My readers in France may be particularly interested to know that this fall Coca-Cola will begin a small pilot program there for a new beverage that they’ve created in partnership with French drug manufacturer Sanofi. The pilot will contain four drinks made of mineral water, fruit juice and “nutrition additives” that they claim will “help strengthen hair and nails, embellish skin, lose weight, and improve vitality.”
Apparently Coca-Cola has gotten over the sting of Enviga, a green tea drink manufactured in partnership with Nestle that they claimed would burn more calories than had, which inspired a couple dozen lawsuits that ended with settlements and a disclosure disclaiming all weight loss benefits.
More concerning to me is the partnership with Sanofi. They are the firm that manufactured the weight loss drug Rimonabant (aka Acomplia, Zimulti et al.). When reports surfaced that the medicine had serious psychiatric side effects they did the corporate version of sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling “I didn’t do it, nobody saw me do it, you can’t prove anything, la la la la la la la.”
They continued to refute the reports as the European Medicines Agency issued a press release stating that the benefits no longer outweighed the risks for the drug based on data that patients had twice the risk of psychiatric disorders as a group on a placebo and Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Produits de Santé found five suicide deaths among patients participating in a rimonabant trial, and just one suicide in the placebo group of that study. Sanofi-Aventis “remained committed to rimonabant, and said it was working to provide “additional evidence for the reevaluation of the benefit/risk profile.” Weeks later, Sanofi finally gave in, saying they had made their decision “in light of recent demands by certain national health authorities. As a result, the feasibility of the global clinical development program has been compromised.” Keep it classy Sanofi.
Of course we’ve been hearing these claims for years. We look back and laugh now at the diet advertisements of the past. Ads that promised the exact same things that the diet advertisements of the present promise. Same old, same old. No evidence, no corporate responsibility – just a quick buck from people desperate to move out of an oppressed group – to solve their social stigma with weight loss that the actual evidence says is not going to happen, at least not long term.
I’m going to guess that, unlike old New Coke which just lied about not sucking, the new New Coke may be lying about a lot more.
I’m Putting on a Happy HAES Holidays Workshop – Name Your Own Price
Normally I get between 100 and 200 e-mails a day. During the holiday season that climbs to 200-300 from people asking about everything from how to set resolutions that aren’t about weight loss to how to deal with the family food police. I’ve put together a group of speakers to give you information to support you through the holiday season. Details are here, registration is name your own price.
Like the blog? Check this stuff out (and you can help support my work which I would really appreciate):
Check Out my Book: Fat: The Owner’s Manual. The E-Book is Name Your Own Price! Click here to order
Buy the Dance Class DVDs (hint: Free shipping was supposed to end on Monday but I haven’t had a chance to make the changes to the pricing so there’s still free shipping until I get it done)! Click here for the details
Become a Member and Get Special Deals from Size Positive Businesses
I do size acceptance activism full time. A lot what I do, like answering over 4,000 e-mails from readers each month, giving talks to groups who can’t afford to pay, and running projects like the Georgia Billboard Campaign etc. is unpaid, so I created a membership program so that people who read the blog and feel they get value out of it and want to support the work I do can become members for ten bucks a month To make that even cooler, I’ve now added a component called “DancesWithFat Deals” which are special deals to my members from size positive merchants. Once you are a member I send out an e-mail once a month with the various deals and how to redeem them – your contact info always stays completely private.