Two prominent African American pastors have filed suit against Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association, claiming soda manufacturers knowingly deceived customers about the health risks of sugar-sweetened beverages.
They say soda marketing has made it more difficult to protect the health of their largely black, D.C.-based parishioners, the Washington Post reports.
The complaint was filed Thursday in D.C. Superior Court on behalf of public health group Praxis Project and the pastors: William Lamar, the senior pastor at D.C.'s historic Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, and Delman Coates, the pastor at Maryland's Mount Ennon Baptist Church.
The lawsuit alleges that Coca-Cola and the ABA ran an intentional campaign to confuse consumers about the causes of obesity. In a statement, Coca-Cola dismissed the pastors' charges.