Coca-Cola started 2017 off with a bang, by getting sued. A lawsuit was filed on January 4th in California’s federal court that alleges Coca-Cola and its trade group, the American Beverage Association has been misleading the public about sugar-sweetened beverages.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest filed the lawsuit and has alleged that Big Soda used industry-funded reports and advertisements to shift blame for health troubles off its products and onto consumers’ exercise habits.
In a statement, the group said, “Coca-Cola and the ABA are misleading consumers about the health risks posed by sugar drinks, and claiming that there is no science linking sugar-sweetened beverages to obesity and related diseases. The campaign also led consumers to believe that all calories are the same, when science indicates that sugar drinks play a distinct role in the obesity epidemic.”
A spokesman from Coca-Cola characterized the lawsuit as “legally and factually meritless” in a statement to Quartz, “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.”
Disclaimer: We have no position in The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) and have not been compensated for this article.