We recently told you about Coca-Cola Australia’s plans to unveil a “transparency campaign,” along the lines of what the soda giant did here in the United States after a New York Times exposé disemboweled the Coca-Cola funded front group Global Energy Balance Network.
The full list of Coca-Cola’s partnership and research funds has been unveiled.
Today’s Sydney Morning Herald has additional details.
- “Over five years Coke, or its foundation, has spent $1.72 million funding research relating to “nutrition and health or to physical activity” and “well-being programs”. Organizations receiving money from Coke include the University of Sydney, Nutrition Society of Australia, Ted Noffs Foundation, Bicycle Network, Sports Medicine Australia, University of Queensland, David Wirrpanda Foundation, police citizen youth clubs, Australian Paralympic Committee and the Australian Circus and Physical Theatre Association.”
- “Unless directly related to health, the list does not include donations to Indigenous organizations, such as the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience, or to environmental organizations, such as WWF and Landcare, which all receive funding from Coke.”
- “$375,540 listed as going to the University of Sydney for a workplace health program for Coke employees went to the Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders.”
- “Professor Steve Simpson, academic director of the Charles Perkins Centre, said: “This health program was accepted as a contract for services prior to the establishment of the Charles Perkins Centre, when the Boden Institute existed as a standalone body. The Charles Perkins Centre has never accepted funding for research from Coca Cola, and maintains strict guidelines for engagement with industry to protect the integrity of the centre’s core mission to improve public health.” (DFPI ADDS: Note how this academic director acknowledges the need for *strict* guidelines to protect integrity and improve public health).
Over on Australia’s ABC network, Professor Tim Olds from the University of South Australia — who received $400,000 from Coca-Cola for an international child obesity study — had this to say about conflict of interest concerns:
“I think frankly this is an example of old-style, superannuated chardonnay socialism. I think it’s very old-fashioned, I think it hasn’t come to terms with the modern world. We’re not going to have a world in which there’s no private sector funding of public sector research.”
A strawman argument, a tone-deaf response (if anything, it’s “old-school” to stubbornly hold on to the status quo of working with industry), and dismisiveness of legitimate concerns all in one!