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A High Court in Lagos has ordered the National Agency For
Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, to instantly instruct the Nigeria
Bottling Company PLC, manufacturers of soft drinks; Fanta and Sprite to include
a written caution on the bottles of the drinks that the content cannot be taken
with Vitamin C.

This is coming following a suit filed against the NBC and
NAFDAC by a Lagos businessman, Dr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo and his business,
Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited.
His lawyer claimed that erstwhile in March, 2007, his
client’s company bought large quantities of Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta Orange, Fanta
Pineapple, Fanta Lemon and Soda Water from NBC for export to the United Kingdom
for retail purposes and supply to their customers.
Upon arrival of the packages in UK, fundamental health
related matters were raised on the contents and composition of the Fanta and
Sprite products by the UK Health Authorities, explicitly the Stockport
Metropolitan Borough Councils Trading Standard Department of Environment and
Economy Directorate.
The discoveries from the United Kingdom were verified by the
Coca-Cola European Union and products were found to have excessive levels of
Sunset Yellow and Benzoic Acid which are usafe for human consumption.
Due to the irregularities and harmful content of the soft
drinks which can cause cancer to the consumer, the claimants was unable sell
the Fanta and Sprite products resulting in appreciable losses, as they were
certified unsuitable for consumption and were confiscated and destroyed by the
United Kingdom health authorities
Adebo’s Lawyer begged the court to declare that the Nigeria
Bottling Company was negligent and breached the duty of care owed to their
valued customers and consumers in the production of contaminated Fanta and
Sprite soft drinks with excessive benzoic acid and sunset addictive. They
also urged the court to direct NAFDAC to conduct and carry out routine
laboratory tests of all the soft drinks and allied products of the company to
ensure and guarantee the safety of the consumable products, produced from the
Nigeria Bottling Company factory.
Although the Nigeria Bottling Company contested that the claimants
claims are hypothetical, frivolous and vexatious and should be dismissed with
substantial costs, NAFDAC did not file any defence.
In a judgment delivered by Justice Adedayo Oyebanji declared
that NAFDAC has disappointed Nigerians by its certification as satisfactory for
human consumption, products which in the UK failed sample test for human consumption
and which became poisonous in the presence of 
Vitamin C.
He therefore ordered: That
NAFDAC shall forthwith mandate Nigeria Bottling Company to, within 90 days
hereof, include on all the bottles of Fanta and Sprite soft drinks manufactured
by the company, a written warning that the content of the said bottles of Fanta
and Sprite soft drinks cannot be taken with Vitamin C as same becomes poisonous
if taken with Vitamin C.

In consideration of
the fact that this case was filed in 2008 and that it has been in court for 9
years, costs of N2 million is awarded against NAFDAC. Interest shall be paid on
the costs awarded at the rate of 10% per annum until liquidation of the said
sum.



Via
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