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Chinese Authorities Investigate Coca-Cola Product After Poisoning

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Earlier this week, a study by Consumer’s Union confirmed potentially unsafe levels of lead and arsenic in apple juice. Meanwhile, in China over a hundred people have been sentenced in a tainted pork scandal.

As if those weren’t shocking enough, yesterday, China’s Changchun Food Safety Committee released a report stating that Coca-Cola’s Minute Maid Pulpy Super Milky (fresh strawberry flavor) may have been involved in the poisoning of a young boy and his mother.  

To quote Network, “we know air is unfit to breathe and our food’s is unsafe to eat.”  Well, at least as far as Pulpy Super Milky goes.
According to People’s Daily, the Changchun report was issued after police found toxic pesticides in Pulpy Super Milky drinks in the home of the two poisoning victims. Officials have begun searching the city of Changchun for more tainted Coca-Cola products and have ordered all remaining Pulpy Super Milky drinks removed from stores for further testing.

So far, Coca-Cola has denied responsibility for the poisonings. The company put out a statement yesterday, saying, “After being notified of this incident, we carried out extensive inspections of the same product batches,and have not found anything unusual. All products are safe and meet standards."

This is not the first time an American company has gotten in trouble over a poisoning incident in China. Recently, US congolmerate Johnson Controls was vindicated after being accused of causing several lead poisoning cases near Shanghai. The culprit is now believed to be a nearby recycling center.

Xia Qing, the scientist in charge of the investigation into Johnson Controls was quoted in the Chicago Tribune saying, “I have three conclusions. First, trust the Chinese environmental protection laws. Second, the lead poisonings were not caused by Johnson Controls. And third, pay more attention to the recycling stations and companies."

Of course, it can be difficult to trust environmental protection laws in a country with relatively lax pesticide regulations and heavy pollution.

Some consumers, like Xu Limin, quoted in a recent PBS story on tainted rice, have come up with their own solutions. In what may seem like an extreme move, Limin refuses to buy any rice grown in southern China.

It may not be a bad idea for Xu to keep away from the Pulpy Super Milky for a while, too.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.