The Coca-Cola Co has defended the safety of its Coca-Cola Zero drink and has held talks with officials in Venezuela, following the Government's decision to ban the product.

Talks between the US-based soft drinks company and Venezuelan authorities today (12 June) have so far failed to break a deadlock, just-drinks understands.

Officials from Coca-Cola have flown out to Venezuela for crisis talks, a source familiar with the situation said.

The move comes after the country's Health Ministry informed the firm this week that it intended to review Coca-Cola Zero due to safety concerns around the calorie-free drink's ingredients.

The group and its bottler for Latin America, Coca-Cola Femsa, have agreed to temporarily pull Coca-Cola Zero from the Venezuelan market, Coca-Cola said in a statement.

Coca-Cola Zero launched in Venezuela in April this year.

"Coca-Cola Zero is safe and does not contain any ingredients that are harmful to the health of consumers," said the soft drinks group. "The Coca-Cola Co uses only specifically approved ingredients in our products that meet all regulatory requirements."