Health Officials Threaten Beverage Companies: Health Officials Urge F.D.A. to Limit Sweeteners in Sodas
There is increasing evidence around the world of a heightened response by health associations that the amount of sugars in sodas and other beverages is threatening to the public health. Officials and advocates of public health are recognizing the impact that these sugars and sweeteners are having in terms of human wellness. They are requesting that the Food and Drug Administration adjust and monitor the measurement of caloric sweeteners mixture in these drinks. The Food and Drug Administration has been directly asked to set a healthy limit and specific restrictions for caloric sweeteners in beverages considering they are the largest source of sugars in the American diet. Beverages are not the only problem according to these health groups. They would also like to put limitations on sweeteners in packaged goods. The response has manifested itself in many different directions, from obesity, to rising rates of health problems such as high blood pressure, and diabetes among the population. Moreover these issues and efforts to better soft drinks have not been ignored, but with the communication between health advocates and beverage companies coming together to bring education and improvements on the topic of sugar beverages effects on health and the business of sugar beverages.
These monster beverage producers such as Pepsi and Coca Cola are continuously feeling the flourishing pressure to moderate the amount of sweeteners or find an alternative for their products. “There’s an important conversation going on about obesity, and we want to be a part of the solution,” said Muhtar Kent, Coca Cola’s chief executive. (Strom, 2013, p. B3). Strom (2013) explains that “PepsiCo has used a new ingredient in their product called Trop50 to minimize the calories in juice.” These beverage producers are making moves to improve the health side effects of their products. The American Beverage Association has also taken steps to advocate public health of beverages including caloric sugars. These accusations on the caloric sugar drinks can strongly effect the marketing and advertisement of these companies. They are forced to bring attention to the FDA uproar on unsafe beverages. They are also propelled to take action and adjust their product to meet the FDA requirements. All of these allegations against these companies’ products causes expenses, losses, and improvements that they have to face and conquer to keep the business floating. In order to conquer these controversies the beverage makers need to transform and renovate their product to satisfy health advocates and consumers.
These caloric sugar beverages will always be a part of the human consumption especially in the American Society. There will always be a place for business for these soda products, but that does not mean that these businesses won’t struggle just like any other business. Businesses are threatened every day to bring product perfection to the table, but no matter how perfect the product there will always be a barrier or critic in the way. In this case these beverage companies must face the wrath of health officials and conform no matter what the price.
In my opinion health is very important and needs to be more and more broadcasted and promoted. I think health officials are taking the right approach by stepping in and working with the FDA and popular sugar beverage brands like Pepsi and Coca Cola to make drinks like these a better for the public’s health. Strom quotes Sue Beatty, “Anything that can be done to reduce the consumption of sugared sodas would improve the health of our population” (Strom, 2013, B3). Businesses need to be monitored and overseen on what they are producing for public consumption. It not only protects the public diet and health, but it also protects the company from lawsuits and consumer complaints. I think the soda industry will always be controversial because soda will always be a booming product, but it will also always be a health threat.
I found this article to be very informative on the ingredients and effects of one can of soda, but also the position the producers take on their “sugar filled unhealthy” product. The article clearly manifested how a product itself can really emulate a business’s values and stance on issues raised. It goes to show that a business and its product go hand in hand, but they can make or break each other depending on how well developed and established they are as a whole. I thought that Pepsi and Coca Cola both did a great job in reforming themselves to adjust to certain restrictions and opinions of the health officials.
The article really challenged both the FDA and the sugar drink companies to either sink or float. I found that both made clear points and worked towards a medium. For example, Strom quotes Dr. Jacobson “They are trying to prove things are moving in the right direction and that they’ve contributed to that, and I think they are, though not to the extent they’re suggesting,” he said of the association (Strom, 2013, B3). In my opinion both parties are taking initiative in both a business approach and a public approach to better the product and effects on public health. The health advocates, FDA, and soda companies have come together to promote healthier soda.
All in all certain ingredients including high fructose corn syrup and sucrose have become a public health hazard forcing the FDA to act and bringing questions for soda companies. The article makes it clear that it is not the sugar that is a health danger, but amount in soda and the over consumption bringing on concern and increasing health problems. According to the American Heart Association it is recommended that women consume only 6 teaspoons and men only 9 teaspoons of added sugar a day (Strom, 2013, B3). At the end of the day a person will consume how much sugar intake they have, but as long as it is isn’t at the cost of the soda companies, FDA, and health officials. The author makes the point that all three groups have taken preventative action in the interest of public health and our population as a whole. No one wants to become a statistic of bad health and this article gives us incentive to better our lives and our soda drinking habits.