- There is plenty of evidence to demonstrate that Coca Cola and other caffeinated, sugary drinks are bad for health; that they contribute to obesity and other metabolic problems. They are devoid of nutrition and yet high in caloric content. And yet manufacturers are not only allowed to sell them, they are permitted to use various clever marketing gimmicks, slick advertising and celebrity endorsements to sell their products. But these are far from the only allegations leveled against the soft drink giant over time.
- The chemicals contained in Coke are also thought to be harmful for the human body. Food colouring, the possible formation of formaldehyde and so on are alleged and can be serious cause for concern. (Source)
- Coke’s low calorie products such as Zero Coke and Diet Coke are promoted as healthier alternatives to regular coke. The drinks contain artificial sweeteners but over the longer run are seen to be inimical to health as well. Research has demonstrated that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame are not without their own health risks. (Source – Business Standard)
- A few years ago the controversy had erupted about pesticides contained in Coke and other such drinks. An alarmingly high concentration of pesticides was found to be present in soft drinks of several major brands, with Coca Cola’s pesticide content found to be 30 times higher than the EEC limit.
- What is also outrageous is that the drinks manufactured in the US did not contain pesticides. This socking disregard for public health safety in India indicates a callous indifference; even abuse.
- Plachimada in Kerala was also in the news for the agitation against Coke. The soft drink manufacturer was accused of creating problems for communities by creating severe water shortages. It was also alleged that Coke’s activities in the area was polluting the groundwater and soil, destroying farms by draining them and creating difficulties for agricultural activities.
- Now it is farmers in UP who are feeling the brunt of Coca Cola’s activities. Recently, farmers in areas of Uttar Pradesh surrounding the company’s factory in Mehadiganj have alleged that Coke’s activities in the area have led to the drying up of wells because of exploitation of ground water. (Source – Livemint)
- There have been agitations against Coke in many countries such as Colombia, Turkey and Guatemala and in cases human rights law suits have been initiated against the company. It is also alleged that the company is guilty of human rights and other abuses in countries such as China, Mexico and El Salvador. (Source – Killer Coke)
- Considering how cheap it is for the company to manufacture a bottle of coke and the huge amounts of profits that the company makes (much of the profits repatriated from India), the company should be directed to replenish ground water levels and to clean up the messes they leave. Desalination plants and other methods of water purification, more environmentally responsible waste management systems are some directions that Coke and other soft drink manufacturers should receive.
Image courtesy Coca Cola Facebook