn Mawr College, a women's college near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with an enrollment of 1,800 students and a faculty of about 150. The email read:
"I am pleased to announce that Bryn Mawr College kicked Coke today at our biannual plenary."
Once Bryn Mawr's current contract with Coke expires on June 30th, the College will be a Coke-free campus.
Congratulations, Bryn Mawr.
Cornell University is housing the:
Northeast United Students Against Sweatshops Conference!
March 3-4th (Saturday Sunday)
Cornell University, Ithaca NY
Free housing! Register as soon as possible so we can make sure there is housing and food for you!
This is a "bring your own sleeping bag/pillows/towels/ travel mug, warm jacket and snowboots just in case" conference. USAS does crash housing on floors.
Laura and Sarah Bender
Starbucks Unionizers (NYC) with the IWW
Coordinator, India Resources Center; Director, Global Resistance
Director, Corporate Campaign Inc. & Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
Hevily Ambriz Espinoza
The rest of the conference is geared to develop student leadership and skills to bring back to their respective campuses.
We've been informed that Cornell is a Pepsi campus, with the exception of Coca-Cola's Odwalla. A group is forming to rid Cornell of Odwalla, so that Cornell becomes a completely Coke-free zone.
"Black S.T.A.R.R., a registered student organization, protested a contract that ISU signed with Coca-Cola in May 2005. Johari Huggins, president of Black S.T.A.R.R,...said they are protesting Coca-Cola because they abuse human rights and the environment.
" 'We are trying to get the board of trustees to review violations and allegations against Coke,' Huggins added. Rachel Karr, a...member of Black S.T.A.R.R., said she wants to make students aware of the charges against Coca-Cola. 'We are protesting the fact that they are ignoring genocide?,' Karr said?" (The Daily Vidette (2/16/07))
Groups campaigning with Black S.T.A.R.R. are showing films and distributing Killer Coke flyers, stickers and posters across the campus.
The Daily Vidette Online (Illinois State University), "Black S.T.A.R.R. protests Coca-Cola's ISU contract," By Guadalupe Rosales, February 16, 2007
Media Credit: Jim Moldenhauer / Daily Vidette Staff
"King's University College is one of three affiliate colleges of the University of Western Ontario. Though KUC does not have an exclusive beverage contract, it serves mainly Coca-Cola products through its food services provider Aramark. Responding to pressure from student activists, including demonstrations on campus, petitions, and local print and radio media coverage, college administration declared that they are 'not in a legal or moral position to ban Coke outright,' but requested that Aramark provide 'legitimate choices/alternatives for students.' "
"January 2007 marked the beginning of a transition to providing alternative products, though Coca-Cola still dominates the retail space. While this change is a step in the right direction, students at KUC are not satisfied with the college's decision. Continuing to serve Coke products is a direct violation of the college's values, which are 'rooted in the Catholic vision of life,' and as such emphasize 'the value of each person and social justice.' The college claims to serve 'the larger human community primarily by educating its students to be socially aware and morally responsible so that they can become concerned and active citizens' and be 'of service to those and need, especially the most marginalized and the poor.' "
Campaigners are expanding the Killer Coke campaign across the University of Western Ontario and into local high schools by holding informational meetings and distributing thousands of Killer Coke flyers, stickers and posters.
"SEJ [Students for Economic Justice} at Michigan State had a successful dance-in. We rocked out in the lobby of our administration building for about 20-25 minutes before the cops came and told us we couldn't disrupt the flow of university business. It was a fun action and it brought out some new members, so all in all, it went well."
Students at McMaster continue to wage a struggle to kick Coke off campus and It should be noted that in October 2005 students voted in a referendum to "Urge the University to not renew or renegotiate its contract with Coca-Cola for the exclusive provision of cold beverage products."
The October 2005 referenda questions were as follows:
1. Officially oppose the McMaster-Coca-Cola Exclusive Supplier Agreement
2. Refrain from the renewal or renegotiation of a contract between the McMaster Student Union and McMaster University for the exclusive provision of cold beverage products.
