TIAA-CREF was asked to divest Coca-Cola Co. stock from its Social Choice screened fund by the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. In a letter sent to Herbert M. Allison Jr., chairman, president, and CEO, and Amy Muska O'Brien, director of social investing, the campaign cited "the growing body of evidence that soft drinks are contributing to health problems for children," according to a statement from the group. "We're in the midst of an epidemic of childhood obesity," Alvin F. Poussaint, one of 44 health-care professionals and child health advocates who signed the letter, said in the statement. "As long as Coca-Cola pursues profits at the expense of children's health, it should not be allowed to claim the mantle of social responsibility." the letter said.
"TIAA-CREF is committed to meeting the needs of all our participants and those seeking high-quality social responsibility investment options," said Glen Weiner, TIAA-CREF spokesman. "To do so, we rely on the social investment research expert KLD to define the companies we include in those products."