The story of beverage giant Coca Cola is a cocktail of greed and blind ambition. It is a Bible for the aspiring, cut-throat-minded business individuals and entities who care a damn about the ethics and the human angle. The way Coke has managed to bring out the addict in every Indian is an elephant in the room no one seems to notice, or care.
Swayed by the instant-gratification that Coca Cola and other similar soft-drinks offer, and high on the sugary rush that comes with each swig, we have nearly replaced water with Coke in our daily eating. The name ‘coke’ is suitable and suggestive, too, because until 1903, Coca Cola contained a decent dose of the drug, cocaine. It also contained 8 ounces of alcohol.
The idea was simple and successful – mix cocaine with the drink to induce addictiveness towards Coca Cola, and it worked. People came back for more and soon, it was all they were drinking. That is because the soft drink may still contain elements of the deadly drug, cocaine!
Although the Coca Cola Company has denied charges that the drink still contains elements of cocaine, it is something that the Indian food administration needs to look into. If the company has done it once, to which there is historical evidence, who is to say it is not continuing to do so, with precautionary measures and mechanisms in place? Can we allow our children to grow up drinking something that could possibly damage their future?
Coca Cola is highly secretive about the recipe of the drink but questions are being raised about its present-day practice. It is believed that the drink still has the same coca-leaf extract that it did in the early part of the century. The New York Times has reported that the Coca-Cola Company was continuing to import coca leaves from Peru and Bolivia until at least the late 1980s. These are not just businesss gossips, these are serious concerns.
The company is feeding India’s obesity concerns and from time to time tries to distract people from closely noticing ingredients or controversies by holding free health drives and donations. Coca Cola must come out in the open and declare what coke is all about.