Belching Out the Devil

Belching Out the Devil

New exposé of Coca-Cola that you probably won’t hear much about. Coca-Cola spent approximately $450,708,000 on advertising in the U.S. last year, that buys a lot of silence in the struggling corporate media

The company, Thomas contends, looked the other way as some bottlers in Colombia and elsewhere intimidated and attacked union organizers, who “walk with a gravestone” on their backs. Pressured to audit Colombian plants in 2005, Coke helpfully noted a substandard number of fire extinguishers at one, but didn’t address the charges.

Coke often doesn’t make its own Coke. It relies on a vast web of subcontractors, bottlers and distributors. Most have loose or no ties to the company, and are in countries where workplace laws are underdeveloped at best.

In India, Coke drained water from local villages but gave them fertilizer in return—which contained lead and toxins, according to a BBC investigation. A leading British poisons expert warned of “devastating consequences” for the local population, but Coke called the fertilizer “absolutely safe.”

The concentrate for 70 percent of Coca-Cola’s 1.5 billion drinks served each day originates in the tax haven of Ireland, where enough concentrate for 50,000 Cokes costs $2.60—including labor. The concentrate’s main ingredient? Caramel.

[From We Read It: Mark Thomas’s ‘Belching Out the Devil’ | Newsweek Books |]

Coke Truck

The Amazon review:

Coca-Cola and its logo are everywhere. In our homes, our workplaces, and even our schools. It is a company that sponsors the Olympics, backs US presidents and even re-brands Santa Claus. A truly universal product, it has even been served in space. From Istanbul to Mexico City, Mark travels the globe investigating the stories and people Coca-Cola’s iconic advertising campaigns don’t mention such as: child labourers in the sugar cane fields of El Salvador; Indian workers exposed to toxic chemicals; Colombian union leaders falsely accused of terrorism and jailed alongside the paramilitaries who want to kill them; and, many more. Provocative, funny and stirring, “Belching Out the Devil” investigates the truth behind one of the planet’s biggest brand

I haven’t had a coke in many, many years: no need to consumer high-fructose corn syrup unless absolutely necessary.

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