Nonprofit consumer nutrition advocacy group The Center for Science in the Public Interest has sent a letter to Beyonce, urging her to reconsider her $50-million endorsement deal with PepsiCo.
“You occupy a unique position in the cultural life of this country and are an inspiring role model for millions of young people,” wrote CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson, in his letter to the pop music star. “Your image is one of success, health, talent, fitness and glamour. But by lending your name and image to PepsiCo, you are associating those positive attributes with a product that is quite literally sickening Americans.”
CSPI has been among the most active and outspoken consumer and health groups advocating against consumption of sugary beverages, saying they contribute to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other health problems in adults and children.
In its press release about Jacobson's letter to Beyonce, CSPI also stated that "this isn't the first time one of Beyonce's financial arrangements has raised eyebrows" -- alluding to her performance on New Year's Eve in 2009 at a party hosted by Hannibal Gaddafi, one of the sons of now-deceased dictator Muammar Gaddafi, for a reported fee of $2 million. Those proceeds were reportedly eventually donated to charity.
If Beyonce goes through with the Pepsi deal, "she could similarly consider donating the proceeds to a hospital, a diabetes organization, or another charity involved in the treatment or prevention of soda-related diseases," suggests CPSI, in its release.