Ever since former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg failed in 2014 to implement a city-wide ban on large and extra-large soft drink sizes, the national spotlight has been on soda companies, thanks to the progressives. And the nation’s thought police have targeted soda companies in what appears to be a witch-hunt to tax and regulate the nearly 80 billion dollar soft-drink industry.
Take, for example, California. The state wanted to force soda companies to place warning labels on soda, just like the federal government did to cigarettes. And we know how that went. It resulted in a windfall of taxes pouring into the federal coffers that continue even to this day.
Critics contend the consumption of soda pop leads to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. And they may be right. But that hasn’t stopped the soda industry from fighting back in the court of public perception. And one of the ways they’re doing so is by funding health groups and organizations. That seems hypocritical to researchers who sought to uncover Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s philanthropic contributions.
Daniel Aaaron and Michael Siegel looked into what they titled “Sponsorship of National Health Organizations by Two Major Soda Companies.” Their study, published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, concluded the drink companies had contributed to, “96 national health organizations, including many medical and public health institutions whose specific missions include fighting the obesity epidemic.” They also noted that during the time their study was being conducted, the companies, “lobbied against 29 public health bills intended to reduce soda consumption or improve nutrition.”
Because the drink companies lobbied against Uncle Sam’s attempts to regulate their industry, the researchers questioned the soda companies’, “sincere commitment to improving the public’s health.” But the researchers, who are not supposed to display bias, also had harsh criticism for the organizations accepting Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s contributions. They wrote, “By accepting funding from these companies, health organizations are inadvertently participating in their marketing plans.”
So who are some of the 96 medical, and public health organizations receiving money from Big Soda? Time looked into it and found, “The groups accepting sponsorships included the American Diabetes Association, the National Institutes of Health, the American Red Cross, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and many more.”
Going further, and describing the effectiveness of large contributions to the organizations, Aaron and Siegel discovered, “that in 2010, Save the Children, a group that advocated for soda taxes, dropped the cause after they received more than $5 million from Coca-Cola and PepsiCo in 2009. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which also received soda industry funding, issued a statement declining support for New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed limit on soda portions, arguing nutrition education should be emphasized.”
But the American Beverage Association fired back against the latest research uncovering their cozy relationship with health groups. In a statement of their own, denying culpability in muddying the waters between soda consumption and public health initiatives (which would most assuredly entailed heavy taxation and regulation) they wrote;
America’s beverage companies are engaged in public health issues because we, too, want a strong, healthy America. We have a long tradition of supporting community organizations across the country. As this report points out, some of these organizations focus on strengthening public health, which we are proud to support.
We are making a difference through the voluntary actions we are taking to reduce calories and sugar from beverage consumption—and by working together as competitors. Through our efforts, we’ve engaged with prominent public health groups on how best to help people moderate their calories in what is the single-largest voluntary effort by any industry to address obesity.
Yes, we may disagree with some in the public health community on discriminatory and regressive taxes and policies on our products. But, we believe our actions in communities and the marketplace are contributing to addressing the complex challenge of obesity. We stand strongly for our need, and right, to partner with organizations that strengthen our communities.”
As free thinkers, it’s important to focus in on the bigger picture. There may be no better example of the intersection of public health, big government (and bigger taxes), and capitalism, than the soft drink industry. The fact is the progressives want to control our lives, not only how we think about soda, but they want to tax the hell out of it, and tell us how much we can drink at any one time. And they want to paint the soda company as being part of the problem by strategically using their millions in charitable donations to improve their bottom line, thus providing an impetus for taxing the hell out of the 80 billion dollar soda industry. Those taxes, almost assuredly, wouldn’t all go to bettering your child’s PE or school lunch programs, which tastes like you know what already.
Imagine if the progressives had been successful. There would be a warning label on soda cans, soda bottles, and fountain drink Styrofoam, all of which would not be any larger than 16 ounces. And God forbid the 2-liter containers! The nearly psychopathic obsession with portion sizes runs afoul with the fact that soda consumption is purely voluntary.
And if you think drinking a diet soda is better for you, think again. A 2014 study concluded the consumption of diet drinks jacks up the guts opti-flora or the digestive system’s natural bacteria and can lead to diabetes. So, once again, life lived in moderation may be the best defense against many of life’s illnesses. And a conscientious avoidance of “high fructose corn syrup” in sodas might be your best bet, as some have concluded, the substance seems to be far worse for you than natural sugar.
But if you’re looking for a rabbit hole to go down into, researchers studying obesity have long used monosodium glutamate (MSG) to induce obesity in rats. Yep! The same MSG found in most good ole Chinese food might be what’s making our nation’s kids so fat. And while it’s rumored that Coca-cola places the flavor enhancer in their drinks. There’s absolutely no truth to the myth. Cheers mate!
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