Coca-Cola Co. has ended its ties with the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), a major setback to the food organisation which is known for its pro-sugar research and policies.
As cited on Bloomberg News, the multinational beverage company said they ended its membership at the “global, regional and country-level” as of this month. The decision was made after several reviews. The company did not provide additional details.
ILSI, a global nonprofit organisation, was founded by a former Coke executive in 1978, which has companies such as PepsiCo and Kellogg Co as members.
However, those companies did not respond for comment on whether the group’s membership list is up to date.
In recent years, ILSI has been criticised for its role in influencing government health and nutrition policy around the world.
According to a 2015 New York Times report, the group has promoted the industry-friendly idea that physical exercise, and not a change in diet to combat obesity.
In 2018, candy maker Mars left the group and Nestle exited at the regional and country levels in January last year.
In a letter cited by Bloomberg in October, Coca Cola made the decision last year to cut ties. Corporate Accountability, a watchdog group, hails the move, saying the beverage corporation now see “more risk than reward” in sticking ILSI.
In a statement, the watchdog group said for decades ILSI has been Coca-Cola’s cohort interfering in and blocking policies to safeguard people’s health and wellbeing across the globe.