Coca-Cola CEO Sounds Off on Proposed Soda Ban

LONDON — Limiting access to soda isn’t the way to tackle the nation’s obesity crisis, Coca-Cola Co. Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent [3] told Fox Business Network anchor Liz Claman in an interview that aired Monday.

Muhtar Kent [3]“I don't think banning anything is the answer,” Kent told Claman while attending the 2012 London Olympics. Coca-Cola is one of the Olympics biggest sponsors.

Rather, collaboration is key, he said. “It's about how can we do better collectively? And the Olympics is a great platform that brings the world together to also raise awareness of important issues for the world.”

When asked to respond to the London Assembly’s attempts to ban companies like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s from sponsoring the Olympics, he said Coca-Cola is working hard to provide better-for-you options around the world.

“Take a country like Britain. Under the trademark of Coca-Cola, now 40% of what we consumers choose under trademark Coca-Cola is calorie-free,” he said.

Related story: NRA Takes Aim at NYC Soda Ban [4]

Kent also responded to a question about New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces from New York City eateries, street carts and stadiums.

“I have great respect for Mayor Bloomberg. But I will say very clearly again, we need to collaborate, work in this golden triangle, not go against each other,” he said. “World societal matters like obesity can only be solved if government, business, and civil society come together.”