Kochs for Coke
Reading the play-by-play of Big Soda vs. Public Health during the 2000s, when the NYC health department proposed a soda tax and a portion cap to curb obesity, is like watching a hero get pummeled in the boxing ring.
In a Salon article adapted from his upcoming book, Tom Farley, former NYC Health Commissioner (2009-2014), explains how Big Soda threw hard punches by aligning with the NAACP, PR firms and the wealthy Koch brothers.
“Coke and Pepsi had shown that they were stronger than a governor, a mayor and the state’s health commissioners, hospitals and most powerful union combined,” he writes.
But Farley noticed that all the press coverage coincided with a 1/3 drop in adult New Yorkers who reported drinking sugary drinks daily between 2007 and 2013. To him, “in what mattered most, public health was winning.”