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12.31.2005
  Schools Banning Soda Over Alleged 'Paramilitary' Ties
The University of Michigan suspended sales of Coca-Cola products on its three campuses over allegations that the company permits human rights and environmental abuses overseas.

The student group accused Coke of draining local groundwater in India and conspiring with paramilitary groups in Colombia to harass and harm union members. The company has repeatedly denied the allegations.

The university, which has more than 50,000 students, decided not to renew its contracts when Coke said it was unable to meet a Dec. 31 deadline to cooperate in an investigation of circumstances in Colombia. The university and several other colleges had offered to fund the investigation.

Bjorhus said Thursday that a pending civil lawsuit prevented the company from participating. In a statement on the company Web site, the company said allegations involving its operations in Colombia are false and the company has been "an exemplary member of the business community" there.

At least nine schools have stopped selling Coke products, citing Colombia as one of the reasons, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
 
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