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Governor Bans Consumption Of Coke, Fanta And Sprite

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Evidently worried by reports that some soft drinks in the country could be hazardous to human health, Ebonyi state Governor, David Umahi on Tuesday banned the serving and consumption of Coke, Sprite and Fanta at state functions.

The governor gave the directive during a meeting with traditional rulers and town union executives in the state, the Premium Times reports.

It is noteworthy to recall that earlier this year, a lawsuit carried out at the Lagos state high court between Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited and Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo against the Nigerian Bottling Company Ltd and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, alleged that Fanta Orange and Sprite may be hazardous if consumed with vitamin C.

The court said the drinks may contain high levels of two additives, benzoic acid and sunset yellow, which may be dangerous for human consumption.

In response, the Nigerian Bottling Company, NBC, refuted the allegations maintaining that the amount of the chemicals in its products, including Fanta and Sprite, were within Nigerian regulatory standards.

Consequently, an investigation by the Consumer Protection Council, CPC, found that the level of benzoic acid in Fanta and Sprite were within the Nigerian approved standard.

Furthermore, the CPC, found that benzoic acid levels in two other non-NBC products, Lucozade and Mirinda, had much higher contents than what was approved by Nigerian regulators.

The CPC has since called for a renewed investigation of all soft drinks sold in Nigeria.

The confusion on the status of the drinks may have informed the recent decision of the Ebonyi governor.

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