March 12, 2009 Stop Killer Coke Newsletter
Get Ready For The Annual Meeting/World Wide Activity
- Help publicize and build the Worldwide Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
- Mobilization for Coke's April 22, 2009 Shareholders' Meeting in Duluth, GA
- Campus Updates
- University Students in China
- University of Oslo, Norway
- University of East Anglia, UK
- Beloit College, Wisconsin
- Mt. Holyoke College, Massachusetts
- New York University
- Texas State Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
- University of Maine
- University of Miami, Report from the Global Business Forum
- University of North Texas
- ILO REPORT [not an investigation of human rights abuses]
- Maine Fair Trade Campaign Bans Coke and Calls on UMaine to Do Same
- IBEW Local 2323 Votes to Ban Coke Products
- Latest Videos
- Health Issues: HFCS & Vitamin Water
- Council of Canadians Criticizes the WWF Over Partnership with Coke
- Two More Bogus Coke Awards
Donate and wear a "Ban Killer Coke: Unthinkable! Undrinkable!" tee shirt! The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke now has both men's and women's tee shirts for a donation to the campaign. These union-made tee shirts are 100% cotton, pre-shrunk and 100% sweatshop-free from No Sweat Apparel.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke is based on the efforts of thousands of volunteers worldwide. Above all, it's a movement of we's and not I's and we need all the help we can get if justice is to prevail.
We need help to mobilize a protest at Coca-Cola's annual shareholders' meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, April 22nd, starting at 9:00 a.m. The meeting is being held at the Gwinnett Center, Grand Ballroom, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth, Georgia.
The annual meeting is the only place we can challenge Coke's chief policymakers — the top executives and members of the company's board of directors — face-to-face. By having a visible presence at the meeting, we can serve a warning to the stockholders, creditors and other potential investors that until the company cleans up its act, they will be held accountable.
The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke is working with individuals, other organizations and stockholders to hold Coke accountable around serious labor, human rights, health and environmental abuses. If you or your organization would like to participate in or help mobilize for activity inside or outside the annual meeting, contact us at (718) 852-2808 or e-mail us at info@KillerCoke.org.
Stockholders are now 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.
On this year's agenda once again is the shareholders' resolution submitted by William C. Wardlaw III, owner of 7,464 shares of Common Stock. Last year, the Company filed legal papers with the Securities and Exchange Commission in an effort to prevent Mr. Wardlaw's resolution from appearing on the 2008 proxy statement. The SEC disagreed with Coca-Cola's rationale. It was on the proxy statement and Coca-Cola asked shareholders not to support the proposal. However, the resolution did received more than the necessary votes to be placed on this year's proxy statement.
"Shareowner Proposal Regarding a Board Committee on Human Rights (Item 5)
"Shareholders amend the Bylaws, by adding the following new section at the end of Article III:
"Section 4 . Board Committee on Human Rights. There is established a Board Committee on Human Rights, which is created and authorized to review the implications of company policies, above and beyond matters of legal compliance, for the human rights of individuals in the US and worldwide.
"The Board of Directors is authorized in its discretion consistent with these Bylaws, the Articles of Incorporation and applicable law to (1) select the members of the Board Committee on Human Rights, (2) provide said committee with funds for operating expenses, (3) adopt regulations or guidelines to govern said Committee's operations, (4) empower said Committee to solicit public input and to issue periodic reports to shareholders and the public, at reasonable expense and excluding confidential information, including but not limited to an annual report on the implications of company policies, above and beyond matters of legal compliance for the human rights of individuals in the US and worldwide, and (5) any other measures within the Board's discretion consistent with these Bylaws and applicable law.
Nothing herein shall restrict the power of the Board of Directors to manage the business and affairs of the company. The Board Committee on Human Rights shall not incur any costs to the company except as authorized by the Board of Directors.
"The Coca-Cola Company, its bottlers, and suppliers have been associated with human rights controversies, leading to:
"• The Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association-College Retirement Equities Fund (TIAA-CREF) divesting the Coca-Cola Co. stock from and banning further investments in its $9 billion CREF Social Choice Account, the nation's largest socially screened fund for individual investors.
"• A USA Today "cover story" includes a quote claiming that some 45 colleges and universities removing Coke products from their campuses as a result of alleged human rights violations by its Colombian bottler (10/30/07).
"• BBC News reporting that our company has been accused of benefiting from prison labor in China (5/21/07).
