Coca-Cola Tried to Influence CDC on Research and Policy, New Report States

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Jesse Chase-Lubitz, Politico, January 29, 2019

The Coca-Cola Company tried to influence the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on diet and obesity issues by encouraging the agency to shift attention and blame away from sugar-sweetened beverages, according to a new report.

The study, which was based on email correspondence between Coca-Cola and the CDC that were obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests, describes a series of efforts by Coca-Cola to gain access to CDC staff members, build relationships and influence policy on nutrition and artificial sweeteners.

“It’s a fascinating form of lobbying,” said Gary Ruskin, one of the researchers at U.S. Right to Know, the nonprofit consumer and research group that conducted the study. The report was published in the Milbank Quarterly, a peer-reviewed health care journal.

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