Coca-Cola has been having a rough time. The company owns Honest Tea, Odwalla, Powerade, Vitamin Water, Simply Orange, and other products marketed to health-conscious consumers. But it is best known for making Coke, a product that is utterly devoid of nutritional value and is often blamed for contributing to the obesity epidemic — an epidemic that is costing hundreds of billions of dollars and causing hundreds of thousands of deaths each year.
With demand for the company’s carbonated and artificially flavored sugar waterdeclining, hope for Coca-Cola’s profitability has been increasingly resting on the brands it markets as healthier alternatives. Bloomberg.com reports that sales of Coca-Cola-owned brands like Honest Tea, Powerade, and Simply Orange are the company’s new profit center.
But there’s a problem.
In October, campaign finance reports revealed that Coca-Cola had secretly contributed more than a million dollars to the fight against GMO labeling in Washington. It took the state’s Attorney General suing the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association (GMA) for what turned out to be an $11 million violation of the state’s campaign finance laws to reveal these secret contributions. But now that the truth has been exposed, some healthy food activists are fighting back.
Andrew Kimbrell, founder of the Center for Food Safety, comments:
Consumers of healthy beverages want to know what’s in their food. By using money from sales of natural brands to secretly fund an anti-choice agenda that deprives consumers of the right to know what they’re eating, Coca-Cola has been betraying the public interest and standing on the wrong side of history.
We at the Food Revolution Network agree. And we have launched a petition on Change.org that calls for Coca-Cola to stop funding anti GMO labeling campaigns.