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Coca Cola Spokeswoman: Vitaminwater Allegations Are Ludicrous

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Glaceau Vitaminwater

Coca-cola faces a lawsuit over allegations that their vitamin enhanced drink, "Glaceau Vitaminwater" dupes consumers. However, Diana Garza Ciarlante, a Coca-Cola spokeswoman, calls the allegations "ludicrous", saying that today's consumers are savvy enough to read labels and sort out the nutritive value of what they consume. Rather than protecting consumers, Garza claims the suit is "about increasing the readership of CSPI's increasingly irrelevant newsletter."

CSPI (The Center for Science in the Public Interest), filed a class action lawsuit against Coca-Cola, claiming Coca-Cola misleads consumers by using "buzzwords" in their marketing campaign, such as defense," "rescue," "energy," and "endurance." CSPI leader Steve Gardner feels, "It's is really shocking that a company like Coca-Cola feels the need to market a soft drink as a vitamin pill to hide the fact it is really sugar water."

Garza counters the attack on the Coca-Cola Vitaminwater by reminding us that consumers are "savvy, educated and are looking for more from their beverages than just hydration. Many people know that they are not receiving adequate nutrients from their diets, so they have turned to products like Glaceau Vitaminwater in order to help supplement what they are not receiving from the foods they eat."

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However, perpetrating a drink that is a quick fix toward good health does not seem in the best interest of consumers, especially considering that Coca-Cola Vitamin water contains 33 grams of sugar per bottle, essentially no juice (0 to 1%), and a whole lot of calories. CSPI nutritionists say Coca-Cola Vitaminwater does nothing short of promoting obesity, diabetes, and poor health, which is directly disproportionate to Coca Cola's claims that Vitaminwater fights disease.

CSPI has filed a class-action lawsuit against Coca-Cola. CSPI leader Steve Gardner sums it up by saying, "Vitaminwater is Coke's attempt to dress up soda in a physician's white coat. Underneath, it's still sugar water, albeit sugar water that costs about ten bucks a gallon."

Executive Director of CSPI, Michael F. Jacobsen has some very good advice, "If you have reason to believe you have a shortcoming of one vitamin or another, perhaps take an inexpensive supplement. But don't seek out your vitamins in sugary soft drinks like Coke's Vitaminwater." Better yet,…"get your vitamins from real food". Should we see an end to Coca Cola Vitaminwater?

Resource: Coke Sued for Fraudulent Claims on Obesity-Promoting "VitaminWater"



