NBC allays concerns over benzoic acid in soft drinks | Welcome to Linda Ikeji's Blog

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Thursday, 16 March 2017

NBC allays concerns over benzoic acid in soft drinks

Read the press statement from NBC below...
Our attention has been drawn to media reports, which contain misleading information on the safety of benzoic and ascorbic acids as ingredients in soft drinks, citing a Lagos High Court order.

In the judgement delivered on February 15, 2017 in a suit involving FijabiAdebo Holdings Limited & Dr. Emmanuel FijabiAdebo v. Nigerian Bottling Company Limited (NBC) & National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the Lagos High Court dismissed all claims against NBC and held that the company had not breached its duty of care to consumers and that there was no proven case of negligence against it. 

In the same judgement, the court directed NAFDAC to mandate NBC to include a warning on its bottles of Fanta and Sprite that its contents cannot be taken with Vitamin C as same become poisonous if taken with Vitamin C. This order was premised on the fact that the products contain the preservative, benzoic acid. NBC has since appealed this order.

Whilst we do not wish to delve into the details of the case or the merits of the court order by this medium, we find it imperative in the interest of consumers and members of the public to make the following clarifications:
1.  In the subject case which dates back to 2007, the UK authorities confiscated a consignment of our products shipped to that country by the plaintiff because their benzoic acid levels were not within the UK national level, although well within the levels approved by both the national regulators for Nigeria and the international levels set by CODEX, the joint intergovernmental body responsible for harmonizing food standards globally.
2. The UK standards limit benzoic acid in soft drinks to a maximum of 150 mg/kg. Both Fanta and Sprite have benzoic levels of 200 mg/kg which is lower than the Nigerian regulatory limitof 250 mg/kgwhen combined with ascorbic acid and 300 mg/kg without ascorbic acidand also lower than the 600 mg/kg international limit set by CODEX.
3. Both benzoic acid and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) are ingredients approved by international food safety regulators and used in many food and beverage products around the world.
4. These two ingredients are also used in combination in some of these products within levels which may differ from one country to another as approved by the respective national food and drug regulators and in line with the range prescribed by CODEX,.
5. The permissible ingredient levels set by countries for their food and beverage products are influenced by a number of factors such as climate, an example being the UK, a temperate region, requiring lower preservative levels unlike tropical countries.  
6. Given the fact that the benzoic and ascorbic acid levels in Fanta as well as the benzoic acid level in Sprite produced and sold by NBC in Nigeria are in compliance with the levels approved by all relevant national regulators and the international level set by CODEX, there is no truth in the report that these products would become poisonous if consumed alongside Vitamin C.
7. The wrong perception emanating from the media reports that our Fanta and Sprite beverages which are fully compliant with all national and international food quality and safety standards are unsafe,simply because their levels of Benzoic acid were not within the UK standards, is not only unfounded but also undermines the entire food and beverage industry in Nigeria which is regulated by the same ingredient levels approved by NAFDAC and other regulatory bodies for the country.
NBC hereby assures our consumers and members of the public of our unwavering commitment to product quality, safety and customer satisfaction.

Sade Morgan (Mrs.)
Legal, Public Affairs and Communications Director
sade.morgan@cchellenic.com; +234 803 402 2730;

25 comments:

odanwu linda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tayo said...

okay... we have heard and noted it.
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Vivian Reginalds said...

hmm
-D great anonymous now as Vivian Reginalds

Anonymous said...

Rather than pour benzonic acid into the drink to kill people gradually, lay foundation for cancer and renal failure, why not put little quantity and put exPiry date on the drinks? They can still talk cos the silly company has not been closed down, they are here justifying their poison.

Anonymous said...

found it!

no TRUTH in the statement

chioma maureen said...

How? Expanciate...

kisbykay (Travelling Agency) said...

My mama don dey take soft drink before i was born, me I don dey take too since i was born. I have never had any complication taking them.

All the same, thanks for the warnings. Coke cola still remains my best of all the soft drink.
Just saying.

Anonymous said...

people have been drinking Fanta for donkey years and they are ok.Be careful what you read on the Internet remember it's someone like you and me writing up stuff. do your own research

Pumpkin

Hrm Paul said...

