Second mercury poisoning case linked to Coca-Cola’s Sprite brand

Posted by Janice Wong on 5th February 2010

Soft drink giant Coca-Cola and local police in Beijing are investigating the second case of mercury poisoning allegedly from the consumption of Coca-Cola brand Sprite, after a 13 year old boy was hospitalised after consuming the drink. This is Beijing’s second mercury poisoning case linked to Sprite in 3 months – the first occurring last November.

Coca Cola, maker of Sprite, said in a statement on Tuesday the company follows strict quality management, and its products are safe and in line with the food and drink safety standard of China.

Coca-Cola has ruled out the possibility that mercury contamination could have occurred at its Beijing plant after testing samples manufactured at the same time as the poisoning incidents. Instead they suspect findings of mercury can be attributed to contamination as some point in the supply chain.

“In these isolated incidents, it could be said that our products have been deliberately contaminated during its circulation channels,” said Coca-Cola in a statement quoted in China Daily.

The company has agreed to conduct independent research and will assist the Chinese police with the investigation to resolve the case as quickly as possible.

“Now, we are cooperating with the police in the investigation and cannot give any more comments,” the company said.