Monday, February 8, 2010

What Coke is Doing to Fight the Soda Tax

Fooducate has a good article summarizing the various steps taken by Coke to fight the proposed soda tax we've posted about here previously.

From the Fooducate piece, a list of several of these moves:
  1. Discrediting researchers from Yale and UCLA who linked soft drink consumption with obesity.
  2. Funding of research that showed no relationship between soft drink consumption and obesity. The researchers are or have been on the payroll of the beverage industry at one time.
  3. Contribution to Hispanic organizations. Reasoning: the soda tax will hit the poor the most. Hispanic groups are now against the tax, despite diabetes hitting Latino youths especially hard.
  4. A $10 million Ad campaign aired on prime time and playing on chords of hard working moms not needing to pay extra in these tough times.
  5. Enlisting the aid of other industries in order to thwart the tax: “The industries in our coalition realized that this is a slippery slope, that once government reaches into the grocery cart, your business could be next,” said Kevin Keane, senior vice president, public affairs, for the American Beverage Assn.
  6. A big bribe (north of $600,000) to the American Academy of Family Physicians, to be used to underwrite “educational materials to help consumers make informed decisions.”
My favorite quote from the article? "As long as companies externalize the true cost of their products, gullible consumers will choose cheap and sweet satisfaction now." The article is referencing the health costs down the road of consuming these products, but I think this is even more relevant to the issue of how cheap subsidized corn disguises the true cost of products.

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