In Nigeria, a recent court case about Fanta and Sprite was stressed as the problem of local production of soft drinks can be considered very dangerous for human consumption in every country, explained by Ijeoma Ndukwe.
There was a serious issue in Nigeria after what it was revealed that the company that produces Sprite and Fanta, the Nigeria Bottling Company (also known as NBC), was ordered by the local court to place some warning labels on their products, noticing that they are dangerous when consumed together with vitamin C.
Drinks, as critics say, contain high levels of well-known benzoic acid preservative and coloring of the sunset yellow.
NBC challenges the decision
This case caused a deepening of serious concern in the country where Coca-Cola, Fanta and Sprite are maybe the most widely consumed fizzy drinks.
Barbara Yukpabi owns a grill restaurant that serves local cuisine in Lagos. She says that she may stop buying Fanta and Sprite for her restaurant, and also has fears about giving drinks to her kids.
‘I was thinking about reducing the consumption of this drink. I will think about drinking less of it and choose juice’.
Despite the habit of Nigerians is difficult to break.
Nigerian production of Fanta and Sprite
The decision was the result of a nine-year battle of the court, initiated by Nigerian businessman, whose name is Fijabi Adebo.
In 2007, Mr. Adebo shipped the Nigerian production of Fanta and Sprite to the UK to sell in its chain stores in Manchester. His cargo was confiscated by the UK Customs, initially because of concerns about the authenticity of the drinks.
But when British health authorities tested all products, they were found unsafe for human consumption and so they all were destroyed.
Mr. Adebo sued the owner of the NBC franchise, Coca-Cola in Nigeria, who sold him those products. They refused to take any financial responsibility for the incident.
Later, he expanded the case of the NAFDAC Food Standards Agency, on the grounds that he was allegedly not in charge of his duties.
Last month - almost 10 years after he filed his case - the high court of Lagos ruled against NAFDAC and ordered the Nigerian spill company to post written warnings on its Sprite and Fanta bottles. As NBC stays attractive, labels have not yet been added to the bottle.
Mr. Adebo told the BBC: ‘Initially they were flexing their muscles that were dragging [out of] the process that I went to court to get NAFDAC to fulfill its duty’. Warnings have not yet appeared, as the ruling is disputed.
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‘We should not have a product that is considered substandard in other European countries’.
His point of view is echoed by much, resentful that the products are considered unsafe for consumption in the United Kingdom, are still legal in our country, Nigeria. The case sparked discussions about the adopted standards in the country.
While benzoic acid is widely spread as a useful antibacterial and antifungal preservative in acidic food and also beverages can extend shelf life. But some studies have already shown that a chemical can cause serious health problems in certain circumstances.
Toxic Fanta and Sprite (Nigeria)
A scientist, who is based in Nigeria and who is dealing with NAFDAC, asked to remain anonymous, said that some human toxicity studies had already shown that benzoic acid could react with ascorbic acid (vitamin C) in soft drinks to form benzene.
‘While benzoic acid itself is relatively non-toxic when benzene is formed in the presence of ascorbic acid in food, it is especially dangerous, since benzene is widely known to be toxic and associated with many forms of cancer. These include leukemia and other types of blood cancer,’ said the scientist.
The General Secretary of the Nigerian Medical Association says that it is impossible to make a judgment about acceptable levels of benzoic acid without conducting a local study, looking at the health consequences for a long period of time.
The damages of Fanta produced outside Nigeria
Fanta characters are not very useful too. The original composition of Fanta included the following ingredients: apple cake or spin and whey. Nowadays the composition of Fanta has nothing to do with that old German drink. The first Fanta was yellow. Almost during 20 years, the German Fanta was an independent brand in Germany, and only in the 60s of the last century, the main division of The Coca-Cola Company bought the name. Since then, Fanta has become different in composition and appearance from the original version of the drink.
Americans made the right choice and a full rebranding allowed the drink to enter the top three sales leaders around the world. And experts in advertising and marketing of the company spent a decade, to make the history of participation of the fascists in the creation of the drink Fanta was forgotten. However, it was not until 2008, when The Coca-Cola Company released a new block view of Fanta.
There are about 80 other companies around the world that produce similar to original drinks. Therefore, Fanta harms not just a little less than other sweet fizzy drinks that our children love to drink. Fanta harms the human body, especially the kid’s one because it contains a large amount of sugar and a number of food additives, which include dyes, preservatives, as well as acids. Doctors and nutritionists strongly recommend minimizing the consumption of sweet carbonated drinks, including Fanta.
Damage of Sprite produced outside Nigeria
The formulation and composition of Sprite were created in such a way that the drink could quench thirst. This quality of the drink has become its distinctive feature. Sprite includes components such as water, citric acid, sugar, sodium citrate, carbon dioxide, as well as preservatives. As you have already understood, there is no need to wait for the special benefit of the drink. What is the harm of Sprite for the human body?
The main damage to Sprite lies in the chemical composition of the drink. Scientists and doctors argue that any sweet carbonated beverage is more harmful to the body because, In the process of production, drinking water is saturated with chemicals, including harmful food additives. Similarly, Sprite is contraindicated for people, who suffer from diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.
The citric acid contained in the beverage can provoke an increase of acidity in the human body. It is noteworthy that the content calories in Sprite are at the lowest level among similar beverages of the Coca-Cola company. However, depending on the bottle of the drink, the level of caloric content can vary, because the amount of sugar that is used in the production of soda varies.
Therefore, people who care about their health better avoid all sweet carbonated drinks without exception for Sprite and Fanta.
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