ADA Sells Out to Junk Food Giant

I had planned on posting about something else entirely today, until I bumped into this (which was announced on my birthday, btw -– what nerve!):

On April 21, the American Diabetes Association announced a corrupt new “multi-million dollar alliance” with Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, a major manufacturer of sweetened soft drinks that are implicated in the epidemic of obesity and diabetes in the United States.

“Maybe the American Diabetes Association should rename itself the American Junk Food Association,” said Gary Ruskin, executive director of Commercial Alert. “What will it do for an encore? Start selling candy bars for M&M/Mars?”

“If Cadbury Schweppes really wanted to reduce the incidence of obesity and diabetes, it would stop advertising its high-sugar products, and remove them from our nation’s schools,” Ruskin said. “This is just another attempt by a major junk food corporation to obfuscate its responsibility in the epidemic of obesity and diabetes in the United States.”

“The American Diabetes Association should return this corrupt contribution to Cadbury Schweppes immediately,” Ruskin said.

These comments are taken verbatim from Commercial Alert, a non-profit organization founded in 1998 by Ralph Nader and Gary Ruskin to “protect children and communities from commericialism,” i.e. to act as a watchdog for honesty and ethics in the commercial culture. You do not have to agree completely with this group’s moral leanings to see the irony here.

Cadbury Schweppes does make soft drinks with Splenda, yes, but it also makes a heck of a lot of sugary beverages and candy, including one sticky gem called “Sour Patch Kids,” that is hailed as “a satisfying eat.

Compounding the irony (!): Apparently last year, Cadbury Schweppes corporate slogan was “Fuel for Growth.”

I know for a fact that other, non-diabetic bloggers are also incensed. See “A Woman’s Function is Laborious,” for one.


9 Responses

  1. Shannon Lewis
    Shannon Lewis April 25, 2005 at 5:21 pm | | Reply

    I equate this to ADA accepting blood money. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  2. Grouchie
    Grouchie April 27, 2005 at 10:01 am | | Reply

    No need to be outraged… We should be happy that companies are trying to help diabetics… Sure they prolly make 99.999% of their money off the sugar nastiness, but at least they are placing products on the market that carb counters/diabetics can consider… Who knows, maybe if other people get on the healthy food bandwagon, this company will reduce/quit selling the nasties…

    If some diabetic out there sees this ADA endorsment/partnership/whatever as an edict to eat *any* of cadbury/schweppes products, that diabetic is in denial and has other problems… hehe

    Should we hate Nabisco for making OREO’s? I doubt it, nabisco now has a splenda version of OREO’s with no trans-fats… Hell I am thrilled that Nabisco is making these new oreo’s… to be quite honest they taste better than original oreo’s.. course the malitol can affect different people in different ways… hehe

    I think you all should be happy about this stuff… We need more products out there that are for the carb conscious/diabetics.

    Be happy you know the difference between a junk food and a good food, and can educate others on how to differentiate between the two.

  3. AmyT
    AmyT April 27, 2005 at 12:12 pm | | Reply

    Hi “Grouchie”:
    Of course I get that this is a “win-win” situation: the ADA gets money, and the company gets a chance to show off its civic responsibility — but still it leaves a bad taste in the mouth, so to speak. Dontyathink?

  4. medmusings
    medmusings April 27, 2005 at 8:20 pm | | Reply

    links for 2005-04-28

    Medical Connectivity Consulting: CDC’s survey on EMR adoption adoption rates in hospital EDs, outpatient departments, and physician offices (31, 29 and 17 percent respectively) (tags: EMR EHR electronic health medical records) City of Palo Alto – Home…

  5. TomB
    TomB May 4, 2005 at 6:03 am | | Reply

    Read “Food Politics” by Marion Nestle (no relation I swear!) and you will rapidly learn why it leaves a bad taste. Food companies do not care about health except to the extent that their bottom lines are increased. A parnership with ADA and the offering of diabetes-friendly products is nothing more than a market reality. More of us are diabetic, and more are to become diabetic in the coming years, meaning to them a new market segment. The bottom line on motive is a bottom line on financials.

  6. terry
    terry May 4, 2005 at 2:37 pm | | Reply

    They are obviously not the only soft drink manufacturer to offer sugar-free products. Recent reports indicate that Diet Pepsi & Diet Coke (the big 2) now outsell their regular counterparts. There probably isn’t a major food company that doesn’t offer lower calorie versions of their products. Diabetes Forcast has had ads for Sugar Free Hershey candy for years with apparantly no complaints. So lay off of Cadbury Co.

  7. Amy Tenderich
    Amy Tenderich May 7, 2005 at 11:12 pm | | Reply

    The point was of course not that they offer sugar-free stuff, but that they make the big bucks on the junk food. “Lay off”? I do so desperately hope that you are kidding.

  8. Sgt. Belcher
    Sgt. Belcher October 25, 2005 at 4:01 pm | | Reply

    The ADA might as well do business with crack dealers. What we need is an all-out war on junk food!

  9. Andrew Spark
    Andrew Spark February 12, 2006 at 9:03 pm | | Reply

    I think health and disease serving as integral facets of healthy functioning where both are necessary for each other to maintain a state of health.

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