BusinessTop News

Reactions trail courts slamming of Coca-Cola, NAFDAC




By Vicky Bricks


Reactions have continued to trail the recent order of Justice Adedayo Oyebanji in Lagos ordering the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC to compel the beverages producer and bottler, the Nigerian Bottling Company, makers and marketers of the popular Coca Cola beverage products, Fanta and Sprite,  to post notices on its products calling attention to the possible health implications of consuming them alongside the Vitamin C drug supplement.

The judge made the declaration on Tuesday 14, March 2017 in a the suit filed against NBC (Nigerian Bottling Company) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) by a Lagos-based business man, Dr Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo and his company, Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited over the discovery of excessive “sunset yellow and benzoic acid” in the coca cola products.

In a telephone chat with a Lagos-based lawyer, Barrister Ayoade Oluwasanmi, he remarked that the ruling was most instructive given that every company owes a duty of care to  it’s customers.

“I believe that it’s a proper thing to warn Nigerians. There’s a duty principle in law that says that every human being owes a duty of care to someone else, so Coca Cola owes a duty care to its consumers and if there’s anything that could be dangerous to the health of consumers, they owe a duty of care in that regard.

Basically, the fact that they owe a duty of care, shows that they are responsible, just like the enforcement given to the tobacco company to put a warning on cigarette packs saying that smoking is dangerous to health.

NAFDAC has a responsibility of ensuring the safety of products that Nigerians consume and every producing company in Nigeria has a duty of care to ensure that their products are safe,” he emphasised.

The findings emanated from tests carried out in the United Kingdom and the European Union where large quantities of of Coca-Cola, Fanta Orange, Sprite, Fanta Lemon, Fanta Pineapple and Soda Water are regularly procured from the NBC for export to the UK and Europe for retail purposes and supply to their customers.

Indeed, when the packages arrived there, fundamental health related matters were raised on the contents and composition of the Fanta and Sprite products by the UK Health Authorities, specifically the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council’s Trading Standard Department of Environment and Economy Directorate.

Adebo’s lawyer urged 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” addictives. 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.

NAFDAC did not file any defence in the suit but the Nigeria Bottling Company contended that the claimants’ claims were speculative, frivolous and vexatious and should be dismissed with substantial costs.

In the judgment, Justice Oyebanji asserted that NAFDAC has failed 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.

The sum of two million naira was therefore awarded against NAFDAC and this award was declared by Justice Adedayo considering the fact that the case has spent 9 years in court.

”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.”



Did Onyeama sell Nigeria cheap in South Africa?

Previous article

Foreign students rate Germany over others – Study

Next article

You may also like


Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Business