Friday, July 23, 2010

Coke & Pepsi Infiltrate Health & Medicine

By Ed Bruske
aka The Slow Cook

The announcement this week about Sodexo paying $20 million to New York State to settle fraud claims involving rebates in school food should sound alarm bells across the country about the corporate influence in our kids' health. But we've barely scratched the surface with rebates and how they influence school food, and rebates are just the tip of the iceberg.

Elsewhere it's being reported that Coca-Cola has become a money-paying sponsor of the American Academy of Family Physicians. Belatedly, the doctors are now debating whether embracing Coca-Cola and its messaging about how soft drinks fit into a healthy lifestyle is a good thing.

Meanwhile, the CEO of PepsiCo somehow managed to get two full pages in the annual report of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to air her "personal perspective." The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is one of the country's largest funders of health initiatives.

Pepsi was busy on the university front as well. The Yale School of Medicine has embraced Pepsi as the funder of a research lab and a fellowship.

Corporations already pretty much rule over Congress. Should we be at all alarmed that they are now insinuating themselves everywhere in the non-profit world as well?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for posting about these very important issues. Coke and Pepsi are doing what the tobacco companies have also done--attempting to cover their tracks by giving huge money to philanthropies. Coke and Pepsi "own" many of our universities also. But do these contributions cancel out the harmfulness of their products? No. The money they give has been used for good things in some cases, but we are now paying the price with the health of our children and our entire society.