House of Rep orders NBC, others to print expiry dates, warnings on their products

The House of Representatives on Wednesday directed the Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC) Limited, makers of Coca-Cola soft drinks, as well as other producers of carbonated and non-carbonated soft drinks sold in Nigeria to as from January 2019, print expiry dates on all their products.

The bottling company was also directed to print labels on Fanta and Sprite drinks, warning that the products were harmful when consumed with ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).

The directives were given following the adoption of the report of the ad-hoc committee that investigated the alleged high concentration of benzoic acid and sunset yellow additives in Fanta and Sprite, both products of the NBC. The committee was headed by the House leader, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.

The House also mandated the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to compel producers/manufacturers to indicate all chemicals, acids, colorants and preservatives contained on their products on the packs or bottles no matter how negligible they may be.

It further adopted the recommendation that standard review be carried out biannually by regulatory agencies, particularly, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), in collaboration with NAFDAC.

The House equally mandated its committee on health services to beam its searchlight on the activities of regulatory bodies as well as manufacturers and marketers of food and beverages in the country.

It will be recalled that the House in March, 2017 resolved to investigate the alleged health risks associated with the consumption of the products in combination with ascorbic acid, better known as Vitamin C, following the adoption of a motion on the need to protect Nigerians from the harmful effects of Fanta and Sprite beverages produced and promoted by the NBC.

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