Allow and respect humans to think for themselves, assert their right to read and determine for themselves - this so-called public concern is such a farce. The 'CSPI' should speak their opinion, facts, etc. and drop it - unless they are interested in becoming dictators.
Hi there, Thank you for your thoughts. This whole lawsuit issue is sure getting the word out there. I wonder if other vitamin drinks will come under the same scrutiny as a result of the vitaminwater lawsuit.
I was fired from a coco cola company because i was a health nut and expressed large concerns on vitamins drinks and how they were full of sugar. While i worked for a coco coloa company on the east coast in may of 2008, one of the head boss heard me talking about the product and i expressed and told him my opinions as a health perspective and the next day i was fired or released from my position. When ask why i was fired there was no explanation, because my true boss thought i was a hard worker. Through coe workers it was later revealed as i should have kept my mouth shut. what ever happen to the first admendment, it wasn't like i was bashing the product or being an awful employeee. Sugar is the main ingredients in products, if employers and the consumer can't read the back of the label or understand that drinking sugar isn't going to effect your health, maybe they should go to mcdonald's and have a burger and soda [email protected]
Hi, Thanks for sharing that. We all consume sugar, and most of know too much is too much, right? I'm sorry to hear your were fired over being alert to the potential harm of too much sugar, in general. Vitaminwater is supposed to be an answer to carbonated beverages, loaded with sugar and caffeine. I think that is part of the problem here - though there are vitamins and electrolyte, the drink probably does contain too much sugar - that leaves out diabetics. The caffeine content could be dangerous to some also, but again, reading labels is something we all need to do anyway. Again, thank you.
It's funny that you worked for "coco cola"as you say. Perhaps you should have learned to spell the company's name correctly during your time working for them.
i drink it all the time . it has a good flavor and it does pick me up. i need to drink more water and this is how i do it. i read the lable and i know what is in it. the lawsuit is bogus!
Thanks for your comment. Just as their spokeswomans said - consumers know what they are doing. Don't you wonder what might be "behind the scenes"?
This whole thing is a waste of taxpayer money no matter who pays the lawyer fees.
Yes, and we work way too hard for our money - especially in this economy, right? Thanks for your comment.
I dont understand what allows the CSPI to bring forth a class action lawsuit against coca-cola company. I would like to what kind of settlement they are asking for and if they even have a legitimate case.
I'm not sure how much they are requesting. It will unfold overtime - likely a long time! The Coca cola spokeswoman sure isn't impressed.
i love the stuff myself. and sure, they use buzz words like "rescue" and "defense" but c'mon! as everyone seems to understand, people can read. so thus they can read the lable. people can feel and thus if the drink does inturn cause a "sensation" then hey, more power to ya and I say enjoy! heck, next thing ya'know someone is going to sue cause its to cold when you get it out of the fridge! for u and me and the world, j.G.
Hi there, Thank you for the comment. Yes, it's true. I remember reading about a lawsuit filed because a pair of sneakers did not come with instructions to tie the shoes, and they tripped. - Don't know if it's true, but it's a prime time example - lol.
Though I haven't had any for awhile, I like the vitamin water. How is it that different from Gatorade? A "sports drink" that offers even less nutritional value and about the same amount of sugar.
Hi therre, That is an interesting point. I think that is exactly the market Coca Cola is trying to capture. When I go to the gatorade site, they claim their drink is low calorie, containing sucralose, "a no-calorie artificial sweetener". This is the ingredient breakdown that I was able to find: Gatorade Ingredients water, sucrose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, ester gum, sucrose acetate isobutyrate, yellow 5 Gatorade Nutrition Facts serving size: 8 fl oz; calories 50; total fat 0g; sodium 110mg; potassium 30mg; total carbs 14g; sugars 14g I know that they have many drinks, and also reformulated last year, so I'm not sure how up to date that is. They say on the Gatorade official site that fruit juice delays gastric emptying, and that's why Gatorade doesn't use it - that sort of negates the challenge about no juice in vitaminwater, doesnt' it? They both have electrolytes, but a major difference is in the sugar content, and gatorade has no caffeine (as near as I can tell). Vitaminwater ingredients: Vapor distilled water, crystalline fructose, citric acid, caffeine, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), gum Arabic, natural flavor, electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, and potassium), gum ester, zinc picolinate, vitamin E acetate, vitamin A palmitate, niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), beta carotene, Siberian ginseng and guarana extracts, cyanocobalamin (B12), caramel color, pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6) It will be very interesting to see how this lawsuit against Coca Cola progresses. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
You are correct in your assessment of the original G series of Gatorade. It is hard to find sometimes with the low calorie low sugar craze and I found out the painful way that G2 isn't the same Gatorade I'm used to. This version is the lower calorie one. I drink the original version of Gatorade specifically because it has the traditional sugars used to sweeten soft drinks and no artificial sweeteners. I am not using artificial sweeteners in the strict sense but rather to mean things that are not actual sugars and those include food additives etc. I do not tolerate Sucralose (the only artificial sweetener allowed to end in "ose" for some reason), aspartame, saccharine, or even stevia power even though I can drink tea made from stevia leaves. These all give me migraines. I wish I had a source because I did look up the following after my doctor mentioned it to me: this stuff should only be consumed with carbohydrates and she thought that people drinking diet soda all day long are going to develop insulin resistance (and gain weight later) and that is a precursor to diabetes. Her reasoning was that sweet tasting things cause the body to produce insulin, expecting a rise in