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WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 Praxis Project, a public health group, and the pastors. They are: 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. Coca-Cola in a statement dismissed the pastors’ charges.


Information from: The Washington Post,