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California sues coke for alleged lead content

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AFX News Limited
California sues Coca-Cola, alleging Mexican-made Coke contains lead
05.16.2006, 09:07 PM

LOS ANGELES (AFX) - The State of California and the City of Los Angeles are suing Coca-Cola Co, seeking to stop distribution here of Coca-Cola made in Mexico because of concern about its alleged lead content.

The lawsuit alleges that elevated levels of lead have been detected in the paint used to decorate the outside of glass Coca-Cola bottles, and in the cola itself.

'Millions of bottles of this product have been handled and consumed by Californians over the past four years without any warning of the danger they pose,' the lawsuit alleges.

Coca-Cola said in a statement that it will vigorously defend itself against what it called the 'outlandish allegations'.

Coca-Cola vice-president for quality and technical services Ray Steed said: 'All Coca-Cola beverages, including those made in Mexico, are safe and comply with all laws.'

The lawsuit alleges that Mexican-bottled Coca-Cola is sold in large volumes in California and that company officials knew that consumers were being exposed to unsafe levels of lead.

The Mexican-bottled version of the drink is sweeter than its US counterpart, and is imported to feed demand from the Mexican population in California, the suit says.

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