Don’t use Fanta, Sprite to take any drugs, Govt warns Nigerians

Fanta [Photo credit: Jason Kerwin]

Although they are safe for consumption, Fanta and Sprite should not be used to take any medicine, the federal government has said.

The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said the two beverages, manufactured by the Nigeria Bottling Company, NBC, are safe for human consumption but cannot be taken with any drug.

The minister stated these on Friday, after a meeting with the Department of Food and Drug Services, Federal Ministry of Health; National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC; and Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON; to address the concerns raised over the drinks by a judgement of a Lagos High Court.

The Court had ordered NAFDAC to direct the Nigeria Bottling Company Plc to include a warning on the bottles of the products that the contents cannot be taken with Vitamin C.

The judgment was on a suit filed by a Lagos-based businessman, Emmanuel Adebo, and his company, Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited, against NBC Plc and NAFDAC.

In his suit, Mr Adebo urged the court to declare that NBC was negligent to its consumers by bottling Fanta and Sprite with excessive levels of benzoic acid and sunset additives.

He had tried to export Nigeria-produced Fanta and Sprite to the UK, where they were described as poisonous by authorities there and destroyed.

Benzoic acid is a white, crystalline powder with a faint, non-offensive odour. Though it serves as preservative, if used excessively causes cancer and has been linked to asthma problems and increased levels of hyperactivity in children.

Benzoic acid is also used in the manufacture a wide variety of products such as perfumes, dyes, topical medications and insect repellents.

Sunset yellow is a dye that can be found in foods like orange juice, ice cream, canned fish, cheese, jellies, soft drinks and many medicines. It can also be dangerous for human health as it causes urticaria, rhinitis, allergies, hyperactivity, abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting in some individuals.

NAFDAC on Thursday said it has filed an appeal and a motion to stay execution of action on the judgement.

The NBC, bottlers of Coca Cola products in Nigeria, has also said it is appealing the judgement.


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  • thusspokez

    The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said the two beverages, manufactured by the Nigeria Bottling Company, NBC, are safe for human consumption but cannot be taken with any drug.

    How did the minister reach this conclusion? Had the Minister of Health done its own independent test of the two beverages? If not, does this not once again expose the amateurism and mediocrity of the Nigerian government?

    For goodness’ sake, Nigeria is 56 years but still doesn’t have a world-class test laboratory. It would seem that even a local government in the UK has better testing facilities than the Nigerian federal government. What a shame indeed!

    • George

      Oh yes but don’t forget your backward beloved Mallams rules for almost the 56yrs.

      • Katuru

        What aspect of Nigeria’s backwardness did your dumbo change in the wasteful 6 years he governed the nation? Rather, he successfully midwives the unwanted children of insecurity and stealing is not corruption. And instead of being grateful to the people you hate with passion for sacrificing their lives to save that of your progeny that gave birth to unwanted child like you, you are busy blaming someone for your inequalities. Had we known, we would allowed the Ibos to annex and massacre you and there wouldn’t have been any name like George today to insult us.

  • thusspokez

    … safe for human consumption but cannot be taken with any drug.

    Soft drinks is the next most popular drink after pure water, which most people use to swallow medicines. Now if these two Nigerian beverages are health risk when taken in combination with drugs, shouldn’t they, therefore, be re-classified as something else other than soft drinks or even withdrawn from public consumption?

    • Theophilus

      Except you visit quack doctors, professional medical practitioners always advise you take drugs with water and not soda or even beverages. So how did that suddenly become a case to take to court?

      • thusspokez

        If you don’t have something intelligent to say, resist the urge to say anything!

  • goca vic

    NAFDAC in particular must realise that any form of appeal against this laudable judgement negates what they stand for, as the protection of Nigerian consumers is paramount. They should thank Mr Adebo for doing their job and immediately laise with their British counterpart to commence further probe into the manufacturers of fanta , spirite and other soft drinks. Who knows how many people that have become cancerous or even died from this level of ignorance? Nigerians are watching……..

  • Impulse400

    This Minister of Health should be arrested for misleading Nigerians into continuous consumption of poison, erroneously licensed by Government in the past, for profit. He is only protecting the interest of his priority stakeholders, the Medical Doctors, Hospital owners and Pharmaceutical companies, who profit from the Cancer Boom, Diabetics Boom, and various other disease Booms that have emerged in the last 30 years, after Coca-cola and other such companies commenced their poison production in this country.

    Coca-cola is a cheap, alternative “Fire Extinguisher” and Rust remover. Anybody is free to experiment with it at home. Start a fire and spray pressurized coke on it (shaking the bottle, while leaving a tiny exit for liquid to escape. Soak rust for about one hour before scouring). If coke can remove rust from metal or ceramics, imaging what it is removing in you stomach, in your intestines, in your liver and kidneys. Imagine the age old culture of celebrating events with drinks, where the natural Juices and Natural Palm Wine have been gradually and systematically substituted for Industrial Poisons. In their self-assumption, every fun-seeking, poison consumer believes he/she is wise, referring to such poisons as “refreshments”.

    (I SMH for them)