Corporate Accountability International: Corporate Accountability International: Questions About Coke's Abuses Still Outnumber Answers at Shareholders' Meeting
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
APRIL 18, 2007
CONTACT: Corporate Accountability International
Bryan Hirsch by cell in Wilmington (617) 784-4753
Megan Rising (617) 695-2525
Questions About Coke's Abuses Still Outnumber Answers at Shareholders' Meeting
Wilmington, Delaware-- Protests inside
and outside of Coke shareholders' annual meeting at Hotel DuPont today
display growing concern about the corporation's abuses. Inside the hotel,
Coca-Cola shareholders will vote on a proposal to disclose quality test
results for its beverages, like the EPA requires for tap water. Outside,
people will carry enlarged copies of handwritten letters from elementary
school children challenging Coke's priorities.
Activists with Corporate Accountability International's Think Outside
the Bottle campaign, which challenges the marketing muscle of bottled water
corporations, join a broad range of people expressing concern about Coke's
actions outside of the meeting. The group's members are concerned that
aggressive marketing of Dasani and other brand-names leads consumers to
choose bottled over tap water.
"Coke promotes Dasani as safer and healthier than tap water," says
Polaris Institute Director Tony Clarke. "Corporate Accountability
International's resolution simply says, 'prove it.'"
"Corporations like Coke, Nestle and Pepsi are undermining people's
confidence in an essential public service," says Corporate Accountability
International Associate Campaigns Director Gigi Kellett. "Adding insult to
injury, leading bands like Coke's Dasani and Pepsi's Aquafina use tap water
as their source."
"In India, Coke drains water from communities that already face
shortages," says R. Ajayan, Convenor of the Plachimada Solidarity
Committee. "The communities want Coke to leave." Next week marks the fifth
anniversary of the movement pressuring Coke to close its Plachimada
bottling plant. The corporation's Plachimada and Mehdiganj plants remain
the center of international controversy.
Most people won't have access to enough water within 20 years according
to the United Nations. And the EPA projects 36 states will experience water
shortages even sooner. Events like the Coca-Cola sponsored EPA conference
on Paying for Water Infrastructure in Atlanta last month and the World
Water Forum last year promote water privatization as the solution.
"Corporations promote water privatization under the guise of
efficiency. But whether it's Coke or Pepsi bottling our tap water, Nestle
draining groundwater, or Suez taking over municipal water systems, none of
these corporations pay the full costs of the public infrastructure they
use, the environmental damage they cause or the health problems of the
people they hurt," says Kellett. "There is no substitute for public water.
Water is a human right, not a privilege."
Corporate Accountability International, formerly Infact, is a
membership organization that protects people by waging and winning
campaigns challenging irresponsible and dangerous corporate actions around
the world. For over 30 years, we've forced corporations -- like Nestle,
General Electric and Philip Morris/Altria -- to stop abusive actions. For
more information visit http://www.stopcorporateabuse.org.