3. Urge the University to not renew or renegotiate its contract with Coca-Cola for the exclusive provision of cold beverage products
The results of the referenda:
Question 1: Yes (1492) No (533) Abstain (101) Spoiled (90) Declined (12) TOTAL (2228)
Question 2: Yes (1410) No (555) Abstain (139) Spoiled (89) Declined (35) TOTAL (2228)
Question 3: Yes (1513) No (511) Abstain (86) Spoiled (88) Declined (30) TOTAL (2228)
(Note: The anti-Coke part of the referendum received the largest vote.)
Campaigners are planning major activities in the spring. Campaign leaders say they "have the support of everyone on campus except the administration."
According to KillerCoke activists at Queen's University:
"We did a lot of postering for the Day of Action, putting up about 230 posters. They included information about our campaign making them relevant even after Jan. 25.
"In about two hours, we gave out a bit over a hundred drinks, a mix of Blue Sky, Black River and Santa Cruz (J.M. Smucker) cold drinks as well as some hot chocolate. Some people wanted to make donations, although we didn't ask for them (of course we accepted). We had some success with unmanned stations, simply putting up a sign saying 'free drinks' and placing a pile of cold drinks there.
"An explanatory flyer and button was placed underneath each can or bottle. This cut down on the labor required to give out drinks. Also, people tended to be shy and refused contact with the person handing out drinks, so having an unmanned station avoided that problem. Drinks and accompanying flyers were also distributed in key spots around campus, including at the Coca-Cola vending machines.
"The drinks were provided at cost by a local natural food store. After searching the net, we found the companies to have no human rights complaints against them.
"Writing 'Killer Coke!' in the snow with red food dye worked OK. I think we could take this idea further using more intense dye or spray paint. Naturally, the message must be very short which is a bit frustrating. At Queen's, people have been spray painting for other events on campus and we have easy access to non-toxic intense purple dye called Ginseng since the engineers use it to dye their jackets.
"Taking the writing-on-the-ground idea into summer may be possible by using a high nitrogen fertilizer to write on the ground. A fertilizer like ammonium nitrate makes grass unusually green and fast growing where it is applied, so this may be used to write a short message."
"Coca-Cola Bottling Company pays [Ryerson University] $765,000 to keep Pepsi-Cola and its products off campus. This five-year exclusivity deal helps the school pay off Ryerson's capital debt, fund scholarships and athletic bursaries. Students also get free beverages at orientation and other events from Coke & which is getting mega advertising in return. Meanwhile, campaigns against the company's human rights practices rage across North American campuses. Critics say Coke will do anything to hook young people - even dangle bait in front of cash-strapped universities. And now the Ryerson administration has started doubting whether the contract will even be renewed in 2009?
"Ryerson began its campaign last year through the Working Student's Centre and has circulated a petition trying to get administration to reconsider its deal with Coke."
The Eyeopener (Ryerson University), "Rye and Coke," By Sarah Boesveld, January 23, 2007
"We, at SUNY Albany (New York), had a Killer Coke movie night to educate and recruit for our Day of Action to kick off our spring semester! Our Coke contract administrator also showed up to...to check us out I guess — hopefully she learned something, too!
"We got new folks who were interested in the campaign and we had a stimulating Q&A. No press though but hopefully we'll have something in a couple weeks after our No -Coke tasting (giving out free samples of alternative drinks — we are trying local)."
Forum on The Coca-Cola Co.
Date: Thursday, March 1, 2007
Time: 7 PM
Featured Guest Speaker:
Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Director Ray Rogers
Students for Workers' Rights
Albany/Capital District Chapter of the
Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA)
University Auxiliary Services
LOCAL LABOR RIGHTS' ACTIVISTS JOIN SUNY STUDENTS TO ENCOURAGE
SUNY ALBANY TO SEVER THEIR CONTRACT WITH THE COCA-COLA CO.
Students and representatives from Students for Workers' Rights, Campus Greens, Students for a Democratic Society, 9/11 Truth, and the Graduate Student Organization will join representatives from the Albany/Capital District Chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), the Industrial Workers' of the World (IWW) and the Graduate Student Employees Union (GSEU/CWA 1104) to demand that University at Albany sever their contract with The Coca-Cola Company.
