April 10, 2020

Standing up to the soda industry

Corporate Accountability staff and allies call out Coke’s abuses at its annual shareholders’ meeting.

Spreading junk science to muddle the conversation. Unduly influencing government bodies. Dumping millions into elections to influence the outcome. It’s a familiar playbook that Big Tobacco pioneered, but is now commonly used by massive corporations from the fossil fuel industry to the food and beverage industry.

Take, for example, the fact that Coca-Cola has been funding a shady industry front group known as the International Life Sciences Institute or ILSI. With branches across the world, ILSI peddles junk science and political influence for its corporate benefactors, casting doubts on the validity of public health recommendations and meddling in democratic institutions globally.

That’s why we’re prepping for the Coke shareholders’ meeting in just a few weeks, where we’ll expose these ties and demand that the company stop funding this kind of institution to influence policymaking.

Corporations use their annual shareholders’ meetings to paint a rosy picture of their business practices while masking the abuses that happen behind the scenes. That’s what makes these gatherings the perfect time for us to confront corporate executives, board members, and shareholders with the harmful effects of their corporations’ actions.

Every year, we show up to these meetings and expose the truth behind corporate spin. And with the world in such an uncertain position right now, we also wanted to take a moment to let you know that we’ve been keeping a close eye on whether or not these shareholders’ meetings will be moved online instead. Now that we know that the Coke shareholders’ meeting will be held virtually this year, we’re committed to using additional tactics to organize against one of the most powerful entities on the planet and hold it accountable for its harmful practices.

But in order to pull this off, we need you with us. Will you donate now to ensure we have the resources we need to go toe-to-toe with Coca-Cola at their annual shareholders’ meeting?

The soda industry has spent millions of dollars to help elect industry-friendly politicians and distort science. It’s seeking to block the rising tide of public health policies around the world, like soda taxes, which are aimed at reducing the negative health impact of sugary beverages. And it has attempted to intimidate our allies into silence.1

That’s why it’s so important for us to participate in the shareholders’ meeting at the end of this month, and call out Coke and the industry lobby groups it has been funding in front of hundreds of shareholders, executives, and the media. And we need you standing by our side.

Speaking truth to power at shareholders’ meetings — whether in person or online — is just one of the many ways we rein in corporate power. And we couldn’t do it without your support. So will you have our back this April and stand up against the soda industry with us?

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