blood sugar. When this doesn't happen, it causes problems and eventually the result of repeated exposure is insulin resistance. It checked out and on an intuitive level, it makes sense. Insulin becomes the boy who cried wolf. Manufacturers are putting this stuff into more and more products without designating them as low calorie or diet. The first place I saw this was in "100% Grape Juice" by a brand that made me suspicious, having the word "healthy" in its name. 100% has a margin of error and this product contained aspartame. A lot of flavored / fruit yogurt seems to have artificial sweeteners now and there's nothing at all to even give a clue. This annoys me to no end as I have to read every label. Companies change their recipe without warning and sugar can be the first ingredient but an artificial sweetener will be further down the list. There is nothing indicating "now with fewer calories" like I'd expect after laughing at sour patch kids being labeled as "fat free." Um, that doesn't make it good for you or healthy. Reduced calories is not the only motivation. Different combinations can actually produce different types of sweetness and go beyond that of sugar. So they're also trying to improve flavor. Most people can tolerate these chemicals and drinks like G2 that are lower in sugar (and likely sweeter too so you stay thirsty) have real carbs along with it, so they're better than diet soda when consumed alone. If you want something healthier, the real thing to look at is glycemic index. Sugar is 100. The lower the number, the lower the blood sugar spike and longer metabolism time. Usually the low glycemic index carbs are the complex carbs like that disgusting, hard, as unprocessed as it gets multigrain bread. Having grown up on soft, wonderful, tasteless Wunderbread (which has a glycemic index higher than 100), I hate the healthy stuff. But cherries and apples happen to be pretty low and I love those. I'm not sure about their juices. If you put a bunch of fat and protein filled meat and cheese on your Wunderbread, you now have a sandwich with a significantly lower glycemic index than the bread alone. So if it is blood sugar you're concerned about, not calories, I'm not sure this artificial stuff is doing you any favors. The sugar alcohols like xylitol have very little Your ingredient list jumped out at me because I recognize it as orange. It's maybe not exactly the last orange I looked at but I haven't found any other color of Gatorade with sucrose acetate isobutyrate, which also doesn't agree with me for some reason and I don't look at every bottle I buy but I do check once in a while to make sure nothing I don't recognize has shown up or something I know I can't have or if I'm trying a new color (I don't much care what they call the flavor of these drinks, they come in different colors to me with their own flavors that taste nothing like the one on the label). Sucrose acetate isobutyrate is not only an orange flavoring additive, it is also an emulsifier. The ingredient list for most of the others contains modified food starch instead of that and gum arabic. Most of the others have little variation besides what colors they use although I am seeing some variation in the emulsifiers in a few of the newer colors, like the slightly different yellow labeled lemon-lime has gum arabic and no modified food starch, unlike most of the others. So far, my "anything but orange and only the G series" strategy is working to keep me away from things that are known migraine triggers for me. There is a "slightly different orange" that surprised me though. It was part of a combo pack of colors and didn't have anything much different than the others. The real and true ORIGINAL Gatorade was orange for the Florida Gators so it's pretty appropriate to choose that one and it just happened to jump out at me because I know the usual core ingredients and that's the one I have to watch out for. I think maybe the confusion lies in Gatorade being called Gatorade and when someone else is doing the shopping, I have to really emphasize THE GATORADE WITH THE G NOT G2, and "anything but orange" is a bit easier to figure out at the store. Confusing as it may be when they speak of Gatorade and just call it Gatorade, I'm very happy to have the "less healthy" choice still available to me and think these companies are doing the right thing by not just changing the ingredients and instead putting a 2 after the G in the case of Gatorade or making the label white in the case of Vitamin Water. Healthier for one person is not healthier for another and I was quite surprised by the brands of yogurt that just changed things and especially the 100% grape juice that contained aspartame. These companies chose to not give me a choice and since I don't have a choice, I can't have their products anymore. They've lost my business and I have lost some of the foods I like. I don't think they much care about those of us who can't have this stuff since I'm in the minority and they can afford to lose me to the probably 100 calorie counters they gained. But I'm glad Gatorade gave me a choice and they may be a bit confusing or misleading by just calling it Gatorade but I'm quite certain you have the description of the G2 Gatorade and the ingredients for the original and that's why they don't match.
Being a label reader, which I am, is not my favorite way to spend time when trying to shop. But if we don't, we're at the mercy of the food and beverage industry. And of course, understanding it all is near impossible unless you really do research. Thanks for your comment. I drink water and make sure I eat whole foods. I filter my water and it's yummy. I do like juice - organic apple juice is a favorite of mine. And sugar in moderation - real sugar that is unrefined - fuels the body. We do need sugar for our cells despite the press that it's making us old. The key is moderation. We have gone overboard. Evidence is mounting that artificial sweeteners are causing insulin resistance and even more cravings for sugar. You may be interested in this study that I found fascinating: http://www.emaxhealth.com/1020/mouse-study-suggests-how-artificial-sweeteners-could-ruin-your-diet
The manufacturers of The Pause That Refreshes are deceptive? Anyone remember the original ingredients in the ORIGINAL Coca-Cola? Where did the "Coca" come from? Cocaine. Now they sell water that is nothing more than filtered Atlanta tap water with a little salt added for a "fresh taste" and this Vitamin water as well. Coke is just another money whore that is happy to take advantage of a gullible American public with a slick marketing campaign. Screw the bastiges. Drink what you want...but be thankful for sites like this that keep us informed.