Currently UAlbany has an exclusive contract with The Coca-Cola Company which expires in 2008. In light of the human rights' abuses and environmental abuses committed by Coca-Cola in countries including Colombia, El Salvador and India UAlbany students will announce a deadline for the University to sever their contract with The Coca-Cola Company.
Date: Thursday, March 1, 2007
Location: The Press Conference will be held in front of:
Campus Center, in front of the small fountain
University at Albany
1400 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12222
In February 2006, Swarthmore College announced that bottled Coca-Cola products will be replaced with Pepsi drinks at Essie Mae's Snack Bar and the Science Center and Kohlberg coffee bars over spring break as the first step in removing Coke from Swarthmore's campus.
Students returned to campus after intercession in January 2007 to find all Coca-Cola Company products replaced with Pepsi beverages. Sharples has now been added to Essie Mae's and the coffee bars "in abolishing all beverages provided by the Coca-Cola Company. Fountain drink machines offering Pepsi beverages are now available at these locations."
The Phoenix, "Coke banished from Sharples, Pepsi reigns," By Rosario Paz, January 25, 2007
Ray Rogers is speaking at Trinity College Monday night, Feb. 26, to support student efforts to keep Coca-Cola banned from all student union facilities.
Ray will be speaking at
Trinity College Dublin
Monday, 26th of February, 2007.
He is giving a speech as to why the students of Trinity College should vote "no" to the proposal to remove the Student Union Boycott of Coca-Cola products.
l. University of Alberta & Grant MacEwan College, Canada
Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Director Ray Rogers spoke at Grant MacEwan College on January 29, 2007 and the University of Alberta on January 30 in Edmonton, Canada. At the University of Alberta, which is one of the four largest universities in Canada with about 35,000 students, there was a standing room only crowd of more than 300 attendees. This was an event in support of students waging a campaign to kick Coke off campus. There will be a plebiscite held on campus in early-March to mount a challenge against Coke. Students are dealing with obstacles placed in their way by the administration to undermine their efforts. Thousands of Killer Coke flyers, stickers and posters are being distributed throughout the universities. At the events at both the University of Alberta and Grant MacEwan College, videos were shown and lively discussions were held. The support shown the campaign was terrific.
Students posted nine excerpts from Ray's presentation, which can be seen below in Section 11. New KillerCoke Videos
The Gateway, "Anti-Coke posters net $900 fine," By Scott Lilwall, February 13, 2007
The Gateway (University of Alberta), "Coke contract raises ethical concerns for SU," By Natalie Climenhaga, January 11, 2007
"We already have 1,000 signatures from students and hope to have 500 more by the end of this quarter, which is the beginning of March. We hope to do this by getting 150 a week for the next couple. Administration is not agreeing with our terms."
"The Campaign recently began and is making headway with a petition. We also have support from faculty."
The University of Vermont planned events on campus for the Jan. 25 Day of Action:
"We did almost a full week of action at the University of Vermont by tabling all week near one of the dining services. We gave out free apple cider and tons of information to people passing by who were interested in the campaign telling them to boycott Coca-Cola for Thursday. They left their signatures for our petition to kick off Coke and some people bought some of the handcrafted Killer Coke shirts we made. It was a pretty successful week and we reached out to some people who had no information on the campaign. There should be an article in our campus newspaper about our campaign sometime soon, hopefully next week. Big shout out to the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke for the stickers we got midweek — they were a big hit, especially the 'Out of Order' stickers."
"UVM's Students for Peace and Global Justice, an organization known for its strong stance on the preservation of civil liberties, has been, for the past two weeks, stationed just inside of Cook Commons.
"Armed with flyers, pamphlets and a petition, the SFPGJ has raised its fists against The Coca-Cola Company's alleged '...abuse of the global public interest.' The accusations range from the exploitation and pollution of water sources in India to the support of paramilitary forces responsible for the deaths of union leaders in Colombia."
Vermont Cynic (University of Vermont), "Coca-Cola Making a Killing: Anti-Coca-Cola activists set up tables outside of campus dining facilities proclaiming the sin of the company," By John Meierdiercks, January 30, 2007
"This month, a small but determined group of UW students set up an anti-Coke information booth in the busy Student Life Centre.
"Paper footprints leading from a Coke vending machine to their booth directed the interest of lunching students.
