The Federal Ministry of Health had on Friday said that Coca-col a products produced in the country are safe for consumption.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this assurance was given after a meeting summoned by Health Minister, Prof. Isaac Adewole to discuss the recent judgment on a case filed by Fijabi Holdings against the Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC) and NAFDAC.
The Minister explained that both benzoic acid and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) were ingredients approved by International Food Safety regulators and used in many food and beverage products around the world.
“Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) is the organisation established by Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and World Health Organisation (WHO) to set internationally recognised standards, codes of practice, guidelines relating to foods, food production and food safety.
“In the case of benzoic acid, the standard set by Codex was 600mg/kg until recently reviewed to 250mg/kg and adopted in 2016.
“With reference to the Codex standard and other relevant documents, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in consultation with and relevant stakeholders 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, 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,” Adewole explained.
Adewole noted that benzoic acid as a preservative prevents the growth of micro-organisms which thrive more at higher climatic temperatures like in Nigeria.
The minister advised Nigerians to take medicines with potable water as this would help to prevent unexpected drug-food interactions.
He added that all bottling companies are encouraged to insert advisory warnings on all products as necessary.