Posted on January 5, 2023

Coca-Cola Accused of Paying NAACP to Call Soda Taxes ‘Racist’

Roberto Wakerell-Cruz, The Post Millennial, January 3, 2023

TrueMedicine Care co-founder Calley Means published a thread to Twitter on Monday, where he broke down the grip that soda companies have over food regulation. Means claimed that his Twitter Blue access and his account is now under review, suggesting that this was due to Coca-Cola being a major advertiser for Twitter.

“Early in my career, I consulted for Coke to ensure sugar taxes failed and soda was included in food stamp funding,” Means claimed.

“I say Coke’s policies are evil because I saw inside the room. The first step in playbook was paying the NAACP + other civil rights groups to call opponents racist. Coke gave millions to the NAACP and the Hispanic Federation – both directly and through front groups like the American Beverage Association This picked up in 2011-2013 – when the Farm Bill and soda taxes were under consideration.”

Both the NAACP and the Hispanic Federation “received grants from Coca-Cola, with the national NAACP receiving at least $2.1 million from the soda giant since 1986, including $100,000 as recently as December. The Hispanic Federation also lists Coke as a donor, and in February 2012 its president, Lillian Rodriguez Lopez, left the nonprofit group to become director of Latin affairs at the company,” Nutrition Insight wrote.


“The conversations inside these rooms was depressingly transactional: ‘We (Coke) will give you money. You need to paint opponents of us as racist.’ The effort was successful, and the message was carried in thousands of articles between 2011-2013,” Means continued.


“I watched as the FDA funneled money to professors at leading universities – as well as think tanks on the left and right – to create studies showing soda taxes hurt the poor. They also paid for studies that say drinking soda DIDN’T cause obesity,” Means claimed.


“In the end: racial tensions flared, soda spending was kept in SNAP funding, and many of the soda taxes were defeated… Of course, this has been a disaster for low-income communities. Addictive, deadly sugary drinks should never be included in a government nutrition program. People saying that restricting soda from SNAP funding is ‘paternalistic’ or an ‘assault on personal choice’ are unwittingly doing the work of the soda companies.”