Oh, for Pete’s sake! Two black pastors in Washington, DC have filed an insane lawsuit against Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association, citing that sugary drinks cause more harm to the African-American community than crime does. They are claiming that Coca-Cola deliberately misled consumers over the dangers of soda and the sugar it contains. This is possibly the most idiotic lawsuit in history.
The plaintiffs are Pastors William Lamar and Delman Coates. They are joined by public-health group Praxis. The suit was filed in the DC Superior Court and alleges that Coca-Cola and the ABA engaged in “false, deceptive and misleading advertising and promotion of sugar-sweetened beverages.” Don’t you people have anything better to do? I wouldn’t exactly call this God’s work. They are claiming that consumers have been hoodwinked into believing that sugary drinks aren’t bad for you. The vehicle for this so-called deception is Coca-Cola’s advertising and other outreach efforts. They are specifically citing Coca-Cola’s alleged decision to “omit material facts” disclosing the link between sugar and health problems. They are also stating that consumers have a lack of knowledge when it comes to the dangers of soda. No, they don’t.
“Reasonable consumers lack the scientific knowledge necessary to determine that many of Defendants’ representations about sugar-sweetened beverages are false and misleading, including that they omit material facts about the link between such beverages and obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease,” the complaint reads. So, people are dumb. Noted. “It’s become really clear to me that we’re losing more people to the sweets than to the streets,” Coates charged. “There’s a great deal of misinformation in our communities, and I think that’s largely a function of these deceptive marketing campaigns.” You know, I’ve drunk Coke all my life and never ever considered that to be true.
The lawsuit states that these two pastors have tried over and over again to enlighten their congregations over the harmful effects of sugar, but have been unsuccessful because of Coca-Cola’s advertising. Could it be that your flock just thinks your nuts? I wonder how many parishioners they’ve lost over this insanity. You are supposed to be teaching God’s word, not healthy life choices while at church. Frankly, no one pays much attention to Coke’s advertising at all. They drink it, because they like it, period.
“Pastor Lamar’s efforts to provide spiritual guidance to congregant families and the larger community regarding the hazards posed by sugar-sweetened [sic] beverages are hampered by Defendants’ deceptive marketing, labeling, and sale of Coca-Cola’s sugar-sweetened beverages,” the complaint states. “Faced with a growing scientific consensus linking sugar-sweetened beverages to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, Defendants made numerous false and deceptive representations, including … sugar-sweetened beverages’ purported value as healthful sources of hydration for most consumers,” the plaintiffs alleged once again in the lawsuit. What is this? An attempt to bring Obamacare to the pulpit? Just insane.
On Coca-Cola’s part… they are saying the allegations are “factually meritless.” And they are. I can’t imagine a court ruling in favor of this idiocy. More likely, a judge will throw it out as frivolous and force the pastors to cover legal expenses. That would be the right thing to do here. Coca-Cola has the best attorneys money can buy and they will have a first class defense presented against this. Even if it is ludicrous.
Most people I know believe that sugar is harmful, myself included. But we drink Coke and eat desserts anyway. One recent Reuters poll showed that 58 percent of respondents have tried to limit their sugar intake in the last 30 days. And I would bet it is much higher than that. If you come right down to it, it’s not Coca-Cola at fault here. It is sugar. Which means at some point the feds will try and regulate it or ban it, which is even more insane. Having said that, I still can’t wrap my head around this being front and center in a church. Perhaps the pastors would be better off teaching the parts of the Bible that speak towards moderation.
More people than ever are swearing off soda. But you can’t make them do it. Prohibition didn’t work and forcing Coca-Cola to have warning labels or some other form of stupidity won’t work either. Pastors need to know their place and it is not monitoring the sugar intake and weight of their congregants. It’s in spreading the teachings and word of God. Speak to the soul, not the body.