"• A May 2007 report by The International Environmental Law Research Centre accused the company of detrimental impacts on drinking and agricultural water supplies in India, violating human rights.
"In the opinion of the proponents, the company's existing governance process does not sufficiently elevate human rights issues within the company or serve the interests of shareholders in expediting effective solutions. The proposed Bylaw would establish a Board Committee on Human Rights that could review and make policy recommendations regarding human rights issues raised by the company's activities and policies.
"In defining 'human rights,' proponents suggest that the committee could use the US Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as nonbinding benchmarks or reference documents."
The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke needs student activists at campuses around the globe to email reports and photos of Campaign activities to us at info@KillerCoke.org.
Infoshop News, "China: Coca-Cola 'abused workers' rights', report says," By China Daily, December 22, 2008
"Coca-Cola has come under fire after a private investigation accused it of 'serious infringement' of the rights of its dispatched workers in China. 'These employees are involved in the most dangerous, intense and tiresome labor, work the longest hours, but receive the lowest wage and face arrears with and even cutbacks on their pay,' said a 28-page report written by seven university students after a month of participatory research and released in Beijing on Sunday."
China.org.cn, "Lawyers, academics praise students' Coca Cola probe," By Gregor Kneussel and John Sexton, December 31, 2008
"He reiterated the disadvantages of the agency workers in terms of hygiene, housing, holidays and working hours. Agency staff often worked 12 hours per day for an entire month without a single day off. One worker was found to worked 318 hours in one month. Yang said the group have photocopies of the relevant documents to support their conclusions. He said the students submitted their findings to Coca Cola but had received no direct answer. Coca Cola had published a reaction on the Internet but hadn't answered the students directly and simply denied illegal practices without addressing the charges specifically."
The Labor Educator, "Coca-Cola 'Abused Worker Rights' in China, Report States," By Harry Kelber, December 27, 2008
The following report comes from Harry Kelber, The Labor Educator
Coca-Cola 'Abused Worker Rights' in China, Report States
Coca-Cola came under fire after a private investigation accused it of "serious infringement" of the rights of its dispatched workers in China. The charges against the company were contained in a 28-page report by seven university students after a month of participatory research.
The report, released on Dec. 21 in Beijing, stated: "These employees are involved in the most dangerous, intense and tiresome labor, work the longest hours, but receive the lowest wage and face arrears and even cutbacks in their pay," The students collected the information between July and August while working in Coca-Cola's bottlers in Guangzhou and Huiizhou, as well as the company's supplier in Shanghai and other facilities.
Dispatched workers are employed by agencies that send them to fill "temporary, supporting or replaceable positions," according to Clause 66 of the Labor Contract Law. The report concludes by demanding that the company apologize to the Chinese people and the dispatched workers. Copies of the report will be sent to the All China Federation of Trade Union (ACFTU) and Coca-Cola China.
From our archives on Coke and China
a. May 2007 BBC Report
Remember the BBC report that Coca-Cola in China was using prison labor "to work on merchandise intended for the company."
b. CHINA.ORG.CN, "Coca-Cola accused of manipulating public opinion," By Zhou Jing, September 9, 2008
"The proposed sale of China juice company Huiyuan to Coca-Cola has caused an outcry among both pundits and the public. Coca-Cola, no slouch in public relations, is fighting back and some have even accused the company of trying to suppress opinions unfavorable to the merger, according to an inside source quoted in the Beijing Morning Post on September 7, 2008.
"On September 5, Qian Weiqing, a lawyer at the Dacheng Law firm, was invited to participate in an online discussion about the proposed takeover. He said that given the state of public opinion and the provisions of the Anti- Monopoly Law, 'the prospects for the purchase do not look optimistic,' adding that 'public opinion has taken a nationalistic turn on the issue, and is likely to directly or indirectly influence the regulator's decision,' and that consequently 'the bid will have a tough ride at the Ministry of Commerce.'
