Diabetes Drug Maker Novo Nordisk Drops Paula Deen Amid Scandal

Thursday, 27 Jun 2013 01:25 PM

By Newsmax Wires

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Diabetes drug maker Novo Nordisk (NVO) has dropped Paula Deen, the latest contract the celebrity chef lost since she admitted to using a racial slur, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

Corporate reaction to the disclosure of Paula Deen's statements in a lawsuit deposition that she used racist language has been swift, with marketers and broadcasters fleeing.

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“Right now we’re letting her focus on what she needs to do…which is how she’s rebuilding her relationship with the public,” said the spokesperson for the diabetes drug maker, Ken Inchausti.

Paula Deen’s contract with the diabetes drug's parent pharmaceutical company was to have run through 2013, he added, and the decision to end the partnership was mutual. The diabetes drug maker's “Diabetes in a New Light” campaign—offering recipes and other guides for managing diabetes—will shift away from Paula Deen and her two sons, Jamie and Bobby.

The diabetes drug maker sells Victoza, a drug that stimulates insulin production, with sales topping $1 billion last year. Paula Deen has said she uses the drug and has appeared at public events for the diabetes drug maker. Her relationship with the diabetes drug maker was born in controversy: It coincided with Deen’s appearance last year on NBC’s Today show to reveal her Type 2 diabetes, diagnosed three years prior. Many felt she was cashing in on diabetes, which was caused by the kind of high-calorie, fat-laden diet she promotes in her recipes on her national television shows.

Even before her diabetes disclosure, Paula Deen’s critics included those like her Food Network colleague Anthony Bourdain, who said in a 2011 interview with TV Guide that Paula Deen’s foods made her “the worst, most dangerous person” on the network.

“She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations and she’s proud of the fact that her food is f–––ing bad for you,” Bourdain said. “If I were on at seven at night and loved by millions of people at every age, I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it’s OK to eat food that is killing us.”

When Paula Deen announced her deal with the diabetes drug maker, she wrote on her website that she “wanted to take control” of managing her diabetes “and have a delicious time doing it. Of course, I will continue to share my favorite Southern recipes, just like my mama, grandmother and family shared with me over the years. And now, I’ll be adding a little bit of a lighter touch to some of these wonderful dishes.”

While the QVC, the shopping network, said it is reviewing its relationship with Paula Deen, Food Network, Great American Country, Wal-Mart Stores (WMT), Home Depot (HD), Caesars Entertainment (CZR), Smithfield Foods (SFD) and Novo Nordisk have ended their commercial relationships with her.

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