Coca Cola Research Funding

coke-vintageCoca Cola has spent a huge amount in research in the last five years. The result appears to be that the sugar in Coca Cola isn’t bad for you. This would be just an insane joke were it not for the fact that many will believe these “paid for” results and guzzle untold quantities of soda to their direct and unequivocal detriment.

The New York Times started this by running an “exposé” on Coca Cola research funding titled “Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets,” which can be perused here. One claim in the New Your Times article was

“To help the scientists get the word out, Coke has provided financial and logistical support to a new nonprofit organization called the Global Energy Balance Network, which promotes the argument that weight-conscious Americans are overly fixated on how much they eat and drink while not paying enough attention to exercise.”

So, the grand conclusion reached by Coke’s “NGO” was that sugar was not the problem. The problem was that people weren’t exercising enough. What a very convenient result. According to the article, Coke ponied up $1.5 million for the Global Energy Balance Network.

BUT there’s more. Since the New York Times made it look like Coca Cola was being sneaky, Coca Cola decided to be upfront and disclose the mount of money they actually are spending on “research.” That $1.5 million for the NGO wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg. Over the last five years, Coke has spent over $120 million in a variety of areas, some of them quite shocking. For instance, from the Wall Street Journal, we have:

  • Louisiana State University – $7 million
  • University of South Carolina – $6 million
  • University of Alabama – $1.5 million
  • Emory University – $2 million
  • American Academy of Family Physicians – $3 million
  • American Cancer Society – $1.8 million
  • Read the Wall Street Journal article here.

Now this is a travesty. What could Coke possible want from all these these researchers? The company makes pretty talk about wanting to improve America’s health. Anybody that believes this please contact us, as we have a very nice bridge for sale in New York City you might be interested in.

However, it is perhaps not too surprising that Coke would do “whatever it takes” to prove their product wasn’t harming America’s health. This is a tall order, since it is 100% crystal clear that excess glucose (from sugar and starch) is by far the primary cause of the degenerative disease epidemic we find ourselves in.

Still, you can’t blame them for trying. Their allegiance is to their shareholders. That’s how corporations are. They aren’t inherently altruistic. We wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. The day may come where they are called on the carpet for promoting sugar use even though they were well aware of the health consequences. The tobacco industry has set the pattern for this.

We do blame the scientists that collected the $120 million over that five year period though. Were they unbiased in their research? No doubt many of them were. Were those that found sugar harmful treated to additional funding? We can likely guess that answer.

However, to all you other  “scientists” that were willing to throw America’s health under the bus for a few bucks, we cannot find anything to say that we can print here. If your funding dries up, there’s always the possibility of studying the benefits of smoking or the wonders of air pollution. Good luck.

It is amazing the power that big companies can exert.

PS After thought: if sugar isn’t so bad why are there all of those diet/low-sugar coke varieties?

PPS Isn’t Coca Cola part of a ‘balanced’ Vegan diet?

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