Behind Big Soda’s Strategies in the Soda Ban Lawsuit

Photo: flickr/vwb5

Photo: flickr/vwb5

In the courtroom battle between New York and Big Soda over the ban on large sodas, the folks who stand to lose the most are minorities, according to public health expert Marion Nestle. As she explains on her blog Food Politics, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo filed the lawsuit to fight the cap on 16-ounce-plus sodas with an assist from the American Beverage Association (ABA). 

The NYU nutrition professor writes, “I can’t think of anything more elitist, less inclusive, and more undemocratic than suing New York City over the soda cap.” She continues, “In funding this suit, the soda industry has made it clear that it will go to any lengths at any cost to protect its profitability—even to the point of dragging along with it the very groups that would most benefit from the initiative.”

The twist is that the lawsuit has received a boost from the NAACP and Hispanic Federation. The two filed “an amicus brief on behalf of the soda companies [which] argues that the soda cap discriminates against citizens and small-business owners in African-American and Hispanic communities.” Nestle says the brief leaves out how both have “received funding from soda companies.” 

This isn’t the first time the “soda industry exploited race issues and used them to divide and conquer.” It is all consistent with the history of soda companies “targeting their marketing efforts to Blacks and Hispanics,” warns Nestle. 

[via Food Politics]

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