12 Feb 2013

Coroner calls for warning on fizzy drink labels

9:35 pm on 12 February 2013

A Coroner has found that a Southland woman who drank nine litres of Coca-Cola a day is likely to have died due to her habit and is calling for warning labels on all fizzy drinks.

Otago-Southland Coroner David Crerar has found that Natasha Harris, 30, died in February 2010 from cardiac arrhythmia, but that that her Coca-Cola consumption was a substantial factor in her death.

A copy of the coroner's findings has been sent to the Ministry of Health, suggesting that warnings about the amount of sugar and caffeine in carbonated beverages be placed on all bottles.

Mr Crerar said the ministry should look to conduct a review about the acceptable levels of caffeine and sugar in all carbonated drinks.

He believed that Coca-Cola should also warn drinkers about the dangers of excessive consumption.

At the time of her death, Natasha Harris's partner Chris Hodgkinson held Coca-Cola responsible, which was vehemently denied by the company.

Coca-Cola disagrees with the Coroner's findings, saying excessive consumption of anything will lead to major health problems.