" 'We'd like the university as a whole to say that, ethically, we shouldn't have Coke on campus until they (Coke officials) comply with four demands as part of an international campaign,' said third-year Spanish student Miriam Papps, a member of UW's Students Against Sweatshops.
"She said the giant beverage company should admit to alleged abuses, have independent third-party investigations into allegations, compensate people affected, and adopt a global code of conduct."
Waterloo Record, "Students vs. Coke: Group presses University of Waterloo not to renew contract with Coca-Cola," By Barbara Aggerholm, February 19, 2007
Miriam Papps is part of the Students Against Sweatshops, a University of Waterloo group urging students to investigate companies' ethics before buying their products. (Photo by Peter Lee, Record Staff)
Campaign Director Ray Rogers spoke at Vassar College sponsored by the Vassar Kick Coke campaign on February 22, 2007. The Campaign was emailed a number of photos which can be seen on our Protest Pics page along with a description of their Campaign. Students there are well-organized and have strong support throughout the campus.
Kick Coke Campaign Mission Statement (seen in photo above):
"We, the Vassar College community, demand an end to Vassar's relationship with Coca-Cola because of the documented human rights atrocities that Coca- Cola has committed. In the interest of the health, safety and welfare of people here and abroad, Vassar needs to participate in the international efforts to put an end to Coca-Cola's exploitative practices."
Members of the Vassar Kick Coke campaign created a Coca-Cola Monster with 9 arms, each with the name of a Coca-Cola Colombian union leader killed (Seen in photo below).
The Miscellany News (Vassar College)," Campus Killer Coke Campaign intensifies," By Mike Alberti, February 23, 2007
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) is holding its 8th Annual Washington, D.C. Awards Dinner on February 28, 2007. The organization will be giving The Coca-Cola Company its Corporate Social Responsibility Award for this year — six months after the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) dropped Coca-Cola from its CREF Social Choice Account, the world's largest socially-screened fund and divested 1.25 million shares because its investment advisors no longer consider Coca-Cola socially responsible.
Why would a legitimate organization give such an award to Coke?
A bit of research on the Internet sheds some light on this question. In 2001, both Coca-Cola and MALDEF participated in the 99th American Assembly in Los Angeles. The American Assembly, affiliated with Columbia University, "is a national, non-partisan public affairs forum illuminating issues of public policy by commissioning research and publications, sponsoring meetings, and issuing reports, books, and other literature."
Attending that assembly was a Coke representative, a familiar name to the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, Clyde Tuggle, then Vice President, Office of the Chairman and currently president of the Russia, Ukraine & Belarus Division of The Coca-Cola Company. Antonia Hernandez, President and General Counsel of MALDEF also attended.
The following year, two representatives of MALDEF & Ms Hernandez and Vilma S. Martinez, Partner, Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP; Former President and General Counsel of MALDEF — and three Coke executives: Douglas N. Daft, Chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company; Bruce Llewellyn, Chairman and CEO, Philadelphia Coca-Cola Bottling Co., and Deval L. Patrick, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, The Coca-Cola Company, Inc. In addition, Donald F. McHenry, President IRC Group; Professor, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, a member of Coke's Board of Directors also attended.
In 2002-3 and in 2003-4, Coke made contributions to MALDEF of between $10,000 and about $50,000. We have no data indicating further contributions, but we assume Coke still does support MALDEF. In fact, on Coke's website, MALDEF is currently listed as a part of Coke's Community Partnerships.
Because of this financial relationship, this award appears to be another scam award given to Coke in the same way they "won" the Golden Peacock award and the "Innovative Project Award" in India, which are discussed in Part 8 of "Ten Critical Talking Points."
What makes this award especially insidious is that The Coca-Cola Company has been guilty of abuses in Mexico. The UK's War on Want noted: "In Chiapas, Coca-Cola is positioning itself to take control of the water resources. The Mexican government under Vicente Fox & himself a former President of Coca-Cola Mexico & has given the company concessions to exploit community water resources." ("Coca-Cola: Sucking Communities Dry," By Joe Zacune/War On Want 11apr2006) Dr. Marie Mulligan in a letter to The Nation (5/9/05) wrote: "They [children in Guanajuato, Mexico] are malnourished because poor and often poorly educated parents are choosing to feed their children soft drinks, especially Coca-Cola, and junk food instead of healthier and more affordable traditional foods. The marketing and distribution practices of Coca-Cola directly contribute to the ill health and sometimes the death of infants and young children here in Guanajuato and throughout Mexico."
