In a recent edition of the Business daily there was an article on Coca Cola and not a very flattering one.
It was all about the alarmingly high percentage of 4-MI or methylimidizole a chemical used in the manufacturing of its very popular Coca Cola brand.
Kenya had the highest percentage among 9 countries of the chemical in the Coca Cola samples tested by an independent US consumer advocacy group.
Norah Odwesso the Public Affairs and Communications director for Coca Cola Central East and West Africa Business unit response was “All of our products are safe and comply with regulations in every country where we operate. Regulators throughout the world have approved the use of caramel in our products.”
Read the full article here
Apparently each and every country in which Coca Cola operates in has different safety standards and for Ms Odwesso so long as they are meeting the minimum requirements in each country and making money it really does not matter.
Africa lacks a continental food safety body like the EU but that should in no way allow Coca Cola to take advantage of the ignorance most countries have on globally accepted safety standards.
As much as we would like to attract foreign investment, African leaders should be more reasonable and demand safety before profits from the international brands operating on the continent.
Why for Pete’s sake should the Fanta I take in the UK, be different from the one I take here in Kenya where another possible carcinogen sunset yellow is used as a colorant.
Yet in most other developed countries Coca Cola uses a certain percentage of fruit pulp to manufacture the same brand?
When cheap toys that have certain toxic substances are dumped on the African continent,who is going to protect our children from these harmful substances if our leaders do not put public safety over the cuts they receive for approving importation of these items ?
When inferior brands of household items,baby products like diapers are dumped on our continent who will speak out?
When foreign banks are making mega profits from deposits and very high interest loans from their African branches ,in countries where populations are still living before the poverty line,countries where governments are propped up by foreign aid,is it really fair?
African leaders need to put the needs and the plight of their people before all else.
These brands and businesses selling their products here have no interest in the safety of the continents people,all they care about is money.
Africa needs to look after its own.
Only then will we stop being ridiculed for our ignorance,people will respect us,brands will be more reasonable and stop slowly killing us with inferior products. stand on our own wo feet.