Well said Anon dey should put little benzoic acid and put expiratory date.truth b told am done with All these pop sodas

Hrm Paul said...

Thunder fire NBC they are liars all dey do is lace our pop sodas with high industrial sugar and benzoic acid.am done with soft drinks. From now on water or fruit juice.

Anonymous said...

The fact that nafdac is useless doesn't justify your poisoning millions of Nigerians slowly. No more Fanta and sprite for me. Thanks but no thanks.

Anonymous said...

Do not drink coke fanta or sprite anymore!! Apart from the excessive sugar levels which lead to diabetes and other health problems, this new revelation is shocking and scary. There are some people who consume coke and its related products daily, and i pity them. They are laying the foundation for diabetes and now cancer. NBC should be stopped from selling anymore bottles of their poison until they reduce the amount of benzoic acid in their drinks. The excuse that the levels are lower in uk because of their climate is a great lie. They probably realized that high levels of these chemicals have adverse effects in the body, and reduced theirs. Are you saying we are more developed than the UK now? Let us not deceive ourselves. We the consumers of the products have a say in the matter. If we all come together as a nation and refuse to buy their products, they would have no other choice but to reduce the levels of the chemicals they are putting in those drinks. Enough is enough! Stand up for your rights!

Anonymous said...

LIES AM SURE EVERYONE IN DIS WORLD WOULD HAVE BEEN DEAD BY NOW IF DIS ARTICLE IS TRUE..........................

eugene jefu said...

Anon 12:59 u are right, why not put expiry date and little benzoic acid than all this lie you come here to preach, we don't have a country, imagine this case has been on since 2007 and they are still putting same quantity in their drinks and killing us, if not that the judge ruled in favour of the man, would people make these statement....Rubbish people and Rubbish country where anything can go.

Josephine Ajayi said...

People who are saying "why haven't we died since...", remember some lives are shortened due to poor eating/drinking habits, the death is not instantaneous but gradual. The best is to avoid these kind of carbonated drink and opt for natural fruits.

Anonymous said...

SAY NO TO FANTA,COKE AND SPRITE! FULL STOP

Anonymous said...

SAY NO TO FANTA,COKE AND SPRITE! FULL STOP

blunt angel said...

I drank water today during lunch..usually,i'd have a soda drink but walahi,i have sworn off all that poison. Gimme good ol' water please!

pepisco said...

NBC rep told the court their products are for local consumption and not for export. UK also said in their report that the products are not fit for human consumption. For those saying it doesn't matter, it does because many health problems have been on the rise now. This is a major silent killer in Nigeria now. Our government doesn't have the people health and feelings at heart. If not a lot of action is supposed to be taken against NBC and NAFDAC.

Samuel said...

Anon 14:36_ How does the Climatic change of UK affects Nigeria's development. Of what good is your comment when you cannot critically examine the post. To give a critical and power-pocked comment you need to speak with facts. It should be noted that the summary of the post relays that Coke, Fanta or Sprite is only poisonous at a particular temperature with the large mixture of Vitamin C. Therefore consumers can take Coke, Fanta or Sprite without Vitamin C and thats all.

RareSpecie Z said...

Word!!

Anonymous said...

If the Nigerian specification is 250mg then other drinks have the same content

Anonymous said...

Fly wen no dey hear word naim dey follow dead body enter grave. Check the coke bottle you will see the grams of sugar there. Now use google if you no sabi maths take convert am to cubes. Then continue drinking coke. All NBC products are poison. No difference between drinking them and smoking.

dee boi said...

Ok oooooo... dee

JohnJohn Uket said...

We must review our laws on consumer protection. Do you know that, to get a fair hearing on poisoned drinks, it must only be a fair hearing if it's ascertained that you drank the poisoned drinks and it must have caused you injury or health damage before the court can order NBC or any other company responsible to pay compensation.
You see the problem with the law? What happens if you die before the medical certification shows that it is poor quality or poisoned drink that causes it. Dead man don't talk!
Review our laws to protect we the consumers and not the multimillion industry that can bribe their ways out.
Where is Prof Dora Akunyili?

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