Vice chancellor warns FG on contents of soft drinks

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The management of Benson Idahosa University (BIU), Benin City has carpeted government quality control agencies for lack of proper regulation on some soft drinks being consumed in Nigeria.

This is coming on the heels of controversies that have greeted the court ruling on some coca-cola products and the health concerns it has raised.

Addressing a press conference on the development, vice chancellor of the University, Professor Ernest Izewingie, urged the federal government to adopt policies that would affect positively the interest of all Nigerians and suggested that the use of vitamin C should be removed as an ingredient in soft drinks, due to concern for Benzene toxicity.

Besides, he said there should be a reduction of the Sodium Benzoate concentration to below 150 mg\kg as prescribed by WHO, which is obtainable in the UK, that have low temperature than Nigeria and Ghana, that have the same climatic condition, as Nigeria.

Izewingie said that the National Foods and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and other agencies in the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) should live up to their responsibilities to the citizens of Nigeria and constantly be in tune with recent research findings.

He called on them to always liaise with various research groups particularly those based in Nigeria and not depend on only investigations done in other climates just as he said Nigerian government should check mate manufacturers of those products through its various agencies.

In a paper entitled; “Coca-Cola Products: lnformation/Data Provided by Federal Government Fall Short of Addressing the Safety Concerns Raised in Court,” Izewingie said the consumption of Fanta, Sprite and other coca-cola products can cause cancer, low sperm count, infertility and other human diseases on children.

He said the FMOH and other agencies have failed in their duties to know the health implication of the continuous consumption of soft drinks.

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