US: Coke hit with California lead lawsuit
Coca-Cola Co. has become the latest soft drinks giant to face a lawsuit over the alleged use of lead in labels on its products.
The US state of California yesterday (16 May) launched legal action against the company, claiming that labels on Coke products produced in Mexico and on sale in the state contained lead.
Coke's arch rival PepsiCo last month settled out of court on the same issue and hinted that other firms were set to face similar litigation.
Coke, however, dismissed the "outlandish allegations" contained in the suit. "All Coca-Cola beverages, including those made in Mexico, are safe and comply with all laws," said Ray Steed, the company's vice president of quality and technical services.
Coke said it had already met "many" of the demands brought in the lawsuit, at a "considerable cost to the Coca-Cola system".
The company added: "The plaintiffs know full well that these actions have been taken already, which makes this lawsuit all the more egregious."
Coke claimed it had made "every effort" to settle the case out of court and had offered to pay "significantly more" than PepsiCo did in its settlement.
Coke also took a swipe at the motives of those bringing the suit. "The rejection of these offers has everything to do with political ambition and with the greed of a bounty-hunting attorney who lives thousands of miles away from California," Coke said. "It is shameful that any public official can find common cause with someone whose focus is on personal gain, not public health."
Coke insisted the subject of the lawsuit was not being produced and that all the company's bottles manufactured in Mexico were "100% lead-free". "Every bottle of authorized Coca-Cola from Mexico sold in California is 100% lead-free," the company added.
PepsiCo has been applauded for appointing Indra Nooyi as the successor to CEO Steve Reinemund. But while the appointment has further enhanced the company's reputation for gender equality, Chris Brook-...
EU health commissioner Markos Kyprianou has praised the EU soft drinks industry for its commitment to stop advertising its products to children. However, he has faced criticism for apparently endorsin...
Coca-Cola Co. CEO Neville Isdell has committed the Atlanta, Georgia-based soft drinks firm to assist in bringing clean drinking water to parts of Africa, reported Reuters....
PepsiCo has released plans to boost prices on Tropicana and Dole orange juice by 4% to 8% from the start of 2007, reported AFX Asia....
Central de Cervejas has voiced its interest in Portuguese soft drinks group Compal....
PepsiAmericas has faced flak from US analysts as it reported a slump in third-quarter profits....
Indra Nooyi, the recently-appointed chief executive at PepsiCo, has said that there will be no major departure from the strategy of her predecessor....
Two men have pleaded guilty of plotting to steal trade secrets from Coca-Cola Co....
- Analysis - SABMiller to add bolt-ons in Africa?
- A-B InBev's Move on Tennent's Super Makes Sense
- India: Everyone's Favourite Spirits Market
- Brand Diversification Driving Craft Brewery Growth
- Analysis - Stock Spirits: Poland's number one
- Diageo scraps Arthur's Day, but singer left sad
- Pernod Ricard's Café de Paris Pear, Pomegranate
- PepsiCo CEO sees "profound" change in US consumers
- William Grant sinks GBP185,000 into "No" camp
- SodaStream silent on John Lewis pullout in UK