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Buying Respectability: Coca-Cola and the Co-Opting of the Corporate Social Responsibility Movement

For Related Articles and More Information, Please Visit OCA's Fair Trade & Social Justice Page.

 A 31- page open letter/report released today by Corporate Campaign, Inc.(CCI) responds to the decision by Calvert Group and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), to promote Coca-Cola as a "socially responsible" company based on standards that include protecting and advancing labor and human rights, child welfare and environmental sustainability.

CCI's report counters by documenting its charges of Coca-Cola's ongoing violations in those very areas, while also showing that "...a flawed and compromised methodology (1) allows Coca-Cola undue influence over the CSR process, permitting Coke to act with impunity around the globe," charges Ray Rogers, director, CCI.

"The facts and events in Colombia, Guatemala, India and the U.S., for example, evidenced in documentary films, independent reports, investigations, acclaimed books(2),(3),(4),(5), lawsuits and public demonstrations, all cited in our report, prove otherwise," Rogers says. "For too long, the evidence has been drowned out by the vast marketing power of Coca-Cola."

The report details how and why Coke is accused of having stymied independent investigations(6) into allegations of the company's complicity in labor and human rights abuses in Colombia including widely publicized charges of murder and other violence against union leaders, featured in the award winning documentary, "The Coca-Cola Case" produced by the National Film Board of Canada.   

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