Coca-Cola Settles Benzene Lawsuit

If you bought Fanta Pineapple or Vault Zero before September 2006, you are eligible for a replacement beverage according to the terms of a settlement in the class action lawsuit against Coca-Cola. The lawsuit concerns ingredients in the beverages that can form the cancer causing chemical benzene, which, in case you were wondering, you do not want to drink. Coke already voluntarily reformulated the drinks, but if you have some old stuff around the house and don’t want to drink the cancer juice, you can get a replacement. According to the AP:

Benzene can form in soft drinks containing vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, and either sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate. Scientists say factors such as heat or light exposure can trigger a reaction that forms benzene in the beverages.

Coca-Cola will no longer sell the two products in question with both sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid as ingredients.

As part of the terms of the settlement, Coke can continue to deny the allegations. Everyone’s happy.—MEGHANN MARCO

Coca-Cola settles lawsuits over benzene [MSNBC]
(Photo: nickgreywfu)


Edit Your Comment

  1. quantum-shaman says:

    That’s great now when will we see the continued denial of allegations that aspartame in Diet Coke and other diet beverages breaks down under prolonged heat into methanol and formaldehyde? Bottoms up!

  2. acambras says:

    Mmmm — love pineapple soda. It seems to be a lot more popular in Mexico than here in the U.S. But if you can find a Mexican grocery store, you can get all sorts of flavors — pineapple, tamarind… yummy!

  3. bnuk013 says:

    oh crap, I was hooked on vault all of last summer. I must have had like 30 of em…

  4. Skiffer says:

    Why can’t they just go back to putting cocaine in their drinks?

  5. shaunirving says:

    Dear sir:

    We are very sorry for possibly giving you cancer.
    We hope you’ll accept this can of crummy energy drink with our apologies.

    Hugs and Kisses,
    The Coca-Cola Company

  6. ShadowFalls says:

    Yes, replacing our beverages makes the drinking the cancer soda all better now… I refuse to drink those drinks, along with the diet types as well. Splenda flavored drinks make me throw up, literally. Drinks with aspartame tend to increase the number of migraines and also causes drug induced withdrawal symptoms if you do not have one every 12 hours.

  7. The Meathead says:

    We had a guy at one of my old jobs that spilled Surge on his metal workbench.

    Literally 10 minutes later he had to scrape it off with a razor blade, it solidified that fast.

  8. QuirkyRachel says:

    Lol, I was thinking the same thing. Sorry we gave you something poisonous, would you like a replacement drink?

  9. rbb says:

    The lawyers are going to get most of the money from this lawsuit (as usual). Who’s going to take the time to get a 50 cent can of soda?

  10. Buran says:

    How the heck are you going to prove you drank it anyway? Who keeps the receipts for sodas!?!

  11. Red_Eye says:

    Ok the picture sucks and causes the article to be misleading! I saw the photo, read the article and had to go back and re-read the article to make sure that regular Vault was not included.

    Major Suckage Consumerist, fix it.

  12. ribex says:

    Is there a link to more information about the settlement? I didn’t notice any in the news item, and I didn’t see anything obvious on the Coke corporate site. Thanks in advance if you post a link :) (I think I still have a can or two of vault zero kicking around in my kitchen, and yes, it might be from 2006 or even 2005.)

  13. ribex says:

    Ok, found this at the bottom of… “If you purchased a Fanta Pineapple or VAULT Zero product before September 2006, and you wish to receive products in replacement for those you purchased before that date, please call our consumer hotline at 1-800-438-2653 or send us an email. You will be asked to provide proofs-of-purchase in the form of a receipt, credit card statement, or other written evidence of purchase. Even without proof of loss, you may also receive a coupon for a free Fanta Pineapple or VAULT Zero (limit of one per family).”

    I don’t understand how a credit card statement could possibly show that either of these items (or any other single, specific item) were purchased. My credit card statements only show the name of the business.

  14. winnabago says:

    Um, and I just looked at the bottle of Diet Coke PLUS+ in the store, and both ascorbic acid and sodium benzoate are present. So, did we not learn anything?

  15. raindog says:

    Hey, quantum-shaman, aren’t you required to go into a diatribe about how awesome stevia is now? Betty Martini will be most displeased with you for going off-message.

    As for Vault (well, Vault Zero), my name for it upon my first sip was instantly “Diet Mountain Don’t”. But as one of the three people on the planet who can taste sodium benzoate, I’m always happy to see a company stop using it.

  16. quantum-shaman says:

    @raindog: Stevia is not fit for human consumption just based on the taste. I’d rather tarnish my insides with a coal-tar derivative (saccarin) and run the miniscule risk of cancer, than ingest a mysterious evil powdery substance whose test results were falsified and whose vile side-effects have been personally experienced by moi.

  17. Nicholai says:

    I knew it. I’m so glad I don’t drink soda.

  18. scottso says:

    That’s weird. Benzene is also a cleaning agent used on carbonation systems — the devices that add bubbles to soda. Hmmmm.

    At least when Poland Spring had this same problem a decade or so ago (maybe more), that’s what was found.

    Coke’s reasoning sounds very CYA to me.