"The insider said that soon after the interview, Coca Cola called the Dacheng Law, demanding Qian withdraw his comments, adding pointedly that Coca Cola employed many of Dacheng's lawyers as counselors. 'Which is more important, just think it over!' was the gist of Coca Cola's message - according to the source. A few hours later, Qian announced that he had withdrawn his comments."
c. From our April 2008 Newsletter:
"Four years ago, large Coke shareholder B. Wardlaw predicted at the 2004 Coke shareholders' meeting that the China Olympics created problems for The Coca-Cola Co. 'possible public relations calamity in China' He said:
'As far as my proposal on China business principles which I am bringing to you for the third time [His proposal was voted down all three years by the shareholders.], I introduced this proposal because I, along with many other socially conscious shareholders, are concerned about Coke, its reputation and its share price. As I've said here the last two years, we seem to be heading toward possible public relations calamity in China. So just looking at it from the viewpoint of the company, it makes sense for us to spend more time thinking about, before we go in, we're spending over a $1 billion, what over the last 20 years in China, developing products there. The Olympics are coming to China in 2008 in Beijing. This is a moment where Coca-Cola is going to be highlighted because of our close involvement with the Olympics and the, as someone has said, as a recognized product in the world. I think what is happening, is that we are still not, as a company, paying enough attention to what could happen in China. Every human rights abuse possible has been committed in China...'
India Resource Center, "Norway Students Vote to Restrict Coca-Cola: Seek Ethical Alternatives to Coca-Cola," November 11, 2008
"Students at the University of Oslo have voted overwhelmingly to restrict the dominant presence of Coca-Cola products on campus, and introduce ethical alternatives to Coca-Cola on campus. In a resolution passed yesterday at the University of Oslo Welfare Council (Velferdstinget I Oslo), the student body will now seek to restrict significantly the size of Coca-Cola's contract, offer alternative beverages that are ethical and fair trade as well as adopt more stringent criteria for ensuring that companies that do business with the University of Oslo have strong environmental and ethical records. The student body will also inform Coca-Cola of their decision to restrict Coca-Cola, citing the company's practices in India."
Report: KillerCoke Campaign Launches in Norwich and at the University of East Anglia
"It's been a busy couple of months in Norwich as the University of East Anglia's Killer Coke Campaign joined forces with Norfolk Latin America Forum and the Jamnesty Junk Band to kick of a season of events raising awareness of the crimes of Coke both on campus and around the city of Norwich.
"Activist, comedian and general inspiration Mark Thomas was in town, so what better time to launch the campaign. Mark's show was great as he recalled his experiences uncovering Coca-Cola's dubious ethical legacy from sponsoring Hitler Youth in Nazi Germany to water depletion in India to trade union busting and murder in Colombia. Norwich KillerCoke collected lots of signatures from people pledging to boycott Coca-Cola until they clean up their act.
"The local group followed up the Mark Thomas show in November with a screening of the Mark Thomas' documentary about the highly unethical corporation with live music from Hazel Marsh and Chilean activist Mario Gomez. There was a prize draw with attendees winning KillerCoke t-shirts and DVDs.
"On Thursday 24th UEA played host to a Colombian student activist and political asylum seeker now resident in the U.K. The audience was told of the state collusion in paramilitary violence against students, trade unionists and members of the indigenous community.
"Saturday 29th November saw the campaign take to the streets with a mock funeral. Joined by the incredibly loud Jamnesty Junk Band and over 40 volunteers dressed in appropriate funeral attire, the Campaign marched through the streets spreading the word as Norwich citizens went about their early Christmas shopping.
"In the New Year UEA KillerCoke will be pushing for a boycott of all Coca-Cola products on the UEA Campus and within Student's Union stores to send a clear message to Coca-Cola that we will not tolerate human rights abuses in the name of profits. Norwich KillerCoke and Norfolk Latin America Forum will also be hosting a series of FairTrade Cola tastings throughout the city, so keep your eyes peeled for upcoming events!
On Nov. 6, 2008, Campaign to Stop Killer Coke Director Ray Rogers addressed a packed auditorium at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. Later, he met with a group of student activists who agreed with those packed into the auditorium that Beloit should become a Coke-Free campus.
e. Mt. Holyoke College, Massachusetts
On November 20, 2008, Campaign Director Ray Rogers addressed about 80 students at a forum at Mt. Holyoke College. Coca-Cola was invited to the forum, but informed the student organizers that they would not participate in a forum with Ray Rogers. Students took Killer Coke tee-shirts to sell on campus and expressed a commitment to continue efforts to make Mt. Holyoke College a Coke-Free campus like nearby Smith College, Hampshire College and Simon's Rock College.
