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Social Responsibility of Coca-Cola Questioned
Debate Regarding Coca-Cola's VitaminWater

MinnPost, "Coca-Cola's argument in "vitaminwater" lawsuit is exhibit 1 for corporate chutzpah," By Susan Perry August 11, 2010
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"In reality, of course, Coca-Cola's vitaminwater is essentially sugar water with some added vitamins. Adding the vitamins to the sugar water doesn't make it good for you, just as adding vitamins to a Snickers candy bar wouldn't make it good for you...And if it's vitamins you're after, then get them the very best way possible: Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Several times a day. Day after day."

Packaging World, "Coca Cola sued for misleading consumers," By Jim Chrzan, August 10, 2010
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"This time a non-profit public interest watchdog, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, has alleged Coca Cola's latest health offering, vitaminwater '...is basically sugar-water, to which about a penny's worth of synthetic vitamins have been added. And the amount of sugar is not trivial. A bottle of vitaminwater contains 33 grams of sugar, making it more akin to a soft drink than to a healthy beverage,' according to a blog post by John Robbins, author of The New Good Life, Diet for a New America"

Natural News, "Vitaminwater revealed as non-healthy beverage by Coca-Cola's own lawyers (opinion)," by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, August 10, 2010
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"Do you ever wonder things like "Who is actually gullible enough to think that Vitaminwater is healthy?" Although that question may seem demeaning or even arrogant, it turns out that the Coca-Cola company (which owns the Vitaminwater brand) is essentially asking that exact question."
As Miami Heat star promotes Coca-Cola's VitaminWater, CSPI sues to challenge false product claims,

Examiner.com, "Coca-Cola admits in court that vitaminwater is not a healthy beverage," By Mark Rubi, July 29, 2010
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"Coca-Cola admits in court that vitaminwater is not a healthy beverage. Millions of consumers of Coca-Cola's heavily marketed vitaminwater brand drink are now dealing with the fact that despite numerous advertising claims to the contrary, the reality about the drink may be that it is little more than sugar-water fortified with a few vitamins...

"As to Coca-Cola's claims that "no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking vitaminwater was a healthy beverage" — many critics are asking how many tens of millions of dollars did Coke spend trying to mislead those consumers if they could not reasonably be misled? Or another question making the rounds is this: Is it ok for product manufacturers to lie about their products if they claim that nobody believed their lies?"

Indianapolis Alternative Medicine Examiner, "Could vitaminwater lawsuit leave product all washed up?" By Becky Oberg, July 23, 2010
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" 'Plaintiffs' allegations sufficiently state a claim that defendants have violated FDA regulations by making health claims about vitaminwater even though it does not meet required minimum nutritional thresholds, by using the word "healthy" in implied nutrient content claims even though vitaminwater's fortification does not comply with FDA policy, and by using a product name that references only two of vitaminwater's ingredients, omitting the fact that there is a key, unnamed ingredient [sugar] in the product,' wrote Judge John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York."
Complaint CSPI vs. Coca-Cola

Video, "VitaminWater Lawsuit"

Center for Science in the Public Interest, "Lawsuit Over Deceptive VitaminWater Claims to Proceed," July 23, 2010
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"WASHINGTON--A federal judge has denied Coca-Cola's motion to dismiss a lawsuit over what the Center for Science in the Public Interest says are deceptive and unsubstantiated claims on the company's 'vitaminwater' line of soft drinks. The company claims that vitaminwater variously reduces the risk of chronic disease, reduces the risk of eye disease, promotes healthy joints, and supports optimal immune function, and uses health buzz words such as 'defense,' 'rescue,' 'energy,' and 'endurance' on labels."

FoodConsumer, "Is This Popular Sports Drink [VitaminWater] as Damaging as Coca-Cola? By Dr. Mercola, July 17, 2010
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"It's very fitting that Coca-Cola owns the Vitaminwater brand, as this beverage is closer to soda than it is to water. And as you may remember, Coca-Cola was actually sued last year in a class-action lawsuit that contended the Vitaminwater line was being illegally promoted as a healthy product.

" 'Vitaminwater is Coke's attempt to dress up soda in a physician's white coat. Underneath, it's still sugar water, albeit sugar water that costs about ten bucks a gallon,' said litigation director Steve Gardner of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)."

The Washington Post, "How nutritious is Vitaminwater?" [owned by Coca-Cola], By Jennifer LaRue Huget, July 1, 2010
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" 'Vitaminwater,' she concludes, 'is a marketing ploy.'

"Critics have bashed Vitaminwater for being a calorie trap... 'Once you go beyond what you need, you urinate it out,' Sandon says. 'You're peeing that money away.'

"A multivitamin is a better option when trying to supplement your diet, she says, because Vitaminwater doesn't provide a full complement of nutrients as does One-a-Day or Centrum."

theage.com.au, "The bitter-sweet truth about vitamin water," By Mark Russell, September 21, 2008
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"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."

Scienceline, "Is vitaminwater good for you?" By Christopher Intagliata, December 3, 2007
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"...vitaminwater's parent company, Glaceau (owned by Coca-Cola), markets the drink by emphasizing its nutritional value. Is there any science behind the marketing though?

" ...'The way that vitaminwater is marketed and positioned it's made to look more healthful than other sugary beverages, but it's not — it's still just a soft drink,' said Margo G. Wootan, Director of Nutrition Policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. 'It has this aura of healthfulness that is not deserved. Adding vitamins and minerals to junk food doesn't make it healthy.' "

Seattle Weekly, "Make Your Own Vitamin Water!" By Jonathan Kauffman, June 7, 2007
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"I consulted with nutritionists, naturopaths, and vitamin dealers to develop the following recipes, each the equivalent of a VitaminWater variety. With the purchase of a few easy-to-find household chemicals and some crystalline fructose, enterprising cooks and chemists will find the recipes simple to mix up for their hydration pak or hip flask. Of course, you're looking at an outlay of $60 or so for your first batch. But considering that the cheapest of these drinks costs $1.50 a bottle, you'll see a return on your investment in no time.

"However, when you weigh the benefits of buying and recycling a glass bottle of juice versus inflicting four 20-ounce plastic bottles of VitaminWater upon Mother Earth, you may come to the same realization that I did: It's no longer your call to make, is it?"


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