CARACAS - The Venezuelan government of U.S.-critic President Hugo Chavez on Wednesday ordered Coca-Cola Co to withdraw its Coke Zero beverage from the South American nation, citing unspecified dangers to health.
The decision follows a wave of nationalizations and increased scrutiny of businesses in South America's top oil exporter.
Health Minister Jesus Mantilla said the zero-calorie Coke Zero should no longer be sold and stocks of the drink removed from store shelves while the government investigated its ingredients.
"The product should be withdrawn from circulation to preserve the health of Venezuelans," the minister said in comments reported by the government's news agency.
Coca Cola said Coke Zero contains no harmful ingredients, but that it will stop production and remove the product from shelves during the ongoing investigation.
"Coca Cola Zero is made under the highest quality standards around the world and meets the sanitary requirements demanded by the laws of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela," the company said in a joint statement with its local bottling company.
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Tags: Venezuela, bans, Coke, Zero, cites, danger, to, health, caracas, venezuela, hugo, chavez
Location: Caracas, Distrito Federal, Venezuela (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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