Ray Rogers Speaks at Mt. Holyoke College
Ray Rogers Speaks at Mt. Holyoke College-Part 1, Massachusetts, November 20, 2008
Watch Video re: Introduction
Ray Rogers Speaks at Mt. Holyoke College-Part 2, Massachusetts, November 20, 2008
Watch Video re: "Coke's refusal to debate Ray Rogers"
Ray Rogers Speaks at Mt. Holyoke College-Part 3, Massachusetts, November 20, 2008
Watch Video re: "Ray Reveals the Real 'World of Coca-Cola' "
Ray Rogers Speaks at Mt. Holyoke College-Part 4, Massachusetts, November 20, 2008
Watch Video re: "Coca-Cola is an anti-union Company"
NYU Lifts Coke Ban Choosing Choice over Human Rights; NYU Trustee & Coke Director Barry Diller Purchases $20 Million in Coke Stock
NYU administrators, in their latest effort to end the ban on campus sales of Coke beverages, manipulated the results of the ILO assessment leading to a close vote in the University Senate and brought Coke back to campus. Why? Could it be that billionaire Coca-Cola Director and NYU Trustee Barry Diller pressured administration to do so. The University Senate is composed of more than 80 Senators, only 22 students. While numerous University bodies composed of students voted time and time again to maintain the ban, the University Senate ignored their will with a 28 to 22 vote.
Then, not a month later, it was reported that Barry Diller "bought 500,000 shares of stock in Coke March 2 at an average value of $39.91 a share, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing..." (Atlanta Business Chronicle, 3/4/09)
"But opponents of the ban have said they're exasperated with waiting for an investigation that will satisfy the ban's criteria and that students' right to free economic choice outweighs the university's moral duty." Washington Square News, February 5, 2009
One NYU student, Erin, said: "The fact of the matter is, the Senate failed to uphold its own resolution. As one professor put it... 'It is a simple case of consumerism trumping human rights.' "
Read 'Coke Ban Lifted'
Luis Cardona Speaks at NYU about Coca-Cola Abuses
Luis Cardona, a union leader from SINALTRAINAL, the union that represents most unionized workers in the Coca-Cola bottling plants in Colombia, is in exile in the States. Luis escaped from Colombia where he was targeted for assassination by paramilitary groups. He spoke at NYU on February 3, 2009, the night before the vote.
Watch Luis Cardona's speech at NYU
Students Denounce NYU's Lifting of Ban on Coca-Cola Products
" 'NYU made a promise to these Colombian workers and they broke that promise,' said Jeff Olshansky, the co-chair of NYU Law Students for Economic Justice and one of the principal organizers working to keep the Coke ban. 'NYU decided to put their financial relationship with Coke above human rights...'
"In October 2008, the ILO released the report that Coke referred to, but it did not address the assassinations at all; it merely assessed certain current working conditions. The ILO team that visited Colombia never spoke with witnesses or took any steps to investigate Coca-Cola's complicity in the assassinations. Yet the resolution that passed on February 5, also introduced by Tannenbaum, stated that 'insofar as feasible, the terms of the 2005 resolution have been met.'
" "Coke's refusal to permit an investigation into the assassinations does not make such an investigation unfeasible,' said Boehne, 'Coke simply did not comply with the conditions of NYU's 2005 resolution. The only authority cited as saying that Coke had permitted an investigation was Coke itself. The ILO never set out to investigate these assassinations. It's clear that Coke is misleading NYU. In rewarding Coke for this behavior, the Senate seriously undermines its creditability...'
"The Student Council of The College of Arts and Sciences (NYU's largest school with some 6,000 students) recently held a forum with presentations by both students in favor of lifting the ban and those in favor of keeping the ban. After the forum, the Council voted 21-5 in favor of maintaining the ban. A similar forum was held by the Student Council of NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, resulting in a 11-2 vote in favor of maintaining the ban. Seven student organizations in the NYU School of Law have advocated maintaining the ban over the last year, while none have come out in opposition. While NYU students make up a great majority of the NYU community, students only hold 22 of the over 80 University Senate Seats."
The Campaign to Stop Killer Coke is committed to working with NYU students and concerned faculty and staff to continue in their efforts to once again make NYU a Coke-Free campus.
