Coca-Cola defends integrity of its brands – Sprite, Fanta

The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) has said that its beverages – Fanta and Sprite are safe for human consumption.

Commenting for the first time on the Fanta and Sprite controversy in Nigeria, the Atlanta-based soft drinks giant said that the ruling by a Lagos High Court that its brands – Fanta and Sprite are unfit for consumption when combined with Vitamin C is “inaccurate and unsupported by science”. It added that both benzoic acid and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) are ingredients approved by international food safety regulators.

“While local guideline levels of these ingredients may vary by national standards,” the statement reads, “in each and every case, our beverages comply within the range defined by CODEX Alimentarius, a collection of internationally-recognised standards, codes of practice, guidelines and other recommendations related to food production and food safety.”

Coca-Cola was supported by Nigeria’s Health Ministry, which said in a statement on March 18th that the firm’s products were safe for human consumption. Nigerian limit for benzoic acid are higher than in the UK because of “different environmental conditions,” the ministry said. The limit in Nigeria is 250mg per kg, while in the UK, it is 150 mg per kg.

The levels of benzoic acid in the three Fanta and Sprite samples brought to court were 188.64mg per kg, 201.06mg per kg and 161.5mg per kg respectively, the ministry said.

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