Coke, Southern Co. are best of the worst

The Multinational Monitor is a newsletter that reports on corporate behavior in the Third World, the environment, worker safety and labor issues. This year, not one, but two of Atlanta's darling corporate citizens made it into the Monitor's, "Corporations behaving badly — the 10 worst corporations of 2001."

Coca-Cola was named to the list for two reasons. The first is for hawking its sugar-laden pop to kiddies through its marketing partnership with the Harry Potter movie. The Monitor pointed out that 20 years ago teenagers drank almost twice as much milk as soda and today they drink twice as much soda as milk. Soda also has contributed to the doubling of the percentage of obese teenagers, the report says, which in turn has fueled a diabetes epidemic. Drink up Johnny!

Coke also was chastised over allegations that the company is in cahoots with Colombian death squads to keep Latin American union leaders in check.

Southern Co. was named to the list because of something that's probably becoming old hat to CL readers: the company's ghastly environmental record and the cash the company gives politicians to keep them from passing laws that would force Southern Co. to upgrade its old, coal-burning power plants.

The other eight companies on the worst corporations list are pharmaceutical manufacturer Abbott, airport security company Argenbright, Cipro maker Bayer, Enron, ExxonMobil, Phillip Morris, Sara Lee and Wal-Mart.

For the full report, go to www.essential.org/monitor.??

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