Coca-Cola say their new role of­fers the chance ‘‘to make a dif­fer­ence in the world’’ but sugar tax ad­vo­cates say the com­pany is ped­dling poor health. By John An­thony.

Sunday News - - FRONT PAGE -

A re­cruit­ment drive by Co­caCola to com­bat the threat of sugar taxes has been slammed as ‘‘ap­palling’’.

The fizzy drinks gi­ant has gone to LinkedIn look­ing for a pub­lic af­fairs and com­mu­ni­ca­tions man­ager who will have ‘‘an op­por­tu­nity to make a dif­fer­ence in the world’’.

The suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cant, who will work from Auck­land, will man­age gov­ern­ment re­la­tion­ships in the Pa­cific Is­lands to en­sure sugar taxes don’t neg­a­tively im­pact the busi­ness, the job ad says.

A Coca-Cola spokesman says it did not sup­port sug­ary drink taxes as they were ‘‘in­ef­fec­tive as a means of com­bat­ing obe­sity’’.

How­ever, that’s con­trary to find­ings reached by an in­ter­na­tional co­hort of ex­perts who this week pub­lished a new pa­per in peer-re­viewed med­i­cal jour­nal The Lancet, high­light­ing ‘‘com­pelling ev­i­dence’’ that sugar taxes help im­prove health out­comes.

Massey Univer­sity pro­fes­sor Sally Cass­well is among the group of ex­perts – who come from in­ter­na­tional agen­cies in­clud­ing the United Na­tions and the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion – and equates ‘‘the sugar in­dus­try’’ to the to­bacco and al­co­hol in­dus­tries.

‘‘It is ridicu­lous, there are re­ally strong rea­sons for Gov­ern­ments to start mov­ing in this area, and they are start­ing to move.’’

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