Letter: How to solve the Coke problem on campus

Recently, there have been protests against the Coca Cola Company for alleged labor problems in Colombia, resulting in several deaths, and water supply and pollution problems in India, from the bottling plants. The pesticide levels in soda bottled in India are reportedly several times higher than what is acceptable in the U.S..

A student organization, Coalition Against Coke Contracts at Urbana-Champaign (www.caccuc.blogspot.com) is trying to persuade the University of Illinois not to renew the contract. They have held several demonstrations on the Quad recently.

They also conducted a taste test of a number of lesser-known but more socially responsible beverage companies’ products, such as Vess, Faygo and Blue Sky colas.

I do not wish to purchase Coca Cola products and perpetuate the social abuses the company is allegedly doing. We need to terminate this contract and allow people the choice of which brands of soft drinks they wish to purchase.

I challenge those of you who wish to protest Coca Cola, but who consume other brands of soft drinks, to consider making a contribution to University of Illinois, matching all, or a substantial portion of your annual expenditures on beverages. If everybody did this, there would no longer be a need for Exclusive Pouring Rights Contracts, and we would again have the freedom to choose the products to drink and know we are dealing with socially-responsible manufacturers.

George R. Carlisle

University alumnus