Dr. Ann Aurelia Lopez, an environmental science instructor at San José City College, research associate at the University of California and the author of Farmworkers' Journey told Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Director Ray Rogers, "The people of west central Mexico are easy corporate prey for predator Coke. You can't stand anywhere in some of the rural towns and not see a Coke ad," she stated. "I've seen what Coke is doing in the west central Mexico countryside where I do research; pushing their addictive products on peasant populations in which 1 in 10 may have undiagnosed diabetes."
She pointed out that struggling people, unaware of the ill effects of the soft drinks, will "sell the healthy things that they grow on the land, like corn, beans, and eggs from chickens, to buy cola which they eventually become addicted to." Vicente Silva, a former municipal president of Chilchota claims that "Coke and beer arrive at the Purépecha indigenous towns and villages, in the morning, before the arrival of milk!" (For more info, go to Part 8 of "Ten Critical Talking Points.")
MALDEF, for its own credibility, should rethink giving a corporate social responsibility award to this irresponsible company.
KillerCoke Canada is organizing a faxing day of protest on February 28. All supporters in Canada are being asked to send a fax to the Coca-Cola headquarters in Canada during a one or two hour period. For further information, contact Hayley Watson at McMaster University at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (416) 575-5293.
The Campaign is seeking stock proxies from concerned stockholders. Stockholders will soon be receiving their notice of the annual meeting and proxy card from The Coca-Cola Co. If you are not able to attend the annual meeting and would like to help the Campaign, we would like your proxy assigned to us so that others can attend. You can contact us at (718) 852-2808 or info@KillerCoke.org and we will explain how to transfer your proxy. If proxyholders plan to attend the shareholders' meeting and would like to join protest activities, please contact us. This year's annual meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, April 18 beginning at the Hotel DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware.
The Campaign put together talking points for worldwide organizers so that they would have definitive responses to Coke's misleading claims. These points include:
- Coke's Abuses in Colombia: Replay of the '70s & '80s
- Colombian Human Rights Lawsuits vs. Coke
- Judge Martinez: Conflicts of Interest?
- Bogus Investigations by Cal Safety and White & Case
- Real Investigations by Monserrate, Gill & Higginbottom
- 'Solid Relationships with Organized Labor:' A Big Lie
- The ILO and the 'Investigation' That Never Was
- Coke's Crimes and Corruption in India and Mexico
- Who's Holding Coke Accountable?
- Coke Evades Sanctions, Ignores Darfur Tragedy
a. TIAA-CREF is Deciding on Issues & Companies to Take On
Call and Email TIAA-CREF and tell them that if they remain invested in Coca-Cola and other companies such as Wal-Mart, Costco, Nike, Altria/Philip Morris, and Chevron, that they should direct their proven record of shareholder advocacy to change these companies' irresponsible behavior. Call and ask for CEO Herbert Allison at 800-842-2733 or 212-490-9000 (leave message with an assistant) More info below and details about sending an email. (From Make TIAA-CREF Ethical)
b. Death Threats Against SINALTRAINAL
On December 12, 2006, Colombian Vice President Francisco Santos stated on radio Caracol News that "there are campaigns to malign Coca-Cola and Nestlé as well as other private corporations led by sectors of the extreme radical left, infiltrated in trade unions, that are generating absolutely absurd campaigns against the corporations".
Since that statement was broadcast, thus giving the go-ahead to the anti-union paramilitary thugs of Colombia, SINALTRAINAL leaders have twice been threatened by the paramilitaries of the AUC Black Eagles. (Read more about these threats in Section 7 below.)
