Shareholders Ask Dasani To Disclose Test Results

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Dasani Marketing and Tap Water

Coca-Cola shareholders will vote at next week's annual meeting on a shareholder proposal asking Coke to disclose quality test results for its beverages, just like the EPA requires for tap water.

The resolution is part of Corporate Accountability International's Think Outside the Bottle campaign, which supports public water systems by challenging the marketing muscle of bottled water corporations. The group's members - including shareholder Allie Perry who proposed the resolution - are concerned that aggressive marketing of Dasani and other brand-names lead consumers to choose bottled over tap water.

Consumers in 38 cities around the country have participated in Tap Water Challenges pitting Coke, Nestle and Pepsi brands of bottled water against tap water. Participants often feel duped when they can't tell the difference and are shocked to learn that Dasani is less regulated and sometimes less safe than tap water.

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"Coke promotes Dasani as safer and healthier than tap water," says Polaris Institute Director Tony Clarke. "This resolution simply says, 'prove it.'"

"Corporations like Coke, Nestle and Pepsi are undermining people's confidence in an essential public service," says Corporate Accountability International Associate Campaigns Director Gigi Kellett. "Adding insult to injury, leading bands like Coke's Dasani and Pepsi's Aquafina use tap water as their source."

U.S. water systems -- some of the finest in the world -- need tens of billions of dollars to continue to deliver high quality tap water. Events like the Coca-Cola sponsored EPA conference on Paying for Water Infrastructure in Atlanta last month promote water privatization as the solution.

"Corporations promote water privatization under the guise of efficiency. But whether it's Coke bottling our tap water, Nestle draining groundwater, or Suez taking over municipal water systems, none of these corporations pay the full costs of the public infrastructure they use, the environmental damage they cause or the health problems of the people they hurt," says Kellett. "There is no substitute for public water. Water is a human right, not a privilege."

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