A Nigerian court has ruled that two types of Coca Cola drinks, Fanta and Sprite, could be poisonous because of the high levels of benzoic acid and sunset additives found within them. These chemicals, when mixed with with ascorbic acid, could pose a serious health risk, says the court.
Justice Adedayo Oyebanji ordered the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) to add warnings to Fanta and Sprite bottles and cans that warn against mixing with Vitamin C, as well as a fine of two million naira ($6,350) against the National Agency For Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for failing to ensure health standards.
"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," the judge said. "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."
"I'm happy that I'm victorious and we've alerted Nigerians and the entire world to what is happening in Nigeria," said Lagos businessman Dr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo, who brought the case. "What the court fined NAFDAC is not one tenth of the amount I've spent on litigation ... We should have been awarded at least the amount that we spent in purchasing that product and in exporting it to UK. We are entitled to special damages for what we have gone through."