Friday, December 11, 2009

Fizz out of Coke

For once, Mark Thomas is serious. Traversing continents—from Istanbul to Mexico; from Bogota to Plachimada—the British comedian annoys all the right people and asks all the wrong questions in his new book Belching Out The Devil. Thomas takes the fizz out of the world’s most recognized beverage company, Coca-Cola, with the thoroughness of an investigative journalist. Shocking facts about child rights abuse, labour intimidation and unscrupulous groundwater extraction unravel about a company that reportedly spends around $2 billion (around Rs10,000 crore) on advertising.

Despite being scrutinized for drying aquifers in Plachimada, Kerala, and Kala Dera, Rajasthan, Coke legitimises its water-guzzling by investing in rainwater harvesting thereby making people believe that it is replenishing as much as it is extracting. In reality, the pace of extracting groundwater can never match that of replenishment simply because it doesn’t rain every day....more

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