Hillary and Michelle Intimately Tied Sugar & Soda Industry
Lives are at stake, the health and future of children hang in the balance in this Presidential election
Walt Disney World recently tried to copy the sugar and soda industries’ marketing methodology, but ended up running for cover last year when the the Global Energy Balance Network was outed as a Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) funded front group aimed at deceiving the public about nutrition.
Disneyhired James Hill, PhD., a professor at the University of Colorado medical school and the President of the Global Energy Balance Network, to conduct a study of children’s meals served at Disney World.
As reported by STAT News this past April: “The Walt Disney Company urged an academic journal to withdraw a nutritional study of children’s meals at Disney World last Fall, a study it had funded due to a public backlash over corporate involvement in scientific research … Disney … feared being publicly associated with one of its main authors, James Hill,Ph.D. … whose work last Summer drew an outcry among scientists who felt his project, funded by Coca-Cola, played down the impact of sugary drinks in obesity …
e-Mails obtained by STAT show that Disney asked Dr. Hill and a coauthor to withdraw the meal study, a step that many researchers considered a breach of ethics.
In one e-Mail, Dr. Hill told Disney an editor at the Journal had advised him that ‘we risk some real negative PR if anyone found out that Disney was even trying to influence publication.’
The company relented, but was later offered an opportunity by the authors to tailor the Press Release about the study’s findings.
That, too, was very unusual.
The e-Mails a rare open look on the intimate tie-up between researchers and a corporate sponsor. They also mark what experts described as an unusual degree of corporate involvement in an academic study.
‘The authors should follow the science, and Disney should not be influencing either how they do the study, how they report the study, or whether they report the study,’ said George Annas, a Boston University professor of Law and Medicine …”
Coca-Cola has close ties to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation
Wikileaks recently released a trove of hacked correspondence, and in that lot is evidence showing just how intimate a relationship Coca-Cola has with US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s camp.
Earlier this year Hillary Clinton endorsed Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s proposal for a soda tax to help pay for universal preschool.
Mrs. Clinton’s public endorsement sent Coca-Cola executives into damage control, and for that, they turned to 2 Key Clinton representatives:
“Coca-Cola executive Clyde Tuggle e-Mailed to 2 Clinton associates, Capricia Marshall and Sara Latham … writing: ‘Really??? After all we have done. I hope this has been falsely reported’ … The ensuing email correspondence between Coca-Cola officials and campaign insiders reveals the deep connections the soda giant enjoys in Hillary-land at multiple levels, which the company leaned on to urge Clinton to walk back her support for soda taxes last April.”
As noted: “If there is any doubt that Coca-Cola’s generous donations come with strings attached, Mr. Tuggle’s e-Mail should erase all of or it. When Coke opens its coffers, it expects reciprocity.”
At the end of the day, Coca-Cola’s insiders staved off yet another threat, assuring the company that taxing soda was not actually part of Mrs. Clinton’s policy agenda, and that she would not pursue the matter any further. Indeed, ever since then, Mrs. Clinton has been “mum: on the issue of soda taxes.
1st lady Michelle Obama’s Organic food campaign was undermined and turned into an anti-obesity campaign focused on exercise with little to not attention given to diet, and here we see evidence suggesting the junk food industry is directing Mrs. Clinton in a very similar manner.
Hillary Clinton has a long history with Coca-Cola, with the Clinton Foundation having received upwards of $10-M from the company. Coca-Cola marketing executive Wendy Clark also took a 4-month sabbatical from her corporate position to aid Mrs. Clinton’s campaign.
What the leaked e-Mails reveal are the undisclosed ties and behind-the-scenes coordination occurring between the 2 parties.
Correspondence leaked by Wikileaks also shows Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent was on Mrs. Clintone list as a potential running mate.
Think of the influence the sugar and soda industries would have with a Coca-Cola CEO as Vice President of the US, wild!
As reported by Newsweek: “This round of leaked emails from campaign Chairman Podesta contains a lengthy list of ‘first cut’ picks compiled by Podesta and other top Clinton advisers … Among the business leaders considered by the Clinton camp Gates’s wife, Melinda Gates … Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors; Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox; Muhtar Kent, CEO of Coca-Cola … Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks …”
The leaked e-Mails show that Ms. Marshall, who holds a high level post in Hillary Clinton’s Presidential campaign, has also been simultaneously working for Coca-Cola’s communications team, billing them $7,000 per month for “strategic consulting and marketing work.”
Ms. Marshall’s relationship with Mrs. Clinton and the White House goes back a long way.
Between Y’s 1993 and 1997, she served as Mrs. Clinton’s Special Assistant, after which she became White House Social Secretary, a post she held until Y 2001. Ms. Marshall has also served as Chief of Protocol at the US State Department.
Chief of Staff to the Chairman of Hillary for America, Sara Latham, also has deep ties to Coke, having worked with the company through her Latham Group firm, which she founded in Y 2006, until August 2015.
She too has held a variety of high-level political positions through her career, including special assistant to White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, deputy assistant to the President and deputy director of Presidential scheduling.
