back to article Venezuela spits out Coke Zero

Citizens of Venezuela have been deprived of the delights of Coke Zero following a government ban on its sale pending a health probe into the zero-cal beverage's ingredients. Health Minister Jesus Mantilla declared: "The product should be withdrawn from circulation to preserve the health of Venezuelans." Mantilla did not …

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Anonymous Coward

What about Diet Coke?

Presumably they have no problems with the original sugar-based Coke - and as Coke Zero is allegedly based on the same recipe (just replacing the sugar with artificial sweeteners), it's hard to see what issue they'd have with it...

...unless they've also banned Diet Coke, which has a different recipe to original Coke, but presumably has similar quantities of the artificial sweeteners as Coke Zero...

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Pirate

Personally..

I try to avoid anything with Aspartame in it, - and its in almost everything.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame

*\. Should be the * Zero Icon

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Stu
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Still, they have a point...

...even if it is down to political squabbling, Coke Zero does taste like hospital sewage...

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Probably a good idea

Have a look at this - a timeline for the legalisation of aspartame:

http://www.rense.com/general33/legal.htm

I would guess there could be some legitimate concerns ...

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Joke

Unspecified Health Concerns

That'll be concerns about capitalism then... hehe.

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I don't blame them...

....that stuff is rancid. Blech.

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Boffin

Unspecified health concerns ....

... so, nothing to do with the fact that it tastes like ass, then. In fact, almost without exception diet colas taste bloody horrible. Diet Pepsi is just about palatable, whereas I find that Pepsi Max tastes vile.

I prefer unleaded(*) Dr.Pepper - after all, what's the worst that could happen?

(*) - unfortunately, being diabetic kind of rules out any fizzy flavoured water with real sugar in it.

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Why would anyone want it?

I steer clear of artifically sweetened products like the plague.

Yes - in large quantities sugar is bad for you and rots your teeth, but at least it's natural and has been a part of our diet for thousands of years in one form or another. I think anyone that would prefer to fill their system with something synthesised in a lab is just plain crazy. Better the devil you know.

I also dislike the dual standards that governments display regarding such things. For example if you look at the illegal drug Ecstasy, the standard fallback argument against relaxing laws on it is always 'we don't know what the long term effects are'... Which sounds fair enough.

However MDMA (the principle ingredient of ecstasy) was first synthesised in 1912. Asparatame (the main sweetener in Coke zero and pretty much all other 'diet' drinks and foods) was first synthesised in 1965 and was approved for widespread use by the FDA less than 10 years later, following some distincty controvercial trials. No-one seems bothered about what the long term effects of that will be - it's ok for everyone to ingest as much as they like of the stuff and give it to their children.

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Anonymous Coward

Coke zero.

The zero stands for how often I buy it.

It's nasty as hell.

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He is doing his own citizens a favour on this one......

I was going to make a comment about how he was doing his citizens a favour by banning the stuff- but seems I've been beaten to it...... Anyhow- if you need a caffeine kick- get yourself a decent cup of delicious Venezuelan coffee- it really is good stuff........ If you don't need a caffeine kick- drink water (or beer, or whatever).....?

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Keep up the good work

Can London opt out of the UK and join this "Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela" they seem to have some balls when it comes to standing up to corporations?

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@ Simon Ward

" unfortunately, being diabetic kind of rules out any fizzy flavoured water with real sugar in it"

Snap. However, I disagree about Dr P, and Diet Pepsi, they both taste like they were opened and left for a couple of hours beforehand. And I don't know where you are, but Dr Pepper Zero is pretty much impossible to get hold of round Yorkshire anyways.

Sprite Zero, on the other hand, is the breakfast of champions.

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Anonymous Coward

Strange

At first i thought that maybe Venezuela was a test area for Coke's new Stevia-derived sweetener (which would make sense since Stevia is native to the region) and maybe that was the reason it had been banned, but it seems that it is using Aspartame so i've no idea why Coke Zero has been singled out (though i've no objection to the banning of Aspartame. The sooner everyone's using Stevia the better).

