Calley Means Profile picture
Jan 2 11 tweets 4 min read
Early in my career, I consulted for Coke to ensure sugar taxes failed and soda was included in food stamp funding.

I say Coke's policies are evil because I saw inside the room.

The first step in playbook was paying the NAACP + other civil rights groups to call opponents racist
Coke gave millions to the NAACP and the Hispanic Federation - both directly and through front groups like the American Beverage Association.

This picked up in 2011-2013 - when the Farm Bill and soda taxes were under consideration.

nutritioninsight.com/news/cspi-repo… Image
The conversations inside these rooms was depressingly transactional:

"We (Coke) will give you money. You need to paint opponents of us as racist."
The effort was successful, and the message was carried in thousands of articles between 2011-2013.

Coke's position was clear: soda is one of the cheapest ways to get calories - a flagrantly inaccurate statement when factoring in the health consequences.

nytimes.com/2013/03/13/nyr…
I watched as the FDA funneled money to professors at leading universities - as well as think tanks on the left and right - to create studies showing soda taxes hurt the poor. They also paid for studies that say drinking soda DIDN'T cause obesity.

reuters.com/article/us-usa… Image
Of course, not mentioned in these studies is that incontrovertible fact that sugary drinks are one of the top causes of obesity and diabetes - leading to harrowing statistics like this.

cnn.com/2022/12/29/hea…
Soda companies are deeply embedded in the USDA - so much so that the agency carries discredited talking points like "there are no bad food, only bad diets."

This ignores fact that sugar is highly addictive and has negative nutritional value. Image
In the end: racial tensions flared, soda spending was kept in SNAP funding, and many of the soda taxes were defeated...

Of course, this has been a disaster for low-income communities. Addictive, deadly sugary drinks should never be included in a government nutrition program.
People saying that restricting soda from SNAP funding is "paternalistic" or an "assault on personal choice" are unwittingly doing the work of the soda companies.

You can't have a free market if that market is rigged.
If this resonates, I am sending out a daily email exploring the food/health system and giving actionable health ideas that have impacted me:

calleymeans.com/daily-newslett…
And if you agree food should be at the center of medicine and our healthcare system needs to empower patients (not keep them in fear) - follow me.

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More from @calleymeans

Jan 25
Your tax dollars at work...

A recent @UMich government-funded stated that PB&J sandwiches on processed white bread INCREASE life expectancy...

And eggs + red meat DECREASE life expectancy...

It gets worse... Image
The study says with a straight face that there are "no conflicts of interest."

It then notes the authors have been paid by "numerous members of the food industry," Unilever and Nutella (!)

Unilever is the maker of Skippy peanut butter. Image
This would be funny if it wasn't so tragic.

This study is being actively used by processed food companies to influence childhood nutrition policy and school lunches.

This is the result.

cnn.com/2019/12/02/hea….
Read 6 tweets
Jan 19
There is a playbook that PR consultants use to help Big Food and pharma rig the system. I helped them implement it early in my career.

It’s the same playbook cigarette companies used in the 1980s.

Step 1: form a “third party” group.
Step 2: label opponents as the “nanny state”

Today, PR companies say it’s “patriarchal” to take Coke out of food stamps or curb Medicare spending on drugs - even though those policies are the result of a rigged system.
Step 3: fund research to sow confusion about scientific consensus.

Today, food companies spend 11x more on nutrition research than the NIH. There’s now an industry of researchers who depend on this money and are incentivized to make nutrition complex.
Read 8 tweets
Jan 9
Anyone who cares about the health and competitiveness of America should speak out against Ozempic approval for pre-teens NOW.

HALF of users experience severe gastrointestinal issues that require additional drugs.

95% of serotonin (regulates contentment) is produced in gut.
By all accounts, the majority of patients who stop using Ozempic gain weight back.

This is what makes the immediate FDA approval for PRE-TEENS so disturbing.

It will create life-long dependency and carry obvious side effects (the drug's purpose is to alter metabolism).
Do we need a medical degree to say that healthy eating and habits are vital for long-term health?

Approval for pre-teens is training them early that there is a hack to be metabolically healthy.

There isn't.
Read 8 tweets
Jan 8
Our children are being thrown under the bus by Big Food and a complicit government.

This is a @TuftsUniversity study funded by processed food and the NIH.

This is what we use to make nutrition policy.

This is unconscionable. Tufts and the NIH need to respond. Image
"Cereals aren't inherently bad."

This is an actual quote from the lead author of the study - who is paid by processed food companies and the NIH.

Wrong. Highly processed grains and sugar going into children's bloodstreams every morning is very bad. Image
Parents are systematically disempowered by the medical system from asking questions.

"Trust the science" they are told.

Well this is the peer-reviewed science.

A leading university and the NIH putting on studies so corrupt this article is actually publicized on the website. Image
Read 5 tweets
Jan 5
Here's how the rigged system works to poison kids:

Step 1: Coke has a transactional meeting with a Heritage fundraiser: "we want a study to say this.

Step 2: Fundraiser sits in on a meeting with Coke lobbyists and the "scholar." High-level concepts discussed.

👇
Step 3: Fundraiser follows up with Coke saying they got assurance from scholar that analysis will be what they want it to say, and Heritage will do PR work after report is done.

Step 4: Coke wires money.

Step 5: "Scholars" like Peter get paid and say they worked for Heritage.
You should be very careful Peter and check with @Heritage PR before making these statements...

I am happy to share names and more receipts.

This isn't funny or the time for snarky name-calling.

What Heritage and other influencers peddlers are doing is evil + hurting kids
Read 6 tweets
Jan 5
Conservative think tanks like the Heritage Foundation have blood on their hands.

They are paid by Coke to rig the food system.

They are paid by pharma to keep Americans addicted.

They are paid by oil to denigrate @elonmusk

Here's how it works:
Heritage is at the center of the spoke of hundreds of inter-connected groups that essentially dictate the votes of Republican lawmakers.

Their towering HQ contains a 230-seat auditorium and housing for 100 interns.

But who is paying for this?
I was a college intern for Heritage. Every week, I would staff scholars to the famous @GroverNorquist Wednesday Meeting.

The stated purpose of this meeting is to coordinate on "conservative" causes.

The reality was a Star Wars bar scene of special interests.
Read 15 tweets

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