Everyone should read this, whether they have a social conscience or not.
At every corner of the earth, there is a global brand so entrenched in our minds that I would defy anyone not to have heard of them - Coca Cola is a billion dollar industry that has spanned decades, but despite their rosy cheeked Santa's and the deliriously happy-go-lucky adverts, are they really the world's best friend? Mark Thomas uncovers some rather appalling truths about the current state of Coca Cola's business in Columbia, Turkey, El Salvador, India and Mexico.
Accusations of indirectly profiteering and/or failing to act in light of events such as murder, torture, imprisonment, intimidation of workers wishing to join a union, bribery of workers to opt out of their union, police brutality, child labour, dumping toxic chemicals in local water supplies and more are thrown out with a degree of bitterness - but can you blame him?
Interspersed between the horror stories from various witnesses the globe over are moments of light relief where a humorous anecdote or two is recounted - some funnier than others - but none of them able to detract from the bitter taste in your mouth as you contemplate Coca Cola's own media statements and their contradiction with reality.
Belching Out the Devil is a serious piece of investigative journalism coupled with sharp wit and ballsy commentary. It can feel at times like rabble-rousing, but when you consider that this is real - it is happening and Coca Cola are getting away with it - it makes your blood boil. I, for one, will no longer allow Coke or any of their brands into my home until they clean up their act... and to be honest, I never really liked the stuff that much anyway.
We interview C J Daugherty about Night School
- 10 January 2012