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IT Angle

Re: MDMA

TBH every argument i've heard about relaxing the rules on MDMA are not the long term damage but that "PEOPLE HAVE DIED ON THE STUFF OMFGWTFBBQ WHY DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND??". Or put differently, simply dismissed on Rhetoric rather than for any sound scientific reasons ...

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Anonymous Coward

On the other hand...

I like the stuff. I prefer Pepsi though.

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Rob
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Go

@Simon

"I prefer unleaded..."

I prefer unleaded full stop over coke zero.

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I dont trust it anyway

I cant tell the difference between Coke Zero and regular Coke, but with that said, i dont trust it one bit.

Mainly because of the zero everything bit, and possibly due to the aspartame (which I thought was illegal to use etc).

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as its been said...

http://www.diet-blog.com/archives/2005/06/14/coke_zero_confused_anyone.php

its aspartame thats causing the issues.

for 3 years i had really bad stomach aches, throwing up every morning...

for 3 years no drs could find what was wrong...

before xmas i stopped driking anything with aspartame in - magically im fine and have been for months now.

yeah - as someone above said E that causes pretty much no damage is a class A - yet coca cola are seriously fucking people up and nothing happens to them

i now dont drink ANY diet drinks and exercise a LITTLE more...

i am seriously looking at legal action for all those days off ill, cost of having to go private and some seriously nasty hospital visits (the camera down my throat was extremely unpleasant - as i didnt get knocked out - imagine feeling your are drowing in liquid for 10 mins and not feeling like you can breathe!)

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Stop

Coke Zero?

Zero Calories and Zero taste.

Might as well drink tap water for all the fun you get from drinking Zero. I never understood the idea of a 'blokes' diet drink or diet drinks in general.

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Aspartame

Yeah, avoid it if you've got PKU. Otherwise there is no compelling scientific reason to avoid it. As for 'sugar' being natural, so is living in a mudhut and dying in your 30s. And, tbh, refined sugar hasn't been in the diet all that long anyway.

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Unspecified health concerns?

I reckon the only genuine health issue here is that El Presidente is as nutty as a fruit cake.

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Why drink this cack?

When I was about 13 our chemistry teacher showed us the amazing ability that Coke, Pepsi and other sugar laced fizzy drinks have to clean pennies. He also brought in an animal tooth and put in a beaker of Coke. We came back to science class two days later to pick up our spotless coins, try to find out what happened to the tooth ( experiment on the mixture ) and finally promise we would never drink that crap more than once a week tops!

Apart from the odd lemonade, I haven't drunk Coke or any other fizzy soft drink since then!

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Coat

@Stu

> Coke Zero does taste like hospital sewage...

I hesitate to ask how you know...!

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@Fuzzy Wotnot

Do you eat Brown Sauce?

If I buy a grubby piece of brassware the first thing I do is slather it in brown sauce for a few mins - it eats all the gunk and makes polishing a breeze.

Then I pour myself a nice glass of Brasso and settle down to enjoy my sparkly new ornament.

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Stop

@Fuzzy Wotnot

I'm no scientist but I'm pretty sure the Cillit Bang effect is down to the acid (phosphoric?) in fizzy drinks rather than the sugar content. You could probably clean your pennies just as well using organic hand-squeezed by Tibetan monks orange juice which is even more acidic than fizzy drinks.

Having said that, neither of the above are anywhere near as acidic as the stuff already in your digestive system. Swallowing a penny might well result in it coming out the other end just as shiny (well, after you gave it a rinse down to remove any attached matter :S ).

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Re: @Simon Ward

"And I don't know where you are, but Dr Pepper Zero is pretty much impossible to get hold of round Yorkshire anyways."

Most supermarkets sell DPZ - I usually get mine from Morrisons in York.

Even the corner shop up the road from work sells it, whereas the Co-op in the village where I live doesn't despite me asking them nicely if they could get it (kind of ironic since they did a big thing supporting Diabetes UK a while back - all they sell in the unleaded line is Diet Cack)

Sprite, on the other hand, is an abomination - I *love* citrusy things, but never really got on with the overly 'artifical' taste of 7up, Sprite etc.

Now if I could find a source of diet root beer which doesn't involve me selling a limb or vital organ I'd be a happy man indeed.

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Anonymous Coward

best avoided...