SINALTRAINAL has asked supporters to call Coca-Cola at 1-800-GET-COKE and the Colombian Embassy at (202) 387 8338 in the United States to express your concern regarding these threats. More info and Canadian contacts are in the alert; in other countries use the link below to look up the Colombian Embassy in your country and contact them. (From Colombia Solidarity Campaign)
"The resignation of Foreign Minister Maria Consuelo Araujo came days after Mr. Uribe expressed support for her. But fallout from the arrest last week of five politicians, including her brother, Senator álvaro Araujo, on charges of working with paramilitary squads in a kidnapping case related to the scandal, made her presence in the cabinet untenable."(New York Times (2/20/07), And this is the government that The Coca-Cola Co. claims cleared the company in impartial investigations of SINALTRAINAL's allegations of labor and human rights abuses.
The New York Times, "Foreign Minister of Colombia Quits in Scandal," By Simon Romero, February 20, 2007
Read Original New York Times Article by subscription.
A report from December 2006 shows links between the Colombian government and threats to SINALTRAINAL: "On 12 December [Colombian Vice President] Santos attacked the union's [SINALTRAINAL] fight for justice from notorious multinationals Coca-Cola, Nestlé and other private corporations, and contended that they are pushed by 'sectors of the extreme left, radicals infiltrated into trade union sectors that are generating absolutely absurd campaigns against the corporations'. In Colombia this is a green light for paramilitary attack and, following Santos prompt, two days later the 'Black Eagles' left a death threat inside the home of Barranquilla SINALTRAINAL activist EURIPIDES YANCE, also targeting his fellow Coca-Cola workers LIMBERTO CARRANZA, CAMPO QUINTERO and several local trade union, student and social movement leaders, as well as defenders of human rights. The Black Eagles gave their targets one week to leave, or else." (December 2006 Campaign Action Alert on this incident — the first of the two threats after the Santos statement.)
In December, we posted a press release from the IUF about Coke's abuse of workers in Pakistan. Now comes an article about Coke's abuse of workers in Haiti.
Alter Presse, "Solidarity with workers at Coca-Cola subsidiary: Haiti Support Group backs Cap-Haitien bottling plant union," By Charles Arthur, February 14, 2007
IUF, "Vicious Assault on Employment and Trade Union Rights at Coca-Cola Pakistan," December 29, 2006
An investigation by Connecticut's attorney general into dubious marketing tactics and misleading "voodoo nutrition" claims has cast a long shadow over the expensive launch of Enviga a carbonated green-tea product developed by Coca-Cola and Nestlé.
The drink, which calls itself "The Calorie Burner" on every 12-ounce can, drew the attention of Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Feb. 5. "Unless there are credible scientific studies to support these calorie-burning claims, they may be nothing more than voodoo nutrition," he said.
Blumenthal demanded that Coca-Cola and Nestlé turn over documentation for the claims that seem to echo the patent medicine advertising of a century ago, when Coke and other beverages commonly made health claims (and Coke, for a few years, actually contained cocaine.).
As the San Francisco Chronicle reported (2/8/07), a well-known nutrition watchdog group has already sued Coke and Nestlé for making "unsubstantiated calorie-burning and weight loss claims" - for example, that it has "negative calories" and is "much smarter than following fads, quick fixes and crash diets."
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a respected nonprofit organization, said that scientists who reviewed studies cited by Coke and Nestlé found Enviga to be "just a highly caffeinated and overpriced diet soda, and is exactly the kind of faddy, phony diet aid it claims not to be."
Ed Blonz, a biochemical nutritionist who advises the Federal Trade Commission on green tea, told the Chronicle that he doesn't believe Enviga will help obese people lose weight, adding that he doesn't believe it will work for thin people, either.
A Coca-Cola spokeswoman said the claims rely on a Nestlé-funded study from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland (Nestlé's home base), done with a control group of only 31 people, all 18-to-35-year-olds described as "lean."
CSPI executive director Michael Jacobson said Enviga "should have been called 'Fleece,' since that's what they're trying to do to consumers."
The lack of large, well-designed studies bothers Dr. Jonathan Waitman, an internist and nutrition specialist quoted in the New York Daily News (2/8/07). "Compounds like these?are drugs, and can have harmful effects," he said.
Another nutritionist, Dr. Wahida Karmally of New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia, added that caffeine "is a stimulant, and an overdose has very bad side effects. I feel concerned about people who think about their weight all day long." (Enviga contains about three times the amount of caffeine found in the same size can of diet soda.)
