There’s a few shady things behind the curtain at any massive money-farming corporation that’s existed for over a century – so it’s no surprise that when we tried to dig up some dirt on the addictive soda giant there were more skeletons in the closet than we could have asked for. So we picked out the top 5 darkest things we could find and are happy to shed some light on them right now, starting with everybody’s favorite: cocaine…
This fact isn’t so secret – but back in 1885 when Coca-Cola syrup was first invented it had a unique blend of alcohol, caffeine and cocaine to give it the signature kick that woke people up to it’s addictive power. The amount of cocaine present in the drink was slowly reduced over the beginning of the 20th century as fears about the addictive and damaging nature of cocaine were coming out to the public. The Coca-Cola recipe continued to use the cocaine extract until 1929 when it was removed completely from the formula.
“If we lose the fight against Coke, first we will lose our union, next we will lose our jobs, and then we will lose our lives!”
– Juan Carlos Galvis
Back in 2001, a Colombian labor union called SINALTRAINAL filed a lawsuit against Coca-Cola in a United States court. It accused the corporation of teaming up with the Colombian bottling plant leaders in hiring mercenary death squads to kidnap, torture, and murder several union leaders. In the suit, they claim that at least 9 union members died at the hands of the United Self Defense Forces of Columbia (AUC).
However, in 2005 the case came to a close as Coca-Cola did not actually own the bottling plants in Columbia (although they own the controlling shares of the Mexican company who does own the bottling plants) so no legitimate legal charges could be brought against them in an American court. Once again, Coca-Cola slipped away; in recent years, more scandalous information has leaked out showing how globally the corporation is tearing apart communities and the lives of employees. Find out more information by visiting: killercoke.org
Indirectly, the Coca-Cola company is the only entity legally allowed to import coca leaves into the United States. More specifically, the Stepan Company in New Jersey is the only commercial entity in the United States that is allowed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to process the coca leaves once imported. Annually, they ship in around 100 metric tons of the dried leaf from Peru; once they have stripped all the cocaine from the plant, the leaves are sold to The Coca-Cola company to flavor the beverage, and the remaining actual cocaine is then sold to the pharmaceutical company Mallinckrodt.
In New Zealand, a woman named Natasha Harris was consuming an astounding 2.2 gallons of Coca-Cola every day for countless years. She would even suffer from terrible withdrawals if she wasn’t able to consume more of the “tasty” beverage. In 2010, she suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 30 and the coroner reported that had she not have drank so much soda, she would have survived. Although the woman’s habit was far from normal, it does speak volumes about the addictive nature of this damaging liquid that is consumed on such a mass scale.
During World War II, there was a trade embargo placed on Germany and Coca-Cola became illegal to import. With the demand for this trademark soda was incredible, the German Coca-Cola chief (a Nazi supporter named Max Keith) decided a new product had to be invented to take its place. He had scientists blend leftover by-products like fibrous apple tissue remaining after making cider and remnants of cheese production and used saccharin to sweeten the drink. He dubbed it “Fanta,” after the German word for fantasy. Food became so scare in Germany at that time, that soon people were using Fanta as a soup base.