The time has come to call on Coca-Cola and other sugary beverage producers to account for their past poor practices and lack of corporate social responsibility. The proposed CNMI House Bill 19-99 “sugar tax” on beverages should be actively supported by all.
The public should demand an accounting for corporation’s past lack of corporate social responsibility. Local Coca-Cola has failed to acknowledge their corporate role in the decrement of local population’s health condition such as diabetes, kidney failure, dental disease, eye disease, and heart disease. This act of omission demonstrates a knowing, continued lack of corporate responsibility by failing to admit their role and acknowledging their product’s liability as a direct and/or contributing factor in destroying fifty percent of the health of the local population who suffer from these diseases related to their locally consumed Coca-Cola products. Local governments should compare the value of the taxes received verses the health care costs and hold local Coca-Cola responsible for their part in increased health care costs.
One might ask, what would have happened if the local Coca Cola company had provided/supported educational programs to alert the local public of the known the dangers of their product’s over use? If the local Coca-Cola Company has financially supported a kidney and/or diabetes treatment clinic at the local hospital, does one really think that a sugar tax would now be open for legislative discussion? I think not.
Positive corporate social responsibility programs can “inoculate” a corporation against adverse public opinion—seem today in the form of a “sugar-tax” now getting worldwide attention. So, the “pay now” or “pay later” business model is in effect. Directly due for the lack of corporate social responsibility for over 40 years, the local Coca-Cola company now is in the “pay later” phase.
Mr. Marcos Fong CEO of the Coca Cola Beverage Co. (Micronesia), Inc., cannot now reasonably claim as a public defense that taxation does not result in “behavior change” if their own company have failed in their duty to provide such training to change behavior —as part of their corporate social responsibility. Why has the local Coca-Cola Company failed in providing this information to the C.N.M.I. general public in order to demonstrate their positive corporate social responsibility contrary to the parent Coca-Cola Company’s CSR policy? They have not provided such training for behavior change. So in my opinion; because of lack of Coke’s secret knowledge we suffered from their sugary products use in the past, now—they get what they deserve.
Have we learned nothing from big tobacco, gambling addictions, garment manufacturing, prescription drug addictions, car-manufacturing safety, and alcohol addictions on the negative effects of their consumer products and transparency in their supply chain?
Wake up corporate America! Your consumers are watching you!
Steven R. Connor