A 3rd person of interest is Robert C. Fisher, as e-Mails from July 2015 were sent between a long list of Coca-Cola executives and employees and two “outsiders:” the aforementioned Latham and Fisher.
Those e-Mails were in reference to a citizen’s petition created by the consumer group US Right to Know (US RTK), asking the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue warning letters to Coca-Cola and Pepsi, concluding that the beverages are mis-branded because the use of the term “diet” is false and misleading.
Ms. Latham’s ties to Coke has already been explained, but who is Mr. Fisher, why does he matter?
Robert C. Fisher is Managing Director of Hills & Company, an international consultant firm established by Carla A. Hills in 1993, 4 years prior, in Y 1989, Mrs. Hills was nominated to be the new US trade representative.
Her nomination was criticized as creating a potential conflict of interest for the Bush Administration, as her husband, Roderick Hills, was an international trade consultant.
Bloomberg in a Y 1994 article on power couples and the conflicts of interest married couples can create in each other’s careers, noted: “Given the potential for conflicts, she promised at her Senate confirmation hearing that the USTR’s general counsel would oversee her husband’s business activities. Roderick also resigned from the bank and boards, and the couple took a big hit when forced to sell a large stock portfolio. ‘The rules were too harsh,’ says Carla Hills.”
While working as a US trade representative, Mrs.Hills was a lead US negotiator for the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
She now serves on the international board of J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM). Mr. Hill is also a former Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
This is the power couple Mr. Fisher represents as managing director of Hill & Company, and the fact that Mr. Fisher is included in these Coca-Cola e-Mails indicated the level of political influence the company has at its disposal.
The e-Mails leaked by Wikileaks also reveal the extent to which Coca-Cola is fighting, or preparing to fight, legislation that protects human health and/or the environment.
As reported by Medium.com: “A recent leak of Coca-Cola’s executive e-Mails uncovered the February and March 2016 lobbying priorities for Coca-Cola Europe. The soda company categorizes its priorities into three buckets: ‘Fight Back,’ ‘Prepare’ or ‘Monitor’ based on a policy’s impact on their sales and its likelihood to pass …
Coke does not deserve public health’s trust. They are fighting against protecting kids from soda advertising, nutrition labeling, labeling BPA, packaging regulation, restricting plastic usage, soda taxes and paying for the environmental impact of its products. Sounds like an unhealthy agenda.”
In related news, Scientific American recently took aim at the soda industry in an article aptly titled: “If Soda Companies Don’t Want to Be Treated Like Tobacco Companies They Need to Stop Acting Like Them.”
In it, the author notes that: “The evidence for comparing the 2 industries keeps coming. Both try to sway public opinion, avoid accountability and muddle the science … Unlike other food products, one cannot argue that humans must drink sweetened beverages to maintain health and life.
So comparing them to cigarettes is not much of a stretch, especially when you start to examine the behaviors of the tobacco and soda industries side-by-side … While denying the links between obesity, poor health and soda consumption, we have seen an increase in offerings of diet, low-calorie and low-sugar beverages.
Even while decrying their reputation as a significant driver of obesity, soda companies love to tout their work in reducing obesity, specifically by promoting physical activity but also by reducing the number of sugar calories in the American diet. So which is it? If sugary beverages have not been a significant driver of obesity in America, why has the beverage industry been reducing the amount of sugar in its products?”
It is clearly evident that the junk food and beverage industry is just as powerful and nefarious as the pharmaceutical industry when it comes to influencing policy makers. And, should Hillary Clinton win the Oval Office, we know what to expect regarding her stance on junk food and sugary beverages.
Ms.Marshall and Ms. Latham are an integral part of Coca-Cola’s strategic marketing team, and Mr. Fisher gives Coke access to powerful political insiders. Mrs. Hills may have left her post as US trade representative, but chances are she has not given up here old contacts, or their respect.
The take-home message
Beware of industry-funded research, and be mindful of the power of conflicts of interest. The harm that can come from unholy alliances such as those discussed here is very real.
Real lives are at stake here, the health and future of children hang in the balance.
Companies whose profits depend on selling health-harming products simply do not care about lives or health. They claim they do, but their actions say that they do not.
They donate millions of dollars to health organizations under the guise of supporting health measures and health education, then turn around and spend millions more to undermine legislative efforts to widely implement health-affirming efforts.
The fact of the matter is, talk is cheap, and actions often speak louder than words. In the case of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP), their actions clearly demonstrate that they do not care about children’s health. They do not care about the fact that their products have created a global health crisis of staggering proportions.
So, since they refuse to take responsibility or allow measures to curb excess consumption, The People must take matters firmly into their own hands by, teaching children about the harms of excess sugar, and be a model yourself, buy, prepare, serve and eat REAL food.
That is the most powerful intervention Americans have at their disposal now. Recognize that, if you struggle with overweight or obesity, swapping sugary beverages for pure water is perhaps the best 1st step one can take to regain control over one’s health.
Eat healthy, Be healthy, Live lively,
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