Coca-Cola must surely represent the ultimate in corporate hypocrisy. It’s an addictive toxic substance which rewarded its makers with $48 billion in revenue in 2012. And while it sounds like the ultimate US enterprise success story, it’s only known positive use is as a degreaser.
Unsurprisingly, the Coca-Cola honchos believe they are entitled to waste without responsibility. With their mates Schweppes and Lion, they recently took the Northern Territory – ie the people – to court over an environmental incentive that reduced the amount of empty bottles ending up in landfill, drains or oceans.
The effect of sugar and caffeine addiction can be extreme: a thirty- year-old New Zealand mother of eight, Natasha Harris, died from drinking too much Coke, The Age reported on February 12. ‘Evidence at her inquest showed she drank up to 10 litres of “classic” Coke every day – equal to more than twice the recommended safe daily limit of caffeine,andalmostonekilogramofsugar.’ Thecoronerfoundthatshe died from cardiac arrhythmia, most likely caused from the high levels of caffeine. ‘She suffered from a myriad of medical conditions, including a racing heart and “absent teeth”, which her family says had rotted out from Coke consumption.’
Additionally, controversial artificial sweetener aspartame is found in Diet Coke and Coke Zero, as well as many other soft drinks.
Lastly, the India Resource Center has kept a spotlight on Coke’s groundwater extraction and heavy metal polluting practices that affects surrounding villages. Such as Mehdiganj in the state of Uttar Pradesh.
On March 7 the centre claimed that Coca-Cola ‘applied to the central and state government to increase its groundwater usage from the current 50,000 cubic metres annually to 250,000 cubic metres annually’.
It’s no wonder the Coke corporate record leaves a sour taste in the mouth, driving protesters to leave ‘out of order’ signs on the company’s vending machines. Sugar addiction, as with oil, is part of a diet which is making the planet sick.