Consumers of Sprite and Fanta have more to worry about than rotting teeth according to a Lagos High Court judge, who ruled that the Coca-Cola products could be “poisonous.”

The court held that high levels of benzoic acid and sunset additives in the popular soft drinks could pose a health risk to consumers when mixed with ascorbic acid, commonly known as vitamin C, according to local media.

The matter arose after the claimant, a Nigerian businessman, tried to export Coca-Cola products to the UK for retail in February 2007.

But authorities in the UK seized and destroyed a shipment because the products contained excessive levels of sunset yellow and benzoic acid. The latter substance can form the carcinogen benzene when combined with ascorbic acid, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Nigerian Bottling Company, bottlers of Coca-Cola drinks in Nigeria, is appealing against the ruling, arguing that the Coca-Cola products do not exceed benzoic acid limits for Nigeria or international limits set by Codex, the international food standards body administered by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Read the full article on the CNN website