Washington-based advocacy group, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, has sued Coca-Cola company and the American Beverage Association (ABA) for misleading the general public into consuming sugary drinks when they are well aware of its damaging effects on the body, AJC reports.
The advocacy group accuses both Coca-Cola and ABA for sponsoring fake scientific researches that promote the benefits of sugar intake, while also carrying out a number of marketing campaigns that suggest that consumers are to blame when they take sugary beverages without undertaking regular exercises that could offset their effects on the body.
According to the lawsuit filed on Wednesday at the federal district court in Oakland, California, Coca-Cola and ABA have connived for decades to “engage in a pattern of deception to mislead and confuse the public about the scientific consensus that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.”
The allegation added that Coca-Cola sponsored several misleading adverts to indicate that consumers are to be blamed for the rise in obesity-related chronic conditions due to lack of exercises and other physical activity, “despite the fact that they knew this explanation was not scientifically sound.”
But a spokesman for Coca-Cola, Kent Landers, discredited the accusations as banal and baseless. “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,” he said.
This is not the first time Coke is facing class action over its sugary drinks and its effect on consumers’ health. These litigations over the years forced the beverage company to adopt proactive measures which included disclosing the amount of sugar and calories in product labels, reducing or removing the amount of sugar in certain drinks, and removing claims that the company’s drinks promoted good health.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest brought the action together with the Praxis Project, a nonprofit group. Just last year, the advocacy group also filed a lawsuit against Coca-Cola’s rival Pepsico for misleading marketing campaigns over its Naked Juice drinks.