A Nigerian court has ruled that two Coca-Cola products, Fanta and Sprite, are not safe for human consumption. Presiding Nigerian judge Justice Adedayo Oyebanji ruled that high levels of benzoic acid and sunset additives in Fanta and Sprite pose a serious health risk to consumers when mixed with ascorbic acid, commonly known as vitamin C. UK regulators have stated that benzoic acid can form the carcinogen benzene when combined with ascorbic acid. This means that the drinks could cause cancer.
The court also ordered the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) – a member of Coca-Cola Hellenic group which bottles Coca-Cola products in Nigeria – to place written warnings on the bottles of the two drinks, saying the drinks pose a health risk. This means the two drinks would carry warning labels like cigarettes.
Further, the court imposed financial costs of two million naira ($6,350) against the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for failing to ensure health standards in the country.
“It is manifest that NAFDAC has been grossly irresponsible in its regulatory duties to the consumers of Fanta and Sprite manufactured by Nigeria Bottling Company. NAFDAC has failed the citizens of this great nation by its certification as satisfactory for human consumption products … which become poisonous in the presence of ascorbic acid,” Justice Oyebanji said in his ruling.
In fact, the Nigerian public wouldn’t have had this relief ruling aimed at protecting their lives had something not gone wrong between a businessman and the NBC. Read more about that case at CNN.
Following the ruling, Nigerian citizens took to social media to express their dissatisfaction of all Coca-Cola products. Many lashed out at NAFDAC for handling consumer safety in the country poorly. They accused the agency of placing more priority on generating revenues than protecting citizens.
Some also accused NAFDAC for being responsible for numerous health problems and deaths because it allows corporations to sell poison to the public. The majority of citizens called for a boycott against all Coca-Cola products in the country to serve as a deterrent to other unscrupulous corporations taking advantage of endemic corruption to kill the public. The ruling has dented the image of Coca-Cola in the country. The company is likely to suffer losses this year because the scandal will remain in the minds of citizens for a long time to come. - From Truth Theory.