An independent research by the Coalition of Civil Society Groups, CCSG, has shown Fanta and Sprite soft drinks to be safe for human consumption in Nigeria.
Presenting the outcome of their study at a press briefing, yesterday in Abuja, President of CCSG, Etuk Williams and in a joint statement, said that based on their findings, “We make bold to say that the benzoic levels in Fanta and Sprite produced and sold by Nigerian Bottling Company, NBC, in Nigeria are in compliance with the levels approved by all relevant national and international regulators.”
It will be recalled that a Lagos High Court had in March ruled that Sprite and Fanta may be poisonous following a suit by one Dr. Emmanuel Adebo against NBC, producers of Fanta and Sprite, after United Kingdom regulators declared the beverages unsafe for consumption in the UK.
Adebo had attempted exporting the beverages to the UK.
The court held that high levels of benzoic acid and sunset additives in the soft drinks could pose a health risk to consumers when mixed with ascorbic acid, commonly known as vitamin C.
However, CCSG insisted that as the watchdog of society, protection and promotion of the welfare of citizens was prominent in their objectives as a body.
According to the civil society group, findings from its study show that “A risk assessment is constantly conducted by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, on NBC to ascertain maximum limits of food additives acceptable in their various brands of beverages.
“It is permitted for each country or region to adapt a standard or limit based on country-specific evidence such as environmental, storage and distribution conditions.”