What The Papers Say: Benzene drinks scare fails to rattle public

The soft drinks industry and the Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries (MAFF) sang from the same hymn sheet when they responded to the latest food contamination scare last week. The discovery of traces of benzene in carbonated water produced by Bristol-based Terra Nitrogen led to a scramble by the leading manufacturers to remove products from supermarket shelves and to reassure their customers.

The soft drinks industry and the Ministry of Agriculture Food and

Fisheries (MAFF) sang from the same hymn sheet when they responded to

the latest food contamination scare last week. The discovery of traces

of benzene in carbonated water produced by Bristol-based Terra Nitrogen

led to a scramble by the leading manufacturers to remove products from

supermarket shelves and to reassure their customers.



Coca-Cola Schweppes, whose own products were affected as well as their

Malvern and Brecon Carreg water brands, were perceived as the more

active company, with Britvic adjudged to have responded more slowly. It

was clear that, unlike the classic 1990 episode when Perrier was forced

to withdraw 160 million bottles of water, a move which toppled them as

market leader, the wide range of products affected meant that no single

brand was likely to suffer. There was no perceptible public reaction to

the news. Perhaps these days it takes a scare of the scale of BSE to

shake the British public into panic mode.



Evaluation and analysis by CARMA International. Cuttings supplied by the

Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers Say’ can be found at:

www.carma.com.



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