Social Icons

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Big Soda is the New Big Tobacco

I have said it before, and so have others far more often than I have, but it's always worth repeating:  "Of course tobacco is unique. There is nothing else like it."  Except for Big Soda. Yes, Big Soda they are calling it now.  Does that sound familiar?  There is another war afoot and it's against sugar. Sugar is the new tobacco. Fresh off the heels of Bloomberg's latest insanity, we see the freshly-oiled gears of the health racket machine whirring into action in Washington DC with the National Soda Summit (PDF) on 7th and 8th June.  And although you probably missed it and didn't even know about it, Twitter was thrumming with endless tweets about how Big Soda was killing everybody. 

Michele Simon, a health lawyer and food activist advocate who has a book and corresponding web site called Appetite for Profit, tweeted:

Here is the link to that USA Today article Michele had tweeted, where Coca-Cola President and General Manager of Sparkling Beverages, Katie Bayne, attempts to defend her brand.  Poor Katie. They will vilify you.  We welcome you into the fold nevertheless.

Katie Bayne - Image via Coca-Cola

Here is one more tweet from Michele to for good measure:
Note the responses in the above tweet. Do these at all sound familiar?  They should to those familiar with the attacks against smokers and tobacco companies.  The web site tweeted is and there the American Beverage Association attempts to separate myth from fact. They will of course fail because they and Katie Bayne have learnt nothing from the fight against Big Tobacco.  Evidence does not matter.  In the exclusive interview with USA Today, Katie was asked if sugar is addictive. Here's the exchange:

Q: What do you say to those who believe that sugar — particularly in soft drinks — works on the brain like an addictive substance?
A: There is no scientific evidence. 

See? There is no scientific evidence. This is the same argument that Big Tobacco and its proponents have used for decades, and yet we know (or should know by now!) that this response does not work even if it is true.  If there is no true scientific evidence, then someone in the health racket industry will invent and publish a peer-reviewed study that claims sugar added to carbonated water is a gazillion times more addictive than it otherwise would be, thereby making everyone helplessly obese and diabetic. There is no safe level of sugar intake. That study will be cited endlessly by other studies and in the media until it becomes fact. Because the truth is only what we choose to believe. If someone debunks the gospel against sugar in soft drinks study, then the zealots of health control will attack the scientist as a stooge for Big Soda.

Some others you are likely to be familiar with who have jumped on the bandwagon are Gabriel Scally and Simon Chapman - Root of All Evil. There is always room for another cause. Right, guys?  Of course there is.

Gabriel Scally
Simon Chapman - Root of All Evil
Lastly, here is someone you should keep an eye on, if you are not already aware of her. Her name is Megan. Do not be fooled by her sweetly innocent looks - she is a true believer . She's not only a anti-soda health activist, she's also quite active in anti-tobacco campaigns, where I think she started her career in health zealotry. She's young and will be around for years to come probably, long after the Root of All Evil retires and fades into obscurity. Indeed, she is very likely to become the Spawn of Root of All Evil. We shall see. Here's a retweet with reply in respect of Big Soda being the same as Big Tobacco.

Megan Yarbrough