Soda Boycott: Coca-Cola Products Are Poisonous, Court Rules
Nigerians are ditching Coca-Cola products after a Lagos High Court judge ruled that they could be poisonous.
The judgement was made after a local businessman, Dr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo, and his company, Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited, filed a suit against the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) for failing to recognize the health dangers of the contents and composition of the Coca-cola products.
Sahara Reporters said Adebo's statement filed in the court notes that they brought Coca-Cola products, including Fanta and Sprite, from NBC in March 2007 for export to the U.K. However, the products were seized and destroyed by U.K. health authorities after they have found out that the Coca-cola products contain excessive levels of sunset yellow and benzoic acid, which are known to be carcinogenic. In addition, the Coca-cola drinks could be poisonous when mixed with vitamin C.
The findings of the U.K. health authorities were also corroborated by other agencies in European Union countries.
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CNN reported that Justice Adedayo Oyebanji ordered the NBC to place written warnings on Fanta and Sprite bottles against drinking them with vitamin C, and awarded costs of two million naira ($6,350) against the NAFDAC for failing to ensure health standards.
Meanwhile, following the controversy, Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) released a statement contesting the claim, citing that the basis is inaccurate and unsupported by science.
The Coca-Cola Co. also asserted that benzoic acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) are ingredients approved by international food safety regulators and that they strictly adhere to all regulations provided by the country where the products are distributed. Hence, all their products are approved and certified by international food and safety regulators.
NBC also released a counter statement, citing that the benzoic acid level of both Fanta and Sprite is below the safety level provided by the Nigerian regulatory board and the international limit set by CODEX.
Acting Director General of NAFDAC, Yetunde Oni, through a text message from Vienna, Austria reacted to the issue and told Premium Times, "Our lawyer has filed an appeal and a motion to stay execution of action of the judgement also filed."