NBC allays fears over Benzoic Acid in Fanta,Sprite
The Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC) has allayed concern that drinking Fanta, Sprite with Vitamin C is injurious as reported in the media recently.
The rebuttal came on the trail of recent media reports of a court order directing National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to mandate NBC to include a warning on its bottles of Fanta and Sprite that its contents cannot be taken with Vitamin C as same become poisonous if taken with Vitamin C. The order followed a suit by Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited & Dr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo against NBC and NAFDAC questioned the safety of these products after same products exported to UK were seized and destroyed for failing UK safety standards.
NBC, in a statement issued Wednesday,stated benzoic and ascorbic acids in the said products are within the levels approved by both the national regulators for Nigeria and the international levels set by CODEX, the joint intergovernmental body responsible for harmonizing food standards globally.
“The benzoic and ascorbic acid levels in Fanta as well as the benzoic acid level in Sprite produced and sold by NBC in Nigeria are in compliance with the levels approved by all relevant national regulators and the international level set by CODEX, there is no truth in the report that these products would become poisonous if consumed alongside Vitamin C.
“The wrong perception emanating from the media reports that our Fanta and Sprite beverages which are fully compliant with all national and international food quality and safety standards are unsafe, simply because their levels of Benzoic acid were not within the UK standards, is not only unfounded but also undermines the entire food and beverage industry in Nigeria which is regulated by the same ingredient levels approved by NAFDAC and other,” the statement read in part.
It added that while the UK standards limit benzoic acid in soft drinks to a maximum of 150 mg/kg, both Fanta and Sprite have benzoic levels of 200 mg/kg which is lower than the Nigerian regulatory limit of 250 mg/kg when combined with ascorbic acid and 300 mg/kg without ascorbic acid and also lower than the 600 mg/kg international limit set by CODEX.