NYU Students Occupy Kimmel Center
Washington Square News, "Barricaded at Kimmel," By Rachel Holliday Smith, February 19, 2009
"Last night, 64 students barricaded themselves inside the third floor dining room of the Kimmel Center. The occupation was organized by Take Back NYU, an on-campus coalition founded around goals of increasing university transparency and accountability. By bullhorn, the group read a list of 13 demands that must be met by the university before TBNYU leaves the building. Demands include full disclosure of the university's endowment, investment strategy and operating budget, a reconsideration of the recent lift of the Coca-Cola ban, and tuition stabilization for all students beginning with the class of 2012.
Suspended Kimmel protesters barred from own dorms
"NYU showed its giant teeth and is a monster."
Daniel Monahan, a leader in the successful Campaign to remove Coke products from CUNY Law School in New York, is now helping to build a campaign throughout Texas. He is involved in the Texas Campaign to Stop Killer Coke's University Open Records Project.
Report on the University Open Records Project
of the Texas Campaign to Stop Killer Coke
The Texas Campaign to Stop Killer Coke's University Open Records Project is an endeavor to obtain all of the Coca-Cola contracts between Texas state universities and colleges through the use of the Texas Open Records Act, a.k.a. Public Information Act, Chapter 552 of the Government Code. This project was undertaken with an eye towards organizing around the greater Killer Coke movement in Texas. The goal of the Campaign is to kick Coke out of our schools, businesses and governmental agencies for it's worldwide labor, human rights and environmental abuses. See www.killercoke.org for more information
The scope of this project includes requesting Coke contract information from six categories of Texas colleges and universities including the University of Texas (17), Texas A & M (11), Texas State Colleges (18), Texas Tech (18), University of Houston (7), and Texas Community Colleges (1). The number in parenthesis following each category represents the number of campuses and/or entities that were sent Open Records requests. In total, 72 Open Record requests were sent by email or first class mail between July 7, 2008 and September 1, 2008. The requests sought essentially the same information:
"All active contracts or agreements between [University or College], including its agents or any other [University or College] related entities, and The Coca-Cola Company. This includes but is not limited to all active contracts or agreements between [University or College] and any vending companies furnishing Coca-Cola products." (A complete sample Open Records Request is located at the end of this report.)
Of the 72 requests, most of them were responded to timely within the ten-day initial response window proscribed by the law. About a third had to be called and reminded to respond at least once. Several had to be called more than once. If a Coke contract existed, most campuses released their Coke contract without delay. A handful requested that the Attorney General rule on whether the contract should be released. In every case that the Attorney General has ruled on, the ruling was to release the contracts in question. Finally, minority of campuses and/or entities have neglected to send their contract or have failed to specify that they do not have a Coke contract.
More specifically, as of January 1, 2009, contracts representing at least 38 entities and/or campuses have been received. 37 out of the 38 campuses that responded waived all fees associated with producing the documents. Only UT San Antonio required payment of $16.50 for postage and photocopying of 135 pages before they would release the information. About two-thirds of the responses were sent in electronic format, either by email or fax.
Read Coke contracts on this site
Students at the University of Maine have been campaigning to draw attention to Coke's labor, human rights, and environmental abuses while at the same time they are working with local unions, labor councils and political leaders to broaden the campaign to build support in Congress against passage of the onerous Colombian "Free Trade" Agreement.
An email from the University: "Yesterday, the Global Business Forum ended with a luncheon at the University of Miami. At this forum, many CEO's were present — one of them Muhtar Kent, president and chief executive officer of The Coca- Cola Company. Kent oversees all operations of the business, including Bottling Investments.
"We couldn't miss this opportunity to denounce the killing with impunity of the union members in the Colombian Coke bottling plants, so we went to this luncheon. We couldn't get to Mr. Muhtar, but we asked the president of University of Miami [Donna E. Shalala] if she knew about the assassinations of Coca-Cola union members in Colombia. Her silence was as cold as a dead body."
See photos from the event
See a slideshow of the photos from the event
David ,Thomas a student at the University of North Texas, informed us on February 17 that a large tractor trailer falsely promoting Coke as a leader in recycling and saving the Earth was traveling across the country. David printed up a bunch of flyers from our website to distribute at the truck to protest its presence and turned dozens of people away from their event. While doing this on his own, he met a number of students at University of North Texas who had been working with us to develop a campaign to kick Coke off campus.
International Labor Organization, "Report Evaluation Mission Coca-Cola Bottling Plants in Colombia 30 June - 11 July 2008"
Read the ILO Report
"...the Mission found that there appears to be a link between outsourcing and the fall in union membership and/or the fact that these workers do not organize.
