A nonprofit obesity research group received $1.5 million from multinational beverages company called Coke. The coke spokesperson has refuted charges "It has no influence on its work".
The emails records shows that Coke helped pick the group's leaders, edited its mission statement and suggested articles and videos for its website.
In an scandalous email received last November, the obesity group's president tells a top Coke executive: "I want to help your company avoid the image of being a problem in peoples' lives and back to being a company that brings important and fun things to them." This shows keenness of antiobesity campaigner to help COKE.
The group as well as Coke executives had high hopes for the group "that would quickly establish itself as the place the media goes to for comment on any obesity issue." It said the group would use social media and run a political-style campaign to counter the "shrill rhetoric" of "public health extremists" who want to tax or limit foods they deem unhealthy.
The comment of Coca-Cola Co. CEO Muhtar Kent "it has become clear to us that there was not a sufficient level of transparency with regard to the company's involvement with the Global Energy Balance Network."
"Clearly, we have more work to do to reflect the values of this great company in all that we do," Kent said.
The Atlanta-based company told the AP it has accepted the retirement of its chief health and science officer, Rhona Applebaum, who initially managed the relationship with the group.