SCHWEPPES Zimbabwe Limited and Coca-Cola Zimbabwe have allayed fears the ingredients they use to produce beverages are a health hazard.
Schweppes Zimbabwe has recently faced consumer backlash following reports it added three artificial sweeteners to the Mazoe concentrated drinks, which are feared to cause cancer and brain cell damage among other diseases, if consumed in large quantities.
The sweeteners, which according to health practitioners have the same kind of health consequences as sugar that causes diabetes, obesity and tooth decay, are aspartame, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K or acesulfame K) and sodium cyclamate.
In a joint statement yesterday, Schweppes Zimbabwe and Coca Cola Zimbabwe said the sweeteners they were using to produce the beverages were thoroughly researched ingredients in the world where scientific evidence has confirmed their safety.
“The sweeteners we use to do this are some of the most thoroughly researched ingredients in the world, with scientific studies consistently confirming their use and safety. They have been confirmed as safe by globally recognised authorities and local regulatory bodies,” said the companies.
The beverages manufacturers said consumers have requested for more drinks that taste great but also with less sugar and fewer calories.
The two entities said they were committed to offering consumers the beverages that they want while helping them reduce sugar intake into their bodies.
“We take pride in what we do and listening to feedback and preferences for taste is a key element to this. As we move towards being a total beverage company and introduce more new drinks and recipes, we commit to communicating the changes we are making,” said the firms.
The Minister of Health and Child Care, Dr David Parirenyatwa, is on record as saying there was nothing wrong with one of the additives although dieticians, health practitioners and online articles suggest they were all dangerous.