Venezuela bans Coke Zero over unspecified health problems

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Coca-Cola Zero

Coke Zero, a product of the Coca-Cola Company has been banned in Venezuela by the government. Jesús Mantilla, the health minister for Venezuela stated the ban is to preserve the health of Venezuelans but did not specify what problems could be caused with consuming Coke Zero. Coca-Cola agreed to abide by the ban but claimed that Coke Zero contained no harmful ingredients.

"Coca Cola Zero is made under the highest quality standards around the world and meets the sanitary requirements demanded by the laws of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela," said Coca Cola in a statement.

Coke Zero, which was first sold in 2005 in the United States, was launched in Venezuela in April and Coca-Cola Femsa, the Mexican company who bottles the drink, hoped to increase the market share for low calorie drinks by up to 200 percent. Coke Zero contains no sugar and was created to be an alternative to Coca-Cola Classic.

Venezuela is currently in the process of nationalizing much of its economy. Earlier in the year the government seized a rice mill and a pasta factory owned by American food production company, Cargill. Legal action has also been threatened against pharmaceutical company Pfizer.