The drinks group has this week told the UK-based publication, the Daily Telegraph, that there was no danger to consumers from its Fanta brand of orange and lemon carbonated drinks after the products were mentioned in a report.
In a study appearing online in the journal Analytical Chemistry last year, researchers from the University of Jaén in Southeastern Spain recommended that manufacturers of juices and fruit drinks rethink how they are producing such beverages.
While the findings’ questioning of pesticide levels in certain fruit ingredients were dismissed by the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA), theTelegraph claimed that Coca-Cola had now also ruled out amending its operations accordingly.
Citing a spokesperson for the group, the report said that the company was confident that all of its products tested were in compliance with safety regulations relating to agriculturally sourced ingredients.
These sentiments were matched by the BSDA, which claimed that calls from University of Jaén researcher Antonio Molina-Díaz for steps to be taken during manufacturing to prevent any potential exposure to pesticides were unfounded.
“The independent Pesticide Residues Committee (PRC) conducts regular and careful monitoring to make sure that these levels are observed,” a BSDA spokesperson told BeverageDaily.com last month. “Findings from the PRC confirm that fruit-based soft drinks are safe to drink.”
In addition, the association claimed that consumption of juices, due to their role in fulfilling one of the five recommended daily portions of fruit and vegetables, should actively be encouraged.
The report itself singled out soft drinks sold in markets like Spain and the UK for containing ‘relatively high’ levels of pesticides, has been dismissed by the industry.
In the findings, the researchers claimed that scarce attention has been paid to pesticides in soft drinks derived from fruits and vegetables, despite strict regulations on use of the chemicals in other finished products.
Using lab testing, the researchers tested for a wide range of pesticides in over 100 different fruit soft drink samples sourced across 15 different countries.
According to the report, ‘relatively large’ concentrations of pesticides, measured in micrograms per litre, were found in a number of the subject extracts.
More information can be found on the report here.