"One union representative (SINTRAINDEGA), from the Bogota South plant, said that "with the company's hiring system, the union is destined to disappear... In the space of one year we have lost 100 members." [Another union,] USITRAG, said: "The main problem is that very few have a direct relationship with the enterprise. This is due to the way in which the enterprise hires workers who provide certain services; the problem is the high incidence of subcontracting. Because of this workers are unable to organize and the future of the union is in danger."
"The SINALTRAINAL representatives in the same plant agreed, observing that "Union membership has been decimated as a result of various ploys used by the enterprise such as the reinforcement of the accord [collective accords are agreements between employers and non-union workers]. All the unions are dwindling because the enterprise is standing in their way..."
The outsourcing of certain areas of the operation processes and, increasingly, of the production processes themselves, makes it difficult for the workers concerned to form or join unions..."
Exposing Coke's Lies About ILO Colombian Probe: the Campaign's Response to the ILO Report," November 19, 2008
Read the Campaign's Response.
"Coke claimed: 'On March 2nd, the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF) announced that it had requested the International Labor Organization (ILO) to investigate and evaluate past and present labor relations and workers' rights practices of the Coca-Cola bottling operations in Colombia..." Coke's claims were contradicted by the IUF, Coke representatives and the ILO:
a. The IUF never asked for such an investigation.
The IUF's Ron Oswald: "Well, he [Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO E. Neville Isdell] was wrong, and they know he was wrong...Our proposal to the ILO was very clear: we did not ask them to do an investigation into criminal or murderous events in the 1990s...I don't think they've got the competence to do that, frankly... There are still calls for Coke to agree to an independent investigation of those incidents and that's something we thought Coke should have agreed to many years ago."
b. The Company never supported such an investigation.
Coca-Cola's Dana Bolden wrote: "The agreed-upon scope of the assessment [in Colombia] was always of current workplace practices."
c. The ILO never agreed to conduct such an investigation.
The ILO's Sally Paxton said: The ILO would at most be carrying out an "assessment of current working conditions at enterprises in Colombia" and not an "investigation" of The Coca-Cola Co. or past labor practices or human rights abuses of its bottlers.
5. Maine Fair Trade Campaign Bans Coke and Calls on UMaine to Do Same
Read Maine Fair Trade Resolution
"Resolved, that the Maine Fair Trade Campaign will ban all Coke products from all its meetings and events.
"Resolved, that the Maine Fair Trade Campaign calls on the University of Maine to hold The Coca-Cola Company accountable by removing all Coke machines and Coke beverages from campus and banning the sale and advertising of Coke products.
"Resolved, that until The Coca-Cola Company can prove that it has taken genuine remedial actions to become a responsible corporation, the call for this ban on Coca-Cola products at the UMaine campus will remain in effect."
Maine Fair Trade Campaign is a coalition of 51 labor, environmental, human rights, faith, and community organizations working together to build a just, sustainable, and democratic local and global economy.
The mission of the Maine Fair Trade Campaign is to oppose unjust, unsustainable international trade policies and to work for the creation of socially, economically, and environmentally just trade policies and a fair global economy.
IBEW Local 2323, Cranston , RI, Executive Board votes to eliminate Coke products from union meetings and events, Oct. 30, 2008
This motion was presented at the October 30, 2008 Executive Board meeting of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 2323.
The motion was made, seconded and approved to support the boycott. Information explaining the reason for the boycott will be distributed to the membership of Local 2323 at union meetings.
"I make a motion that IBEW Local 2323 will support the boycott of Coca-Cola products that include Dasani, Fanta, Minute Maid, Nestea, Powerade and Sprite at our union meetings and events.
"Additionally, we will support trade unionists in their efforts to represent Coke workers in Columbia and other locations worldwide."
"Excellent documentary showing how dangerous artificial sweetener Aspartame is [Aspartame is the artificial sweetener used in Diet Coke]. From its history, to its effects this video is enough to shock anyone into really looking at their food labels next time they shop. Aspartame is a toxic food that came into the world as an investment By Donald Rumsfeld [George W. Bush's Secretary of Defense], while ignoring the deadly effects the tests showed. Take a good look at this video, it could save lives."
