“Big Soda” strikes back! Soda manufactures feel they are being unfairly targeted by “do-gooders” and health advocates who consistently produce facts that sugar-filled beverages are cleverly and deliciously adding extra calories to American’s diets.
U.S. public awareness campaigns about sugary soft drinks are under legal attack by beverage makers, which have sued New York City’s health department and hit local governments with requests for documents on the science behind the initiatives.
Efforts to deter consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and fatty foods have gained favor in the United States as skyrocketing obesity rates drive up healthcare costs.
According to Reuters, the soda industry, which says it is defending its products from “baseless” attacks, and its attorneys have filed at least six document requests with public agencies from California to New York. Anti-obesity advocates say the requests — which can take hundreds of staff hours for cash-strapped governments to satisfy — come from the tobacco industry’s playbook.
“It is, in our opinion, an effort to overwhelm or smother government employees, who already have too much to do,” said Ian McLaughlin, an attorney at the National Policy & Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity in Oakland, California.
This news comes after the corn industry is reporting lows on yields for the first time in over six years. Companies are feeling the strain on higher fuel prices that is driving a global demand for America’s cheap cash crop.
Earlier this month, the American Beverage Association sued New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which has been at the forefront of education efforts in the fight against obesity. The ABA says the city improperly withheld documents it sought through the Freedom of Information Act.