Foodconsumer.org news release, "Enviga study casts doubt on calorie burning & weight-loss claims, Feb 12, 2007
Read the article from CSPI Newsroom
"Six of the 31 participants actually burned up to 10 percent fewer calories after three days of consuming the ingredients in Enviga. 'If you follow Coke's and Nestle's logic, then about one in five consumers will eventually get fatter from drinking Enviga every day,' said CSPI senior nutritionist David Schardt. 'They've been withholding this information from their customers.' "
Reuters, "Conn. attorney general wants proof Enviga burns calories," By Jessica Wohl, February 5, 2007
Nutraingredients-USA, "Coke and Nestlé Enviga lawsuit filed," By Lorraine Heller, February 2, 2007
"Drinks giants Coca-Cola and Nestlé have this week been officially slapped with a lawsuit for claiming their new Enviga energy drink can help consumers burn off calories."
Read Article in Business Week
On February 1, 2007, it was reported that The Coca-Cola Co. was acquiring Fuze, a fruit drink based in New Jersey. The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke had previously listed Fuze as a good alternative to Coke products. We no longer consider the drink an alternative and we have noted this on our website.
Ray Rogers spoke about the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke at the University of Alberta on January 30, 2007. His speech was taped and links were sent to us and we posted it on our website at www.KillerCoke.org in nine parts:
Part One (9:15)
This is a general overview of the Killer Coke campaign.
Part Three (2:56)
Rogers answers a question about Coke's labour practices in Columbia.
Part Six (6:07)
Rogers further explains problems with Coke's labour practices.
Part Seven (8:06)
Rogers discusses Coke's labour and health concerns in India.
Part Eight (5:37)
Rogers discusses Coke's labour practices in Mexico and Sudan.
We found this video on youtube.com. This was a well-developed piece by Vanessa Jones-Brewer. Vanessa wrote on YouTube: "This is a project I did that was originally intended to be a slide show. It's about Coca-Cola, Multi-National corporations and how they treat their workers."
c. Parodies of Coca-Cola's Shameless Black History Ads
On Thursday, February 1, 2007, a few days preceding the Super Bowl in which two Black coaches were opposing each other, an ad appeared in The New York Times . The ad highlighted the evolution of Coke's Contour Bottle and major events in Black History, including: Chicago, 1893: Black doctor performs first successful heart operation; Harlem, 1920s: An American Renaissance; Brooklyn, 1947: Baseball shows us courage; it's #42 and finally, "Celebrates Black History:
Members of our Campaign saw this as a hypocritical ad and we created a factual parody seen below:
Coke's Black History
The descriptions in the written-ad parody for the most part, came from The Polaris Institute's report "Inside the Real Thing: Corporate profile on Coca-Cola Corporation."
For more information about Coke's record of racial discrimination, go to "Inside the Real Thing: Corporate profile on Coca-Cola Corporation," Report by the Polaris Institute (page 40 of the document; page 42 of the file)
At the same time, QuietLibrary.com had the same reaction to the animated ad that Coke did on Black History: "Coca-Cola Black History Timeline" during the Super Bowl and QuietLibrary.com created their own parody, which they posted on YouTube.com:
Coca-Cola Black History Timeline: Coca-Cola Marketing Meets Coca-Cola Facts.
The Yale Daily News published an article on February 7 describing student reaction to the ad during the Super Bowl: "The groans in the room were nearly unanimous one commercial was notable for a different reason. This one, the 'Coca-Cola Black History Timeline,' was more than inappropriate — it was disrespectful and misleading."
Yale Daily News, "Commercial recalls old tensions for NFL," By Steven Engler, February 7, 2007
The Campaign received an email from "Ronald McCroak," from Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia, with a link to his myspace.com site. On the site was "F**k the Defamation," a song about abuses by Coke and McDonald's. In addition, there is a link to the lyrics to the song.
