No contamination in Coke products, watchdog says
A product quality-control body in northern Shanxi province has refuted widely reported claims that Coca-Cola products were found to be contaminated with chlorine.
On Tuesday China National Radio reported an insider at Coca-Cola (Shanxi) Beverages in Taiyuan as saying that 120,000 boxes of Coca-Cola beverages sold in February contained excessive levels of chlorine.
The report alleged that plant workers detected a strong chlorine taste in the drinking water on February 4, and that four days later the firm tested the water being used to make the beverages.
The firm allegedly found a high concentration of chlorine, which is commonly used as a disinfectant.
In addition, the report said Coca-Cola had temporarily ceased production before resuming it several days later.
The Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision, which launched its probe on Tuesday, said yesterday that the firm produced 121,058 boxes of beverages, in nine batches, from February 4 to 8.
Of these boxes, 76,391 of them were sold, all within Shanxi, and the remaining boxes were placed in storage, the authorities said.
Coca-Cola declined questions from the press on Tuesday, but it issued a statement denying the contamination claims.
Yesterday it issued another statement saying that the government's test results supported its denial, and that it was reserving the right to sue.
Bureau inspectors took some samples from bottles in storage and then sealed the boxes.
They also conducted random tests of publicly available Coca-Cola products that were made from February 5 to 8.
No Coca-Cola products produced on February 4 were tested because authorities could not find any in storage or on the market.
According to two state-level quality-testing centres in Shanxi, chlorine in Coca-Cola products was below the benchmark 0.005 milligrams per litre.
The bureau also said that it found no nitrites or chlorates in those beverages.
Sales of Coca-Cola products on the mainland grew this much in the first quarter of this year from the same period last year