The Federal Government has said the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), did not breach the standards of production in Nigeria. It affirmed that Fanta and Sprite are safe for consumption.
In a statement signed by Boade Akinola, Director of Media and Public Relations in the Ministry of Health, the FG said NBC passed a routine test in December 2016.
“In the case of Benzoic acid, the standard set by Codex was 600mg/kg until recently reviewed to 250mg/kg and adopted in 2016. (CODEX STAN 192-1995 revised 2015 and 2016),” the statement read.
“With reference to the Codex standard and other relevant documents, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) elaborated the standard of benzoic acid in soft drinks to be at 250mg/kg based on the national climatic and storage conditions. This standard has been in existence since 1997 and revised in 2008. (NIS 217:2008)
“The levels of benzoic acid in Fanta (1 batch) and Sprite (2 batches) presented by the claimant in the court are 188.64mg/kg, 201.06mg/kg and 161.5mg/kg respectively.
“These levels are in compliance with both the Codex and Nigeria industrial standards.”Adewole added that the products were safe for consumption and said the claimant, Fijabi and Holdings, did not obtain NAFDAC certification before export.
“Due to the different environmental conditions obtainable in the UK, the standard for benzoic acid was set at a lower limit of 150mg/kg while in Nigeria it was set at 250mg/kg even below that of Codex (as at time of production of that batch; Codex limit was 600mgkg),” he said.
“The claimant did not obtain NAFDAC certification before export, otherwise, he would have been advised on the required standard of the destination country.”
A Lagos state High Court had earlier ruled that the soft drinks contain ingredients, that could turn poisonous in the presence of Vitamin C.