In an op-ed from The Wall Street Journal, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent has pledged that his company will start being honest about its contributions to health groups and researchers. The promise follows a tremendously negative reaction, by both the public and scientists, to a New York Times article detailing Coke’s undisclosed funding of an obesity study that claimed, Good news! You can eat and drink whatever you want, so long as you exercise!
Rather than apologizing, Kent sounds a bit more like he’s tsk-tsking Americans for not understanding that his company is just trying to “foster more science-based knowledge” and help everybody out. See, Coke’s ambition all along has been to “better inform the debate” over obesity, its just that it hasn’t been entirely transparent about all those really cool, totally objective studies and fitness programs that it has supported. To that end, Kent promises that Coke will, among other things, engage more experts and publish a regularly updated list of health and well-being partners, as well as research activities it has funded over the last year. According to a company spokesperson, the first of those disclosures is expected “within weeks.”