Blacks Sue Coca-Cola: Reparations For Surgary

William Lamar, the senior pastor at D.C.’s historic Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church has joined with another minister to sue Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association.  It is their claim that the makers of surgary drinks are deceiving people on how bad those drinks are for you.  (Maybe I should sue Cheetos?)  They are claiming that sugary drinks kill and the manufacturers are hiding how bad they are.  In what alternative universe do people think Coke or Pepsi is a health food?

 Lamar and Delman Coates, the pastor at Maryland’s Mount Ennon Baptist Church, claim soda marketing has made it more difficult for them to protect the health of their largely black, D.C.-based parishioners.

Their case is similar to another suit that was filed, and later withdrawn, by the same legal team in California last January.

The lawsuit marks a break with tradition for African American and Latino community groups who have been reliable allies of Big Soda for years in policy fights across the country — despite overwhelming evidence that the harms of drinking soda impact their communities disproportionately.

Who drinks the most soda?

The percentage of adults in each demographic who say they drank one or more regular sodas each day

Who drinks the most soda?
The percentage of adults in each demographic who say they drank one or more regular sodas each day





Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Obesity, hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and lower-extremity amputations are all far higher among people of color than among whites. These communities also drink more soda — and are exposed to more soda advertising.

“It’s become really clear to me that we’re losing more people to the sweets than to the streets,” said Coates, who said he has seen members of his congregation give their infants bottles filled with sugary drinks. “There’s a great deal of misinformation in our communities, and I think that’s largely a function of these deceptive marketing campaigns.”

In a statement, Coca-Cola dismissed the pastors’ charges and the merits of the earlier lawsuit in California, which lawyers say they withdrew to refile with the new plaintiffs.

“The allegations here are likewise legally and factually meritless, and we will vigorously defend against them,” the statement said. “The Coca-Cola Company understands that we have a role to play in helping people reduce their sugar consumption.”

This suit, much like the prior one in California, argues that the beverage industry has deceived consumers about the unique link between soda consumption and diseases such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes, using messaging tactics similar to those once deployed by tobacco companies.

H/T Washington Post

Steven Ahle

I have been the editor and writer for Red Statements and The PC Graveyard. Won the 2014 FJN Journalist of the Year Award. Author of six fiction books available on "I am a troll bridge. You can cross me but you will pay the price"

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