The dailypost is reporting that the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has been ordered by a Lagos State High Court to pay a fine of N2 million for approving the consumption of Sprite and Fanta products of the Nigeria Bottling Company (NBC).
According to the report, in addition to the fine, the court, presided over by Justice Adedayo Oyebanji did not approve the application filed by the NBC which sought a stay of execution of the judgement ordering NBC to include on its label a warning to consumers against consuming Sprite and Fanta with Vitamin C. It would be recalled that earlier this year, the Judge ordered NAFDAC to direct NBC to add a warning statement on Fanta and Sprite bottles stating that both drinks are poisonous when consumed with ascorbic acid (popularly known as Vitamin C).
In his ruling, the Judge stated:
“It is imperative to add the resultant effect of the order sought to be stayed is the preservation of human life, the business interest of Nigeria Bottling Company cannot in my respected view take precedence over public health.
It is beyond argument that if the application for stay is granted and human health is consequently adversely affected; it is most unlikely that there can indeed be a return to status quo.
The importance of public health is clearly demonstrated and underscored by the constitutional provision in section 45 thereof.
For the reasons herein adumbrated, it seems to me it manifests that Nigeria Bottling Company has failed to disclose any special circumstances which would warrant the grant of this application.
Accordingly, Nigeria Bottling Company’s application for stay of execution fails and it is hereby dismissed.”
The Judge however, ordered conditional stay of execution of the N2 Million cost awarded against NAFDAC. NAFDAC was ordered to pay the money into an interest yielding account in the name of the Chief Registrar of the court pending the hearing and the determination of the appeal filed by NAFDAC.