It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why the NAACP and the Hispanic Federation came out in opposition Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s ban on giant sodas and against the public health interests of their own communities.
The rule, scheduled to take effect in March, bans retail outlets from selling high sugar drinks in containers bigger than 16 ounces.
The liquid candy industry trade association — also known as the American Beverage Association — has sued to stop the rule.
The NAACP and the Hispanic Federation say that the rule will “harm freedom of choice in low income communities.”
The Associated Press ran a story this morning about the NAACP and Hispanic Federation position under the headline “Foes of NYC Soda Limit Doubt Racial Fairness.”
What wasn’t mentioned in the AP report is the close ties between the NAACP and Hispanic Federation and the liquid candy industry.
Coca-Cola is a major donor to the NAACP and their branches.
And just last year, Lillian Rodriguez Lopez, the President of the Hispanic Federation for seven years, left the organization to join Coca-Cola.
The NAACP and Hispanic Federation positions are in direct conflict with public health groups who have supported Mayor Bloomberg’s rule.
“Sugary drinks are the only food or beverage that have been directly linked to obesity and are the single largest contributors of calories to the American diet, as well as a leading source of added sugars,” the Center for Science in the Public Interest said in a petition in support of the rule. “The limitation will help cut down on some soda consumption and slow the expansion of New Yorkers’ waistlines.”
“The Mayor’s leadership on the soda issue provides a good model for other jurisdictions to follow, because overweight and obesity have become commonplace throughout America, mirroring the growth of soda serving sizes over the past five decades. More than two-thirds of adults and one in three children are overweight or obese in this country. While Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal may not alone solve our obesity problem, it is a step in the right direction.”
The Center’s executive director, Michael Jacobson, told Corporate Crime Reporter that “it is sad that disease-promoting companies can influence civic groups by giving them donations.”
“Tnose groups should be most concerned about the health and welfare of their constituents,” Jacobson said.