PinoyPress, "Aspartame: Sweet, Sweet Poison," By Carlos H. Conde, November 25, 2008
"Reading all the stuff about aspartame could make your head explode. But what convinced me that aspartame is not safe are not just the studies that have found its link to cancer but also the efforts of Donald Rumsfield and Searle/Monsanto in ramming this product down our throats. Monsanto, as you know, is the world's leading producer of genetically modified products - another innovation that many are convinced has already wrought havoc on human life and the ecosystem - and uses not just money and influence but also threat and intimidation on those who go against it, as this Vanity Fair investigative report makes clear. Indeed, Monsanto's track record alone is enough to convince me that this product can kill me."
b. Two Videos from The Chloe Show on the Campaign
Watch "The Chloe Show-Killer Coke"
Watch the first Video from The Chloe Show. Chloe speaks about the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke at about 1:15 into this video.
a. Mercury in High Fructose Corn Syrup [Coke non-diet sodas contain HFCS]
Report: High Fructose Corn Syrup Contaminated With Mercury
Web site of Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, "Not So Sweet: Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup," January 26, 2009
Press Release, "Much High Fructose Corn Syrup Contaminated With Mercury, New Study Finds," January 26, 2009
Table A: Total mercury detected in 55 brand-name foods and beverages high in HFCS
Table A: Total mercury detected in 55 brand -name foods and beverages high in HFCS [including Coca-Cola Classic]
"Two new papers look at the presence of mercury in high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). An article in Environmental Health finds mercury in commercial HFCS. An IATP study finds mercury in common foods and beverages [including Coca-Cola Classic]."
Democracy Now!, "Study Links Corn Syrup to Toxic Mercury," January 29, 2009
"another story involving food safety has just come to light. A pair of new studies has revealed traces of toxic mercury can be found in many popular foods containing high-fructose corn syrup. The sweetener has become a widely used substitute for sugar in processed foods, including many items marketed to children. Items found to contain mercury include Hershey's chocolate syrup, Smucker's strawberry jelly, Hunt's tomato ketchup, Coca-Cola Classic, Quaker Oatmeal to Go, Nutri-Grain strawberry cereal bars. Mercury is considered toxic in all forms, particularly dangerous for children."
b. Center for Science in the Public Interest vs. Coke's VitaminWater
Augusta Chronicle, "Advocacy group sues Coca-Cola over VitaminWater," By Associated Press, January 15, 2009
"A nutrition advocacy group on Thursday sued the Coca-Cola Co., the biggest beverage maker in the world, over what it calls "deceptive" health claims about VitaminWater.
"The Washington-based Center for Science in the Public Interest accuses Coke of selling what it says is basically sugar water by claiming it has vitamins that boost immunity and reduce the risk of disease."
theage.com.au, "The bitter-sweet truth about vitamin water," By Mark Russell, September 21, 2008
"Vitamin and sports water drinks are so laden with sugar and caffeine that claims about their health-giving benefits should be taken with a grain of salt, nutritionists have warned.
"Consumer advocate group Choice says an unwitting public is being deliberately misled about the health benefits of enhanced water drinks, with some 500-millilitre varieties containing eight teaspoons of sugar, high levels of caffeine and a host of additives, including flavours and colours.
"While it purported to be a healthy beverage, a 575-millilitre bottle of Nutrient Water contained seven teaspoons of sugar, she said, and Smart Water's 500-millilitre bottle had eight teaspoons. A 375-millilitre can of Coca-Cola contains 10 teaspoons of sugar."
Mercola Natural Health Newsletter, "Mercola What Happens When You Drink a Coke? Drinking Coke Now Could Have a Heavy Price Later"
Read Dr. Mercola's comments:
"Coke's other 'healthier' solution so far has been Diet Coke Plus, which is fortified with vitamins and minerals. The company had been marketing Diet Coke Plus as 'a good source of vitamins B3, B6, and B12, and the minerals zinc and magnesium' — until the FDA forced them to take the misleading information off of their labels at the end of last year.
Coca-Cola has also tried to grab a piece of the health-conscious consumer market by buying Glaceau, the makers of Vitaminwater, in 2007. Again, the maker's attempt to pass the drinks off as healthy, and claim they can reduce your risk of chronic disease and eye disease, promote healthy joints and support immune function. ..
The average American drinks more than 60 gallons of soft drinks each year, and amazingly they make up the number one source of calories in the United States!
