Refreshing, thirst-quenching, delicious.
As American as baseball and apple pie.
Not in India.
Although Western mainstream media headlined Coca-Cola’s plans to increase its market share in India by $5 billion, what it failed to mention is that communities located near the beverage giant’s India bottling plants are not exactly rolling out the red carpet.
According to the India Resource Center (IRC), “Communities across India living around Coca-Cola’s bottling plants are experiencing severe water shortages, directly as a result of Coca-Cola’s massive extraction of water from the common groundwater resource. The wells have run dry and the hand water pumps do not work any more.”
As detailed by the IRC, further impingements upon Indian communities by Coca-Cola include:
- polluting groundwater & soil with waste from its plants, rendering the community’s drinking water “unfit for human consumption“
- selling toxic waste to Indian farmers as “fertilizer“
- selling its product in unregulated form (as outlined by the IRC, the Coca-Cola sold in India contains arsenic and “high levels of pesticides…that could never be sold in the US or the EU”)
Says the IRC, “Water shortages, pollution of groundwater and soil, exposure to toxic waste and pesticides is having impacts of massive proportions in India.
In a country where over 70% of the population makes a living related to agriculture, stealing the water and poisoning the water and soil is a sure recipe for disaster.
Thousands of farmers in India have been affected by Coca-Cola’s practices, and Coca-Cola is guilty of destroying the livelihoods of thousands of people in India.”
A BBC report briefly mentions Coca-Cola’s plans to expand into Burma, a country freshly emerging from horrific unrest. Also briefly mentioned in one context-free sentence, is Coca-Cola’s retreat from Cuba following Fidel Castro’s Revolution – coupled with an unrelated mention of North Korea.
Though largely unreported by Western mainstream news media, Coca-cola has an interesting history of accusations of violence against foreign unions, and other oppressive business practices in various countries around the globe.
Do you drink Coke?
What do you think about the Coca-Cola corporation’s contamination and depletion of India’s land & water?