Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Coca-Cola first to settle in benzene suit

Coca-Cola has settled suits in three states that claimed two of its products -- Fanta Pineapple and Vault Zero -- contained ingredients that could combine to form benzene, a cancer-causing chemical.

The Atlanta-based beverage giant agreed with officials in Florida, New Jersey and Kansas to replace drinks to anyone who purchased the beverages before September 2006. It also will pay $500 to each of four plaintiffs plus any legal fees deemed fair by an arbitrator.

The company said it has reformulated the two drinks. They bear a label with a best-before date of January 2008 or later.

Other soft-drink makers, including PepsiCo Inc., remain defendants in related lawsuits.

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