Fanta and Sprite Soft Drinks Taken With Vitamin C Is Poisonous – NAFDAC Full Of Negligence – Court

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At the High Court of Lagos State, in the Lagos Judicial Division, holden at Lagos State, in the matter of Mr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo with his company, Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited against the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) before Hon. Justice Adedayo Oyebanji

Mr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo and his company Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited through their counsel Mr. Abiodun Onidare Esq. instituted an action against Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) for act of negligence and failure to ensure due diligence in the certification of products for consumption in Nigeria.

Counsel to Mr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo and his company prayed the court for an order of declaration that the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) was “negligent and breached the duty of care owed to its valued customers and consumers in the production of contaminated Fanta and Sprite soft drinks with excessive benzoic acid and sunset additive.”

From the Affidavit in support of their motion on notice deposed to by Mr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo, disclosed that sometime in March, 2007, his company Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited purchased large quantities of Coca-Cola drinks, Fanta Orange drinks, Sprite drinks, Fanta Lemon drinks, Fanta Pineapple drinks and Soda Water bottle from the Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) and exported the products to the United Kingdom to be sold.

Mr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo, in the affidavit deposed states that when the products purchased from Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) arrived the United Kingdom, all the products were tested to be substandard by the Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council’s Trading Standard Department of Environment and Economy Directorate in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo further stated that the United Kingdom authorities, thereafter, destroyed all the products, thereby causing him and his company huge financial loss and business reputation.

After the conclusion of the proceedings the court held as follows:

The Hon. Court ordered National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) to forthwith ensure that the Nigerian Bottling Company indicated on the bottles of its products, Fanta and Sprite, that the soft drinks could not be taken along with Vitamin C.

The Hon. Court vehemently frown at the negligence act committed National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) whether it is by commission or omission the Court position was that, “It is imperative to state that the knowledge of the Nigeria Bottling Company that the products were to be exported is immaterial to its being fit for human consumption.

That court held the submission of Mr. Adebo Fijabi and Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited’s counsel view that “The court is in absolute agreement with the learned counsel for the claimants that soft drinks manufactured by Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC) ought to be fit for human consumption irrespective of color or creed.

“It is manifest that National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) has been grossly irresponsible in its regulatory duties to the consumers of Fanta and Sprite manufactured by Nigeria bottling company.

The Hon. Court further held that “In my respective view, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) has failed the citizens of this great nation by its certification as satisfactory for human consumption, products which in the United Kingdom failed sample test for human consumption and which become poisonous in the presence of Ascorbic Acid ordinarily known as Vitamin C, which can be freely taken by the unsuspecting public with the company’s Fanta or Sprite.”

The Hon. Court was displeased with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) and gave order with immediate effect.

The Hon. Court states “For the reasons herein adumbrated in this judgment, the court hereby orders as follows:

“That National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) shall forthwith mandate the 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 court entered judgment in favour of Mr. Emmanuel Fijabi Adebo and Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited against Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC).

 

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