Petition Closed
Petitioning President and Chief Executive Officer, Coca-Cola Refreshments Steve Cahillane and 5 others

Coca-Cola: Stop Promoting Coke as 'Wholesome'


Coca-Cola would have us believe that feeding children sugar, artificial flavours, colours & sweeteners is part of a 'balanced' diet. That's what they will be teaching US Registered Dieticians in their accredited course. Would you like to say something to Coca-Cola about that? 

Coca-Cola is educating Registered Dieticians to promote their beverage as 'wholesome' and free of 'harmful ingredients' despite scientific evidence to the contrary which shows that Coca-Cola has the potential to diminish health and well-being. Check out the video above and the links in the text below to see how Coca-Cola can impact health.

 

Letter to
President and Chief Executive Officer, Coca-Cola Refreshments Steve Cahillane
Chief Marketing and Commercial Officer, Coca Cola Company Joseph V Tripodi
Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President, Coca-Cola Company Gary P Fayard
and 3 others
Chief Product and Quality Integrity Officer, Coca-Cola Company Carla Ooton
Chairman, CEO, President and Chairman of Executive Committee, Coca-Cola Company Muhtar Kent
Senior VP, Integrated Marketing Communications and Capabilities, Coca-Cola Company Wendy Clarke
Stop Promoting Coca-Cola as 'Wholesome'

As a manufacturer of consumer goods in the United States of America, you have the right to manufacture and market your product. However, when marketing strategies are built upon a platform of untruths which can lead to people endangering their quality of life, we believe you have a responsibility to halt said strategies. Of particular concern here is the dissemination of erroneous information propagated by your Registered Dietician accredited course “Children's Dietary Recommendations: When Urban Myths, Opinions, Parental Perceptions & Evidence Collide”. http://www.beverageinstitute.org/en_US/pages/webinar-childrensdietary-cpe.html .

You are a beverage manufacturer that produces a variety of products, some of which contain ingredients that have been scientifically proven to be harmful when consumed by humans. For Coca-Cola to educate dietitians who will be ‘educating and guiding’ medically-compromised people, is for your company to commit a flawed, un-objective and unethical tampering with the truth that can potentially cause degradation of quality of life for people who have been taught that coke is a ‘wholesome’ beverage.

We ask that you halt this program and stop referring to Coca-Cola as ‘wholesome’ in any other marketing or customer-relations context.

It is very sad that an institution of learning would compromise the accreditation of a medically based program with this type of propaganda. What does the university hope to gain and how does it expect the public to respond? Many of the so-called ‘myths’ that this course hopes to ‘dispel’, are in fact common knowledge and are based in science. The company and university must ignore a large body of evidence in order to allow this course to proceed. They must also assume that the general public is ignorant. Not a good position to take if you wish to endear your products to a larger populous. They would be better off accepting the fact that their products contribute to disease and focus on how much ‘fun’ people are having while risking their health.

Here are just a few of the studies on soda beverages and their effect on health:

Soda consumption and its link to obesity in California.
Babey SH, Jones M, Yu H, Goldstein H.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19768858

Sugar-sweetened beverages, serum uric acid, and blood pressure in adolescents.
Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19375714

Sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer in two prospective cohorts.
Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16172216

Girls' early sweetened carbonated beverage intake predicts different patterns of beverage and nutrient intake across childhood and adolescence.
The Center for Childhood Obesity Research, 129 Noll Laboratory, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20338280

Low to moderate sugar-sweetened beverage consumption impairs glucose and lipid metabolism and promotes inflammation in healthy young men: a randomized controlled trial.
Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Clinical Nutrition, University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21677052

Diet soda intake and risk of incident metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).
Division of Epidemiology, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Houston, Texas, USA.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19151203

Let us review just a few of the studies of various ingredients in Coca-Cola products:

Sugar:

Potential role of sugar transporters in cancer and their relationship with anticancer therapy.
Biomedical Research Institute, A Coruña University Hospital, As Xubias 84, 15006 A Coruña, Spain.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20706540

Saccharin And Sugar Found More Addictive Than Cocaine
University Bordeaux 2, Université Bordeaux 1, CNRS, UMR 5227, Bordeaux, France.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17668074

Artificial Sweeteners:

Artificial sweetener consumption and urinary tract tumors in Cordoba, Argentina.
Escuela de Nutrición, Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, Argentina.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18495230

Increasing brain tumor rates: is there a link to aspartame?
Department of Psychiatry, Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8939194

Associations of sugar and artificially sweetened soda with albuminuria and kidney function decline in women.
Channing Laboratory, Renal Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20884773

Consumption of artificial sweetener- and sugar-containing soda and risk of lymphoma and leukemia in men and women.
Channing Division of Network Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23097267

Diet soda intake and risk of incident metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes in the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA).
Division of Epidemiology, University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Houston, Texas, USA.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19151203

Relief of fibromyalgia symptoms following discontinuation of dietary excitotoxins including aspartate.
Malcolm Randall Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Gainesville, FL, USA.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11408989

Artificial Food Colouring:

Artificial food colouring is associated with neurobehavioral toxicity in children with hyperactive syndromes.
Columbia University, Department of Psychiatry & The New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York 10032, USA.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15613992

Foods and additives are common causes of the attention deficit hyperactive disorder in children.
North Shore Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, Manhasset, New York.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8179235

Brominated Vegetable Oil:

Chronic consumption of brominated vegetable oils causes a significant increase of triglyceride and cholesterol content in both heart and liver.
Facultad de Bioquímica y Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Santa Fe, Argentina.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1342177

Behavioral and reproductive effects of chronic developmental exposure to brominated vegetable oil in rats.
Vorhees CV, Butcher RE, Wootten V, Brunner RL.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6665731

You recently sent out the following response to a consumer inquiry:

“Please be assured that Coca-Cola brand soft drinks do not contain any harmful substances. All Coca-Cola brand products are wholesome beverages manufactured in compliance with the federal law governing food safety and labeling, the laws of all the states, and the laws of over 200 countries throughout the world where they are sold.”

This is beyond incredulous. Stop the propagation of untruths that may cause further damage to people’s health and well-being through your marketing and customer-relations. Stop promoting Coca-Cola as a ‘wholesome’ beverage free of ‘harmful substances’ by halting your Registered Dietician accredited course “Children's Dietary Recommendations: When Urban Myths, Opinions, Parental Perceptions & Evidence Collide”.