If you drink the regular variety, you can count on about 10 teaspoons of sugar in each can, largely in the form of dangerous high-fructose corn syrup. If you drink the diet variety, you're likely being exposed to aspartame, and did you know there are over 92 different side effects associated with aspartame consumption including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders and epilispsy/seizures?
Well, a class-action lawsuit is currently underway claiming that Coca-Cola is again illegally marketing its product.
"Earth Hour is a global WWF climate change initiative. Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn out their lights for one hour on Saturday March 28, 2009 at 8:30 PM to show their support for action on climate change." However, The Coca-Cola Co. is a sponsor of this initiative. Because of that, the Council of Canadians wrote to the WWF asking that their organization be removed as a participating organization.
In response the WWF sent a letter to Cory Morningstar of the Council of Canadians. Below the excerpt of the letter to Mr. Morningstar is his reply back to the WWF:
"Dear Mr. Morningstar,
"Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns regarding Coca-Cola and I am sorry to hear of your request to be removed from the Earth Hour website...
"A close partnership between a high profile company and a high profile conservation organization is naturally not without its risks, however we have conducted a thorough risk assessment both globally and locally. It is important to remember that this does not mean that Coca-Cola is perfect by any means, however we have carved out an ambitious work-plan that addresses a gigantic portion of their footprint..."
And here is the reply:
"Dear WWF Canada,
"How can you expect environmental organizations to promote your campaign when you let Coca-Cola corporation greenwash their brand through your efforts?
"This is an insult to all of the environmental organizations and activists who work so hard against corporations like Coca Cola - who do so much damage to our planet.
"This is an insult to the people all over the planet who are exploited and oppressed under the crushing footprint of this corporation who has no regard for human life or the environment.
"We regret that we must ask to be removed from the website as a participating organization.
"We will participate in Earth Hour - however - we cannot promote the event with Coca Cola as your sponsor.
"Please also remove my name.
"We hope you will consider researching this corporations horrific human rights violations and vast environmental degradation and remove Coca-Cola as your sponsor.
"Council of Canadians | London
From our Archives: WWF Greenwashes Coca-Cola
Environmental News Service, June 5, 2007
"As Ronald Reagan loved to remark, 'There they go again.' WWF, the corporate-funded environmental giant often accused of taking greenbacks in return for greenwashing its corporate benefactors, has a new partner. WWF and the Coca-Cola Company proclaimed a "bold partnership" that has Coke paying WWF US$20 million. WWF touts the deal on its website. A full- page New York Times advertisement announcing the deal is headlined "This is our drop," a phrase that Coke has trademarked. For Coke, $20 million is just a drop in the bucket, a cheap fee for the PR boost from its WWF partnership. Other companies giving money to and receiving the blessings of WWF include Alcoa, Altria Group, Walt Disney Company, and dozens more listed on the WWF website..."
a. Coca-Cola awards itself another medal for environmental responsibility
The World Environment Center awarded the 2009 WEC Gold Medal to The Coca-Cola Co. for "International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development." A little research indicates a WEC Vice Chair is Jeff Seabright, Coca-Cola's VP of Environment & Water Resources. Thus, this award is another scam like the Golden Peacock Award (Read Point 8 of this report) and numerous other awards given to Coke by organizations that share board members with Coke or have a large financial relationship with the Company. And a scan of the list of past recipients of this award show more examples of environmentally irresponsible corporations like Exxon Corp and Dow Chemical.
The Coca-Cola Company to Receive 2009 WEC Gold Medal for International Corporate Achievement in Sustainable Development
b. Coke Executives Enter the Advertising Hall of Fame
Chuch Fruit, former Chief Marketing Officer of The Coca-Cola Co. and William "Bill" Sharp, former VP and Advertising Manager of Coca-Cola USA will be honored by the American Advertising Federation (AAF) by awarding them entrance to the Advertising Hall of Fame at an event at The Waldorf-Astoria on March 26, 2009. Once again, as with the Golden Peacock Award and the WEC Gold Medal (see above), it is a case of The Coca-Cola Co. awarding itself an award. One can readily see in the ad on page A9 in The New York Times (3/9/09) that the company is a Platinum Sponsor, the highest level of sponsorship with a contribution (purchase of the award?) of $50,000 to the AAF. In addition, Coke VP of Global Commercial Leadership, John Hackett, is a member of the AAF's board of directors.
On the AAF's "About AAF" page, is the following image: