The Venezuelan government has banned the sale of Coke Zero in the country, citing potential health risks associated with the drink.
The Venezuelan Health department has ordered an immediate cease to production and retail of the calorie-free fizzy drink because, they say, it includes “ingredients that could be harmful for the individual”.
“The product should be withdrawn from circulation to preserve the health of Venezuelans,” said Jesus Mantilla, Venezuelan health minister.
Political analysts said the socialist Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, may have ordered the move as a manifestation of an anti-US corporate stance.
Coca-Cola defended the product in a statement, saying it “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.”
Coke Zero was launched in the country in April this year, having first been introduced to other parts of the world in 2007.
Coca Cola said it would comply with the ruling.