Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Way To Go, Venezula!

A customer picks a can of Coca-Cola Zero from a shelf in a supermarket in Caracas. Coca-Cola pulled its no-calorie Coke Zero from shelves in Venezuela Thursday on Health Ministry orders, as the local bottler insisted it was safe to drink. Photo:Juan Barreto/AFP

As my readers know, I have just finished blog on the conspiracy between Coca-Cola and other major food distributors to stall the removal of Bisphenol A (BPA) from containers food products are packaged in. I also detailed the health problems that BPA can and does cause in human beings. While the next story does not state which “harmful ingredient” is being referred to, my guess is Venezuela objects to either the BPA or the aspartame used to sweeten it.

Today, Coca-Cola started pulling its no-calorie Coke Zero from shelves in Venezuela on Health Ministry orders. Coca-Cola still insists that their product is safe to drink; but, Health Minister Jesus Mantilla disagrees.

"This product must be taken off the market to safeguard Venezuelans' health" as it has "an ingredient that can be harmful to people," Mantilla said according to the state news agency ABN.

Zero has been sold in Venezuela for only a few months. This order means that Coke Zero will be removed from all businesses nationwide. Venezuela is led by President Hugo Chavez, an outspoken critic of the US and market economics.

Coke and its local bottler Femsa "declare that Coca-Cola Zero has no ingredient that could be harmful to human health." Coke and Femsa gave this statement to local media today.

Coca-Cola said the sugarless soft drink met all standards in Venezuela; but, still suspended production of Zero pending a government investigation of its ingredients.

We should all follow Venezuela lead and ban the product until all harmful ingredients have been removed. Then, if the public desires, Coca-Cola and other harmful products can be allowed back on the market.

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