Beverage Giant Pulled Drink
from U.K. Shelves
March 24, 2004 - EST
ATLANTA -- The Coca-Cola Co. is delaying the introduction of its Dasani
bottled water in France and Germany, less than a week after it withdrew the
beverage from sale in Britain because it found samples contained higher than
permitted levels of the chemical bromate.
The Atlanta-based company said Wednesday it made the decision because "the
timing is no longer considered optimal," and even though it believes the
Great Britain incident is isolated and resolved.
The world's largest beverage maker did not elaborate on the decision in a
statement. But spokesman Kelly Brooks said the decision was also "due to the
publicity issues of last week."
"We're just doing what we think is right for our company and the brand at
this time," Brooks said.
Coke also said Wednesday it has decided not to reintroduce Dasani in Great
Britain at this time.
On Friday, a Coke spokesman said the voluntary withdrawal of Dasani from
Great Britain was a precaution.
The Food Standards Agency said there was no immediate risk to public health,
and described Coca-Cola's decision to stop selling Dasani in Britain as
"sensible." It said bromate can cause an increased cancer risk as a result
of long-term exposure.
Coca-Cola, which launched Dasani in Britain last month, said the higher than
permitted levels of bromate occurred as a result of a process aimed at
adding calcium to its bottled water.
Coke had planned to launch Dasani in France in mid-April and in Germany in
late spring, early summer, Brooks said. The company had already begun a
public relations campaign for the product in the two countries, though
Brooks would not say how much money it has spent on the effort.
There are no current plans to launch Dasani elsewhere in Europe, Brooks
Dasani was first launched in 1999 in the United States. It also is sold in
Canada and the Caribbean.
In early afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, shares of Coke
were up 28 cents at $48.41
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