ATLANTA — A lawsuit filed on behalf of the nonprofit profit group Praxis Project in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California claims Coca-Cola and trade organization the American Beverage Association are “deceiving consumers about the harms of consuming Coke and other sugar-sweetened beverages.”
The suit alleges Coca-Cola and the ABA are engaged in an unlawful campaign of deception to mislead and confuse the public about the science linking the consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks to obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. The 40-page complaint further alleges the Coca-Cola-ABA campaign led consumers to believe all calories are the same, when science indicates sugar drinks play a “distinct role” in the obesity epidemic.
Coca-Cola issued a statement vehemently opposing the claims put forth in the lawsuit.
“This lawsuit is legally and factually meritless,” Coca-Cola stated on its website. “We take our consumers and their health very seriously and have been on a journey to become a more credible and helpful partner in helping consumers manage their sugar consumption. To that end, we have led the industry adopting clear, front-of-pack calorie labeling for all our beverages. We are innovating to expand low- and no-calorie products; offering and promoting more drinks in smaller sizes; reformulating products to reduce added sugars; transparently disclosing our funding of health and well-being scientific research and partnerships; and do not advertise to children under 12. We will continue to listen and learn from the public health community and remain committed to playing a meaningful role in the fight against obesity.”