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Coca-Cola Will Fund Academic Research, So Long as It Can Kill Studies It Doesn’t Like

Plus, man water to quench your man thirst, and more news to start your day

Pallets of Coke-Cola cans wait to the filled at a Coco-Cola bottling plant on February 10, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 
Pallets of Coke-Cola cans wait to the filled at a Coco-Cola bottling plant on February 10, 2017 in Salt Lake City, Utah. 
Photo by George Frey/Getty Images
Jaya Saxena is a Correspondent at, and the series editor of Best American Food and Travel Writing. She explores wide ranging topics like labor, identity, and food culture.

The pursuit of truth, assuming it doesn’t make Coke look bad

The University of Cambridge recently combed through 87,000 documents obtained by the Freedom of Information Act, and discovered that Coca-Cola’s generous funding of academic research comes with a pretty big catch. In at least five agreements between both public and private institutions, Coke agreed to provide research funding as long as it retained the right to “quash studies progressing unfavorably” and “pressure researchers using the threat of termination.”

Though they found no proof Coke actually killed any studies — and according to a Coke spokesperson, they haven’t — the brand hasn’t independently funded studies about health or wellness since 2016. Would that academia didn’t have to rely on Coca-Cola for money in the first place. [CNBC]

And in other news...

  • A former Netflix exec has created Liquid Death, a.k.a. water in a tall-boy can with really aggressive copy meant to save men from drinking water marketed to “Whole Foods yoga moms.” Men are doing fine. [BI]
  • Bathroom attendants were once a staple of high-end restaurants, but they’re disappearing since no one has cash anymore. [NYT]
  • McDonald’s is already selling a “meatless” burger in Germany, which means it’s probably only a matter of time until there’s one in the U.S. [CNN]
  • A Rhode Island school district will serve only cold lunch to students whose families owe lunch money, because we should absolutely be punishing children for this. [New York Daily News]
  • Kraft will pay moms up to $100 on Mother’s Day to hire a babysitter so they can actually enjoy themselves. [CNN]
  • Here’s a deep dive into how foods that are deemed “smelly” are often those that smell unfamiliar to white Americans. News flash: your microwaved tuna noodle casserole smells worse than egg curry. [Mel Magazine]

  • AM Intel Coverage [E]