Risky Big Business

By Dean L. Jones

Recent media reports disclose how a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) executive worked to specifically help a Coca-Cola representative to influence World Health Organization (WHO) officials to relax recommendations on processed sugar limits.  This is troubling in so many ways for any consumer finding it hard pressed to know if certain products are truly beneficial or actually harmful to health.

In March 2015, WHO published a new processed sugar guideline that specifically targeted sugary beverages, calling soda out as a primary cause for childhood obesity around the world.  The WHO recommended that consumers limit soda consumption by identifying all sweetened drinks as a primary contributor to the obesity and diabetes epidemics.

Some electronic correspondences in the form of emails between Coca-Cola and the CDC were obtained by a U.S. nonprofit consumer education group.  Essentially, a named high level director of the CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, and now a former Coca-Cola scientific and regulatory affairs leader and the founder of a food industry-funded group were discovered communicating about how to reduce the anti-sugar claims.

The CDC executive was found working to help the beverage industry cultivate political sway with the WHO, particularly with reversing and preventing the growing trend to legislate new soda taxes.  A clear conflict of interest, particularly since the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations require all traded corporations, even soda companies, regularly inform the SEC about commercial vulnerabilities.  Consequently, for the last decade Coca-Cola has been telling the SEC that rising obesity rates are the most significant threat to soda industry profits.

The obvious probability that Coca-Cola is looking for ways to keep profits up is related to how since 1998 U.S. soda sales have dropped 25%.  A one-forth lost of revenue from a signature product line no doubt is a highly concerning issue to corporate chief executives.

Major corporations that manufacture sugary-laden foods undoubtedly will enjoy a decision from the WHO to back off anti-sugar campaigns.  Whereby coming at no surprise how the identified CDC director quickly vacated the job when the media exposed them as being the link to maneuver the WHO in favor of reducing the amount of risks released about consuming processed sugar.

It is not just this case, but there is a large problem with unethical behavior by corporate executives in America.  Of which sometimes cause serious product recalls, but few are linked to bad executives.  Nonetheless, the soda industry is struggling to maintain its glory days of unlimited profits.  This relates to how Coca-Cola paid 2016 Olympic Athletes to advertise giving the impression that they drink their soda.

Unknowingly consuming products that have high health risks affects us all.  Corporate success too often comes concealed as plain old greed, even when it may deliver disease and death to its consumers.  And so, smart consumption consistently entertains the process of living SugarAlert!

Since 2007, Dean steadfastly shares his understanding on the dangers of eating processed sugar.