Coca-Cola Emails Reveal How Soda Industry Tries to Influence Health Officials

Print Email Share Tweet

Paige Winfield Cunningham, Washington Post, January 29, 2019

Six miles lie between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Coca-Cola’s headquarters in downtown Atlanta. But more than just geographical proximity is fueling concerns that the soda giant is exerting undue influence over the federal agency that’s supposed to protect the health of Americans.

Emails sent between Coca-Cola employees and top CDC officials from 2011 to 2015 show the corporation tried to use its influence with the agency to push the World Health Organization to emphasize exercise over diet as the solution to the obesity epidemic, per a report published today in the health policy journal Milbank Quarterly.

It’s not the first time public health advocates have drawn attention to ties between Coca-Cola and public health agencies (check out this and this). But the exchanges provide fresh evidence of the ways the food industry — in this case, the world’s leading producer of sugar-sweetened beverages — seeks to direct public policy in its favor, often in ways that run contrary to science.

View Article