"Ronald McCroak was created to put a different spin on multi-national companies and the harmful effects they have on everyone in society?Multi-national companies of fast foods, alcohol, tobacco and other long-term harmful products are poisoning the minds and bodies of our children. We value children so much in our lives and yet we allow them to become addicted to products that ultimately cause them the greatest harm. We abhor people in society who exploit and harm children, and yet, we allow companies to constantly advertise products that are unhealthy and which lead to life threatening conditions. McDonalds, Coca-Cola, et al and child exploiters prey on children in similar fashion. With manipulation, coercion, untruths and outright lies. And if child exploiters had the type of public relations budgets of McDonalds and Coke, there wouldn't be a convicted child exploiter in jail. In fact, they'd be celebrated on TV and in the news for how much good they do in society!"
Listen to "F**k the Defamation"
LABOR AND HUMAN RIGHTS: 'The Real Thing' in Colombia, By Lesley Gill
"Inside the Real Thing: Corporate profile on Coca-Cola Corporation," Report by the Polaris Institute (Canada)
Read the report in pdf format
Seven Points to Settlement
Read the Seven Points.
"ILRF Director Terry Collingsworth Response to Coke's Denials," July 8, 2004
"University of Michigan Falls Prey to Another Coca-Cola PR Scam," Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
April 17, 2006 Press Release/Report
WB11, New York Feature on the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
On July 11, 2005, WB11, one of New York City area's major television stations aired a special "Fact Finders Report" on the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke called "Coca-Cola Faces Human Rights Violations." Interviewed are Campaign Director Ray Rogers, Hofstra University Campaign Activist Vanessa Cudabac, New York City Council Member Hiram Monserrate, New York City Comptroller William Thompson and American Postal Workers Union (APWU) Secretary-Treasurer Terry Stapleton. This excellent feature was watched by millions on WB11 and, as we found out from supporters, watched by others around the world on satellite television.
Play Tape of Show
The Campaign's Response to Coke's Statements on the WB11 Feature
Video, "State of the Union," produced by Insight News for Channel 4 of Great Britain.
Watch State of the Union
14. Do you need a customized Campaign leaflet?
When we invited supporters to contact us to "customize a leaflet for your campus, union or group," the response was terrific! We immediately began getting emails asking us to produce customized leaflets for numerous colleges, universities, high schools and middle schools. We put them up as soon as we could. We have leaflets for Australia, Canada, Colombia (in Spanish), India, Ireland, the UK and the US.
Because the demand for flyers was so strong, it took up too much server space. We decided to leave the list online with the schools listed for which we have customized flyers. If you need a copy of your flyer, please contact us and we'll email it to you as soon as possible.
If your school, union or group is not listed and you would like a customized leaflet, please contact us at info@KillerCoke.org. Please state the name of your school and the name of the sponsoring group, if any, and a local email address, if you want us to put them into the flyer. If you want the flyer for a group, please state the name of the group and an email address. Also, whenever you email the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, please include a phone number, if possible, in case we have a need to talk with you.
15. Campaign's 'Campus Activism' Section
Many students interested in launching a Campaign to Stop Killer Coke at their schools and colleges have been contacting us. We recommend that students begin by checking out the two organizing packets in our "Campus Activism" section:
- "Unthinkable! Undrinkable! A Campus Campaign Overview," a USAS Campus Guide
- Campus Activism Packet — Campaign for a Coca-Cola Free Campus
- Schools Active in the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
In addition, there are numerous reports, resolutions and articles in the "Campus Activism" section that can be useful.
- Send an e-mail to Coke to protest their abuses in Colombia
- Call Coca-Cola and tell them to stop their worldwide abuses at 1-800-GET-COKE.
- Sign a Petition protesting Coke's abuses
- Join the Boycott at Karmabanque's web site at: www.karmabanque.com
- Send an E-Card to Coca-Cola
17. Please send photos, reports of events, etc. for the Campaign website Please send photos, reports of events, and if you are in a school, union or organization that has banned Coke products, please send us the resolution or description of how the decision was made. We would like the Campaign website to be up-to-date and to share the information with all supporters via our newsletter.
In addition, we would still appreciate an e-mail to stopkillercoke(at)aol.com with your name and city-state/province-country for our database so that we can contact you when there are events in your area.
Learn the truth about The Coca-Cola Co.
"We believe the evidence shows that Coca-Cola and its corporate network are rife with immorality, corruption and complicity in murder."
Campaign to Stop Killer Coke/Corporate Campaign, Inc. Director Ray Rogers