And now, for the latest in the “Coke science” debacle.
Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent has spoken up, promising more transparency and greater efforts to reduce calories and market responsibly.
It certainly makes for wonderful PR, but for a look behind the glossy sheen, see this response from Dr. Harold Goldstein, Executive Director of the California Center for Public Health Advocacy.
- “Like a cat caught with the pet canary in its mouth, the world’s largest beverage company has guilt written all over its face. With little feathers still floating all over the house, Coca-Cola wants us to believe it is filled with remorse for spending millions of dollars manipulating science, and paying-off researchers to do its bidding.”
- “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 experts 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.
- As if ripped from the “How to Mislead and Deceive” chapter in Big Tobacco’s playbook, this promise to “do better” does nothing but underscore Coke’s continued effort to maintain its image as the company that wants to “Teach the World to Sing,” rather than acknowledge that its iconic products are culprits in the worldwide, skyrocketing diabetes epidemic.”
It’s too bad this isn’t the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ response to the debacle. Instead, AND’s mind-boggling partnership with Coca-Cola continues. Expect to see the usual large Coca-Cola booth at the Academy’s conference this Fall, complete with all sorts of handouts and pamphlets touting the soda’s giant “health and wellness” messages. Unfortunate.