I always wondered how they take "everything" out ... memories of the chem engineers coming from a lab in which they'd decaffeinated coke. They all vowed never to touch the stuff after seeing how its done - wish they'd elaborated, the mind boggles!!

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@jason 7

"I never understood the idea of a 'blokes' diet drink or diet drinks in general."

You've obviously not got diabetes then. Diabetics cannot take 'ordinary' sugary drinks, therefore having diet drinks means we are able to enjoy a fizzy drink like any other 'normal' person.

In saying that, we do get to reap the benefits of tooth decay caused by acid erosion, so don't feel quite so excluded... :D

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: @Fuzzy Wotnot

Hey, you can clean your toilet with Coke, can't you... but it's not as acidic as your own digestive juices... so, like, if you puke in your toilet, does it actually, like... clean it rather than dirty it?

I can't really tell the difference between diet/sugar-free/full-fat drinks. Pub coke from the tap, though, that's often the worst. Just watery syrup.

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Fascinating insight into the Reg readership

When it comes to artificial sweeteners, the average Reg reader has a body like a temple. No unnatural substance will pass their lips. If we have a discussion on the banning of smoking in pubs, the average Reg reader must have lungs dripping with coal tar and breath that can knock a camel dead at fifty paces.

To continue our studies; what's the Register audience's consensus view on the yumminess or otherwise of súrsaðir hrútspungar (and don't tell me that's not a bugger to type)? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Þorramatur)

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hmmm

@ By John H Woods

i dont have PKU (never heard of it)

many people seem to suffer from aspartame - just check out google for the number of pages of problems.

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snopes is useful in these type discussions

http://www.snopes.com/cokelore/tooth.asp

Although it does gloss over the fact that they are acidic for different reasons, i.e., citric vs phosphoric acid. These may not react the same to teeth (like how you store most acids in glass, but not hydrofluoric acid).

As an aside, if the hydrochloric acid of your stomach is in frequent contact with your teeth, you probably need to cut back on your alcohol consumption ;)

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@ Anonymous Coward

'I always wondered how they take "everything" out ... memories of the chem engineers coming from a lab in which they'd decaffeinated coke. They all vowed never to touch the stuff after seeing how its done - wish they'd elaborated, the mind boggles!!'

They probably used dichloromethane (methylene chloride) which is also used as paint stripper, degreaser or dry cleaning fluid. It's been linked to eye damage, hepatitis and a delightfully wide range of cancers. Ironically it became popular because the previous decaffeinating agent - benzene - was considered too poisonous. Most commercial decaffeination now use hot water in something ominously called 'the Swiss Process', a few outfits use supercritical carbon dioxide which is much less exciting than it sounds.

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given the choice..

..between any variety of Coca-Cola or Pepsi or any other mass-produced foulness from the former North American colonies, and a cup of delicious smooth-tasting Venezualan coffee as a refreshing pick me up, hmmm wonder which I'd choose?

I use Coca-Cola to clean the chrome parts of my Moggy Thou, that's all it's good for.

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Coke Zero and Venezuela?

With a name that suggests "the original/predecessor coke" and the general location, my first impression was that the article was more about a certain stimulating powder, rather than a stimulating drink.

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Happy

@AC

"You've obviously not got diabetes then!"

Well no but that wasnt where I was coming from. Its the idea that anyone would pay around a quid for a version of a drink with so much 'taken' out (including taste) that they may as well just drink fizzy water.

But if you diabetic types love the odd brown colored fizzy tipple then who am I to stand in your way!

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The chemical in question is.........

That aspertame changes chemically twice in the blood stream.

Once into formaldehyde then next into acid.

The sad part of this is that it has been proven.

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Bronze badge

Differences?

Pepsi Free came before Coke Zero, and both are no-sugar and no-caffeine versions of the respective cola soft drinks. Is there a significant difference in their ingredients which would lead to a health concern in one and not the other, or is it simply that Pepsi has not operated in the Venezuelan market?

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Boffin

@Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 11th June 2009 12:51 GMT

You don't "take caffeine out" of soda. You make it caffeine free by not putting it in.

