Coke: Ethical Issues




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The Recall

On June 13, 1999, Coca-Cola (Coke) recalled over 15 million cans and bottles after the Belgian Health Ministry announced a ban on Coke's drinks, which were suspected of making more than 100 school children ill in the preceding six days.

This recall was in addition to the 2.5 million bottles that had already been recalled in the previous week. The company's products namely Coke, Diet Coke and Fanta had been bottled in Antwerp, Ghent and Wilrijk, Belgium while some batches of Coke, Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite were also produced in Dunkirk, France. ..

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Most of them reported an 'unusual odor' and an 'off-taste' in the drink. In a statement to Reuters, Marc Pattin, a spokesman for the Belgian Health Ministry explained the seriousness of the issue: "Another 44 children had become ill with stomach pains, 42 of them at a school in Lochristi, near Ghent, northwest Belgium. We have had five or six cases of poisoning of young people who had stomach pain after drinking (the suspect beverages)."In the same week, the governments of France, Spain and Luxembourg also banned Coke's products while Coke's Dutch arm recalled all products that had come from its Belgium plant.

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