Reps Summon NBC & Others Over Harmful Soft Drinks

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The House of Representatives has summoned the Nigerian Bottling Company Limited and 90 other major carbonated/soft drinks manufacturing companies in the country over allegation of harmful substances contained in some products sold to Nigerian consumers.

Findings by The PUNCH on Sunday showed that Seven-Up Bottling Company Plc; Sona Breweries Plc; Guinness Nigeria Plc; Nestlé Nigeria Plc; Jos International Breweries Plc; Glaxosmithkline Pharmaceutical Limited; and Cadbury Nigeria Plc were among the invited firms.

The list included Nigerian Breweries Limited; Nigerian Distilleries Limited; Champions Breweries Plc; International Breweries Plc; Frutta Juice and Services Nigeria Limited; Emzor Pharmaceutical Industries Limited; Covenant University Consultancy Services Limited; Bons Industries; and Superior Beverages Limited.

An ad hoc committee of the House is investigating the alleged high concentration of Benzoic Acid and Sunset Yellow additives in Fanta and Sprite, both products of the NBC.

The NBC also produces Coke.

Health risks, particularly cancer, are said to be the end results for consumers if the products are taken in combination with Ascorbic Acid, better known as Vitamin C.

The panel, which is chaired by the Majority Leader of the House, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila, was mandated by the House to extend the investigation to cover other 90 soft drinks firms in a bid to ascertain the safety of their products for Nigerian consumers.

The PUNCH gathered in Abuja that the summons was in compliance with a House resolution of March 23, which ordered the investigation.

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