Rhona Applebaum, Coca-Cola's Chief Science & Health Officer, has taken "immediate retirement" after the Associated Press published her emails to another lobby group, the Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN), which had received $1.5m donations from the drinks conglomerate.
Sense About Science had been given donations of £20,000. GEBN promotes the idea that lack of exercise, and not sugary drinks and colas, is the primary cause of obesity. A similar line was taken by Sense About Science, which discredited a major study that had found that 184,000 deaths a year are directly attributable to sugary drinks.
Its conclusions were tweeted by Applebaum, who had attended a Sense About Science meeting in the US. The group also 'corrected' a newspaper columnist, who had said—rightly—that sugar causes and feeds cancer. Again, Ms Applebaum re-tweeted the group's comment.