Lawsuit Against Coca-Cola Sets Dangerous Precedent For Food And Beverage Companies
Jan 31, 2017 06:49 PM EST
Time to fix that bad habit as your all-time favorite carbonated drink is dangerous to your health or at least what the lawsuit claims it to be. Coca-Cola and American Beverage Association (ABA) find themselves under litigation after a nonprofit organization accused them of misleading consumers that Coke is not bad for the health. The implications are huge and chances are Coca-Cola will be setting a precedent that could affect not only the soda industry but as well as processed food manufacturers that are deemed unhealthy.
The complaint was filed by Praxis Project arguing that Coca-Cola colluded with ABA to confuse people about the science linking sugary drinks with obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, Business Insider reported. The group contended that Coke made a fake news campaign in which they claimed that the illnesses are brought by a lack of exercise and consumers can balance their intake of soda as part of an overall dietary regime of health. The nonprofit cited a past lawsuit, filed by lawyers against tobacco companies, as a reference to the soda giant's actions.
During the 1950s, tobacco companies denied the link between cigarettes and cancer amidst allegations that the illness was due to consumers' consumption of cigarettes. Later, it was found that tobacco companies were actually aware of the addictive nature of tobacco. As a result, attorney generals of 46 states settled with four of the largest tobacco companies under a Master Settlement Agreement that is still effective as of writing.
The lawsuit claims that Coca-Cola target kids in its advertisements as a way "to recruit them young." The suit points out Coke's animated polar bear advertisement, which is similar to a website administered by the Center for Science in the Public Interest called The Real Bears. The website warns the dangers of soda consumption by playing off the polar bears. Due to this, similar companies and organizations are now at risk for questioning.
Noteworthy, the Grocery Manufacturers Association advocates on balancing the public's consumption of sodium intake and promotes genetically modified organisms (GMO) as safe but is against labeling products containing GMO ingredients. Similarly, Snacks Food Association promotes the same but is found to be a contributor to an unhealthy diet. Research show that snacks are used as meal replacements and kids were the driving sales of candies contributing $21 billion to the candy industry, both deemed an unhealthy diet.
While consumers are mostly responsible for what they eat and drink, the companies play an even bigger role in making sure that what they sell benefits the consumers than harming their health. There is a big possibility that should the lawsuit play against Coca-Cola, it will serve as the basis for lawyers to go against companies who fail to ensure credibility and health as a priority in their campaigns.