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The Consumer Protection Council (CPC) in Nigeria said Mirinda and Lucozade soft drinks are unsafe for Nigerian consumers and this is authoritative. The Council said both beverages contained benzoic acid level above the limit approved by the Nigerian Industrial Standard (NIS).

In a statement released by the Director-General of the Consumer Protection Council, Mr. Dupe Atoki yesterday, it said while the NIS limit for benzoic acid is 250mg/kg, when combined with Vitamin C and 300mg/kg without Vitamin C, test conducted at the Sheda Science and Technology Complex (SHESTCO), a laboratory under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology revealed that Mirinda, a product of 7UP Bottling Company, contained benzoic acid ranging between 0.56mg/L to 330.9mg/L. The Council said Lucozade formerly produced by GlaxoSmithKline, contained the acid between 2.26mg/L to 323.53mg/L.

Before arriving at this point, the Council said it obtained 65 samples of soft drinks that included Fanta Orange, Sprite from the open market in eight locations within the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria. The results showed that there were isolated cases of Mirinda and Lucozade with Benzoic Acid levels of 330.9mg/Land 323.53mg/L respectively which are above the NIS limit.

The Council said the test found that benzoic acid levels in Fanta Orange ranged from 5.09mg/L to 197.0mg/L while that of Sprite ranged from 2.82mg/L to 239.0mg/L indicating that both soft drinks were confirmed safe for Nigerian consumers as they contained benzoic acid within the limit approved by NIS. The statements said National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) have been informed of the investigation and have recommended regulatory action and review of the ‘benzoic acid’ limits in soft drinks as the current standard, which has been in existence since 2008 is overdue for review.

Issues arising!

Where do we go from here as a Nation?

What are the rights of unsuspecting consumers that have been maimed by the consumption of overdose of the benzoic acids in the soft drinks?

Do you agree that NAFDAC should compel the manufacturers of these non-alcoholic beverages to put warnings on both the canned, bottled and plastic container of the soft drinks?

Do you support mass lawsuits against the manufacturer of these soft drinks knowing fully well the implication on the health of the unsuspecting consumers?

And, what is wrong with NAFDAC asking for ‘Total Recalls’ of this products from the open markets, supermarkets and stores just as it is applicable in developed countries?

Like we have always and consistently maintained at FoodpreneurNews, a publication of Foodpreneurs Publishing Company, that ‘FOOD SAFETY IS EVERYBODY’S RESPONSIBILITY’

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About The Author

Rasaq Oke

Rasaq Oke hold a Bachelor of Science (B. Sc.) Honours degree in Food Science & Technology from the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife. He is a seasoned Food Technologist and Agribusiness expert with wide and rich industry experience that cut across reputable organization like Guinness Plc, Crown Cork and Seal, Pfizer Pharmaceuticals (now Neimeth Pharmaceuticals), Livestock Feeds Plc. and Tantalizers Plc. He is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of FOODDOTCOMACADEMY SERVICES, Managing Consultant with RESPITALITY CARE COMPANY (RCC), and Publisher/ CEO of FOODPRENEURS PUBLISHING COMPANY, the publisher of FOODPRENEURNEWS, a print and online food magazine ( Mr. Oke is an accomplished food entrepreneur, consultant, administrator, instructor, and facilitator. He is a member of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) and the Head,-Editorial Board of the NIFST Food Forum Magazine; An Executive Member of the Nigeria Association of Agricultural Journalist (NAAJ). He is an Full Member and Secretary of the Membership, Certification and Education Committee of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute of Training and Development (NITAD). He a a Media and Communication Consultant to the Lagos State Fadama Coordination Office (SFCO) and the Lagos State Coconut Development Authority (LASCODA) in addition to being a Technical Partner to the Lagos State Consumer Protection Authority (LASCOPA). He is married with children and loves playing table tennis as well as travelling.

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