The Federal Government has cautioned Nigerians against using Fanta and Sprite to take any medicine, although the beverages are safe for consumption.
Speaking on Friday, the Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, said the two beverages, manufactured by the Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC), are safe for human consumption but cannot be taken with any drug.
He made this known after a meeting with the Department of Food and Drug Services, Federal Ministry of Health; National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC; and Standards Organisation of Nigeria, SON; to address the concerns raised over the drinks by a judgement of a Lagos High Court.
The High Court in Lagos had informed NAFDAC to order the NBC to include a warning on the bottles of the products that the contents cannot be taken with Vitamin C.
The directive followed a suit filed by a Lagos-based businessman, Emmanuel Adebo, and his company, Fijabi Adebo Holdings Limited, against NBC Plc and NAFDAC.
In his suit, Mr Adebo urged the court to declare that NBC was negligent to its consumers by bottling Fanta and Sprite with excessive levels of benzoic acid and sunset additives.
He had tried to export Nigeria-produced Fanta and Sprite to the UK, where they were described as poisonous by authorities there and destroyed.
Benzoic acid is a white, crystalline powder with a faint, non-offensive odour. Though it serves as preservative, if used excessively causes cancer and has been linked to asthma problems and increased levels of hyperactivity in children.