Reps orders indication of expiry dates on soft drinks from 2019

The House of Representatives has directed the Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC) and all other manufacturers of soft and carbonated drinks to indicate expiry dates on the packaging.

The House also directed the NBC to ensure that warning labels were printed on Fanta and Sprite brands of its beverages to indicate their dangers to health when taken with ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

The directive followed the consideration and adoption of the report of the House ad hoc committee that investigated the production and distribution of drinks manufactured by the NBC and other drinks produced and marketed in Nigeria.

Adopting the recommendations put forward by the Femi Gbajabiamila-led panel, the House also directed that effective from January 1, 2019, expiry dates must be boldly printed on all carbonated and non-carbonated drinks produced and marketed in Nigeria.

Gbajabiamila, while giving a synopsis of the report before the House, noted that it was not as if Fanta and Sprite were harmful, but that it could produce fatal reactions if taken with vitamin C.

While further directing that a biannual review by regulatory agencies, especially the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and the National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), be carried out, the House also mandated its committee on Healthcare Services to pay critical attention to the operations of NAFDAC.

It further directed NAFDAC to “compel producers/manufacturers to indicate all chemicals, acids, colorants and preservatives contained in their products on the packs or bottles, no matter how negligible they are.”

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