Coke’s New ‘Healthy Front’ May Be Just a Big Bluff

Diet Coke and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health have joined forces to raise awareness about women’s risk of heart disease. Diet Coke’s Red Dress Program will take center stage at high-profile events.

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The Center for Science in the Public Interest points out that Coca-Cola, whose products are not exactly heart healthy, is a strange partner for the NHLBI.

Are such partnerships a benign win-win? History suggests otherwise.

In 1984, Kellogg cooked up a partnership with the National Cancer Institute to put health claims for fiber on the boxes of All-Bran cereals. In doing so, Kellogg (and NCI) went around the FDA and undermined that agency’s control over health claims on food packages — leading to problems that the agency is still struggling to fix.

Source: Food Politics February 17, 2010

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