News24

Coke: China death not linked to product

2011-12-02 19:22

Beijing - Coca-Cola said on Friday there was no "product quality issue" with its Pulpy Milky drinks, after a boy who had consumed the product died and three others fell ill.

Stores around the country pulled bottles of the fruit-flavoured milk drink from their shelves after a boy died and his mother fell into a coma in the north-eastern Chinese province of Jilin.

Two other people, a mother and daughter, were also hospitalised after drinking a bottle of Pulpy Milky, but have since recovered and returned home.

Investigators have said the drinks were tainted with organic phosphorous, a toxic pesticide, the China News Service reported on Wednesday.

"This case does not involve a product quality issue," said Joanna Price, Coca-Cola's China-based spokesperson, without elaborating.

"Our company takes the recent incidents ... very seriously. Our thoughts are with the two affected families and we have reached out to them to express our concern and compassion."

State media have said police in the city of Changchun, capital of Jilin are treating the case as a murder, meaning criminal intent is suspected in the poisonings.

"To ensure public health and safety, our company is fully and actively cooperating with work of the local authorities," Price said, adding that the company had temporarily pulled bottles of strawberry-flavoured Pulpy Milky from shelves in Jilin.

Pulpy Milky is made by Coca-Cola subsidiary Minute Maid. The Jilin government said nearly 60 000 bottles of the suspect drink had been removed from store shelves as of Friday.

According to press reports, stores in several other Chinese cities including Beijing and Shanghai have also stopped selling the drink.

Police in Changchun refused to comment on the investigation when contacted by AFP.

Comments
  • Jacque Raymer - 2011-12-02 21:06

    what is it about china and tainted milk ? two / three times a year they have this issue, surely they need a better regulation system for all milk based products...

  • Mya - 2011-12-02 23:34

    a few years ago, my friend and I bought a bottle of coke, the glass send back for a deposit kind. Poured ourselves a nice big glass each, as I took my first sip, my friend glugged half her glass in a dying of thirst fit. Ten seconds later we were both retching into the toilet. The coke tasted like petrol! Guess it was used as a petrol can by someone then sent in for the deposit. Not properly washed and filled and sent out again. I called coca cola, they sent a rep round to fetch the bottle, gave us a six pack of cola cans to atone for our suffering! They did let us know what the lab test said, that it was indeed petrol. Havent drunk a coca cola since!

      Kopraal SilverStar Mohloli - 2011-12-03 03:01

      k, since ur life is worth 3 coke cans (assuming u shared), what do u thnk u can give 4 a case of non petrol laced Coke bottles?....dnt worry i will w8!lmao

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