By Benjamin Cost
Coca-Cola has been implicated in the poisoning death of a boy in the Jilin city of Changchun, and for also causing the coma of the boy’s mother, both of whom drank Minute Maid Pulpy Super Milky, a domestic Coca-Cola product sold in the Chinese market.
A report released by the Changchun Food Safety Committee stated:
The initial diagnosis has led officials to suspect organophosphate poisoning was the cause of the tragedy. Police found a highly toxic pesticide in the drinks found at the home of the two victim.
The committee followed by warning city residents to refrain from buying the beverage, and to alert authorities if they already had it in their possession.
However, despite suspicion by authorities and test results confirming the presence of lethal chemicals in the drinks of the poisoned mother and child, Coke denies any culpability, claiming:
“After being notified of this incident, we carried out comprehensive inspections of the same product batches, and have not found anything unusual. All the products are safe and meet standards.”
And in accordance with the statement, Coke plans to continue vending the beverage throughout China with the blessing of food safety officials, who have allowed Minute Maid Pulpy Super Milky to stay on the shelves in Shanghai stores, and for the time being, even in Changchun.
The city’s commercial authorities reportedly remain undecided on whether to ban the product from local supermarkets, so until a decision is reached, Minute Maid Pulpy Super Milky stays off the beverage blacklist.
If the Changchun Milky Maid Pulpy Super Milky line checks out clean along with all the other batches nationwide (which are produced by separate manufacturers), then who is the real culprit?
According to one Changchun authority:
“Police are still investigating the cause of the poisoning case and didn’t say if the pesticide was added deliberately in the bottle or it entered the drink during production.”
For now, it appears as if the company that brought you “the best friend thirst ever had” may indeed emerge unscathed from the incident. Coke executives can now let out a carbonated belch of relief as not too long ago they were under the gun for a Shanghai-manufactured Coke Zero that lived up to its name and passed approximately zero Taiwanese safety regulations.
In light of China’s recent tidal wave of multinational corporation foodstuffs scandals (Walmart’s “organic” pork and tainted Evian and Volvic water), it might be time to assume that Fortune 500 titans are just as guilty when it comes to mucking around with what you consume as that shady bicycle food stand down the street.