For things like coffee or tea where the caffeine is formed by the original plant, and hence is intrinsic to the vegetable material, the modern decaffeination process is to "wash" it in liquid carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is liquid at room temperature at moderate pressures (about 5 atmospheres). Liquid carbon dioxide is a good solvent for many lipophilic organic compounds, and is used to remove caffeine from coffee. First, the green coffee beans are soaked in water. The beans are placed in the top of a column seventy feet (21 m) high. Then supercritical carbon dioxide in fluid form at about 93 degrees Celsius enters at the bottom of the column. The caffeine diffuses out of the beans and into the carbon dioxide.

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Anonymous Coward

CANTV

CANTV has been a goverment organization for a long time now, just as the electricity ones and basically, any basic service company belongs now to the chavistas.

So Coke Zero has been banned... funny how Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi have been in the market for long long time now and no issue has been found with them... even if they have the same sweetener... oh, well...

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Flame

Aspartame IS Toxic

Let's see, aren't we just "bags of water"? Is not normal body temp 98 Deg F?

Aspartame breaks down into Phenylalanine, Aspartic acid and Methyl Alcohol in the presence of water and temperatures over 90 Degrees F. This is why you usually do not see Nutrasweet in fountain dispensers since the syrup breaks down rapidly. They use other artificial sweeteners or just sugar based syrups.

Methanol later breaks down into Formaldehyde (embalming fluid) and Formic Acid (Ant venom).

Methyl Alcohol will make you blind. That's what the FDA was drinking when they approved Nutrasweet

This is why diet anything tastes like chemicals (or sewage).

Hopefully you remember your chem prof telling you "You go home with Ethyl and leave methyl alone" .

PKU stands for Phenyl Ketone Urea a disease where your body cannot process (excrete) the breakdown byproducts of Aspartame (among other chemicals). This can plug up your kidneys and kill you.

All forms of sugar are naturally occuring molecules (sucrose, dextrose, fructose, maltose etc) so they have been around since time immemorial and humans have been ingesting them since we discovered our first sweet tooth (just before fire and the wheel).

If it comes out of a test tube, it's probably not good for you.

No one really knows what happens to complex chemicals once they have been ingested and mixed together in the bloodstream.

Add some acetominiphen (Tylenol) to the above mix and all hell might break loose. Add a little booze to regular use of large dose Tylenol and you could eventually end up on dialysis if you're not careful.

Flame icon for OBVIOUS reasons

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Alert

Re Aspartame..

I have avoided Aspartame as much as possible since I read this:

http://www.myaspartameexperiment.com/

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Alert

Jesus bans Coke Zero!!

Health Minister Jesus Mantilla declared: "The product should be withdrawn from circulation to preserve the health of Venezuelans."

God is apparently more of a Fanta man himself....

News at 10.

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Stop

@AC 20:53

"All forms of sugar are naturally occuring molecules

[...]

If it comes out of a test tube, it's probably not good for you."

And that's why arsenic and mercury which are *molecules* from *nature* are good for you, but diabetics should stay away from insulin, because that's a *chemical* made by *science* so it is bad.

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W
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Precedents for Coke not reigning supreme:

"The Middle East is one of the only regions in the world where Coca-Cola is not the number one soda drink, Coca-Cola nonetheless holds almost 25% marketshare (to Pepsi's 75%) and had double-digit growth in 2003. Similarly, in Scotland, where the locally produced Irn-Bru was once more popular, 2005 figures show that both Coca-Cola and Diet Coke now outsell Irn-Bru. In Peru, the native Inca Kola has been more popular than Coca-Cola, which prompted Coca-Cola to enter in negotiations with the soft drink's company and buy 50% of its stakes. In Japan, the best selling soft drink is not cola, as (canned) tea and coffee are more popular. As such, the Coca-Cola Company's best selling brand there is not Coca-Cola, but Georgia."

Ref: http://www.answers.com/topic/the-coca-cola-company

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W

Why not Diet Coke too?

Coke Zero is vitrtually identical to Diet Coke, but with advertising describing the drink as "calorie-free" rather than "diet", since men are said to believe that diet drinks are for girls.

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@ teebie

insulin, because that's a *chemical* made by *science*

Hmm there was me thinking its produced naturally by the body (unless you're diabetic)

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