Re: [OPE] Venezuela Bans Sale of Coke Zero

From: Gerald Levy <>
Date: Sun Jun 14 2009 - 06:21:54 EDT

It's almost amusing to see the extent to which opponents of Chavez, in
their zealous desire to discredit the government, will go in making
accusations: in almost every case, their charges are *laughably* wrong.
Here is another example. I guess they figure that if they throw enough
mud, no matter how false the content, some of it will stick.

In solidarity, Jerry

Venezuela Orders End to Coca-Cola Zero Production

June 12th 2009, by Tamara Pearson –
 Coca-Cola Zero (Archive)
Mérida, June 12th 2009 ( - On Wednesday the Venezuelan
Ministry for Health ordered the Coca-Cola Company to remove its product
Coca-Cola Zero from sale for containing a cancerous ingredient, sodium
cyclamate, an ingredient not included in the US version of the drink.
Jesus Mantilla, the health minister, said, "The product should stop
circulating in order to protect the health of Venezuelans." He said the
product contains sodium cyclamate, which in large amounts can be harmful,
and then announced that the product should be recalled, destroyed, and not
produced anymore.
Divis Antunez, director of sanitary control for the Health Ministry, said
the ingredient wasn't in the company's application that it made in 2007 and
that was approved by the Ministry. Later, in a random test conducted by the
National Institute for Hygiene Rafael Rangel, sodium cyclamate was found and
the Health Ministry started a legal process for non-compliance with the
Health Registry.
Antunez said that the recommended amount of sodium cyclamate for human
consumption is 11 mg per kilo, whereas the new Coca-Cola Zero has 18-22mg
per 10 mils, exceeding the amount approved by the Venezuelan Commission of
Industrial Norms (COVENIN).
Yesterday Coca-Cola said in a press release, "The Coca-Cola Company and its
bottler Coca-Cola Femsa Venezuela responsibly declare that Coca-Cola Zero
doesn't contain any ingredient that could be harmful to the health."
However, Coca-Cola said that until the government concludes its
administrative proceedings it will suspend production in Venezuela and
recall the drink.
Coca-Cola Zero is a drink without any calories (or an amount small enough to
be rounded down to zero) and is marketed to young males who are self
conscious of their weight but see Diet Coke as being for women. The diet and
zero versions in the US, England, and Canada both contain non-calorie
sweeteners aspartame (E951) and acesulfame K (E950), but in slightly
different proportions and they therefore have slightly different tastes.
However the versions produced in Venezuela (as well as in Chile and some
other Central American countries) have sodium cyclamate (E952) in larger
proportions than aspartame. Whilst aspartame is cleared by the US Food and
Drug Administration (FDA), sodium cyclamate has been prohibited since 1969
when it was proved to cause cancerous tumours and congenital malformations.
Sodium cyclamate, when combined with other chemicals, has the capacity to
sweeten up to 600 times more than sugar. According to, it is
also much cheaper than aspartame at $10/kilo compared to $152/kilo for
In Mexico in August 2007, El Universal-Mexico reported that Coca-Cola was
also putting sodium cyclamate in the coca-cola zero drink there. The article
said that the drink contained 25mg of the ingredient for every 100g in a can
of 355ml. Pro-U.S president Vicente Fox authorized the ingredient for the
government's list of permitted food additives in July 2006.
In February 2008 Mexican feminist news Cimanoticias reported that consumers
had "triumphed" and that the ingredient had been removed from the drink.
See also:

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Received on Sun Jun 14 06:23:59 2009

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