Wondering about something you've seen or heard about our company or our beverages?

Around the world an increasing volume of information is circulating on the Internet -- through chat rooms, message boards, email chain letters and websites. Unfortunately, not all of it is correct. Regular Internet users are all too familiar with the various scams and rumours circulated on the World Wide Web. Get the facts here about some of the rumours or scams that may concern you.

EMAIL, INTERNET AND TEXT SCAMS

Unfortunately, the incredible power of the Internet is sometimes used to spread false information about our products and programs. There are several baseless rumours circulating on the Internet claiming to be part of or affiliated with a Coca-Cola-sponsored promotion or marketing program. We've gathered some of those rumours here so that you can easily get the facts about these false claims.

1.    Rumour: Scam postings claim to show "horrific" video about Coca-Cola

Fact

Messages posted on Facebook and Twitter are claiming to provide links that users can click to view a supposedly "horrific" video showing the "truth" about Coca-Cola.

In fact, there is no such video. Users who try to view the video are instead asked to share links to the content and to respond to surveys requesting personal information. This activity appears to be part of a phishing scam in which perpetrators attempt to obtain personal information that can be used to commit identify theft. Consumers should avoid clicking on these links and should not provide any personal information. Anyone who has provided information to these sites should contact their local and/or federal authorities for advice on how to protect their personal information and privacy.

2.    Rumour: Coca-Cola job offers/job posting websites

Fact

The Coca-Cola Company has learned of emails in circulation and postings on internet websites that falsely offer jobs to individuals. Some examples include: 

  • Emails or websites that offer jobs to individuals willing to collect money on behalf of Coca-Cola for charity work in Georgia and Asia. The subject line on such emails may read "Coca-Cola Jobs" and may refer to Coca-Cola Charity Coordinator, Coca-ColaCharityCoordinator@live.com, and/or Tony Cook. 
  • A website using the url www.instanthumanrecources.com that claims to be an official job site for the Company. The fraudulent job application requests personal information, including Social Security numbers and copies of driver’s licenses. The website has been designed to look legitimate by including Company images, photographs and other trademarks.
  • An offer to pay individuals to place signage on their cars or other vehicles to advertise our energy drink or other brands.

In some cases, the perpetrators have contacted the victims and falsely claimed to hire them in order to obtain additional personal and financial information and in some cases have asked them to cash fraudulent checks and send them money.

The Coca-Cola Company is in no way associated with these websites or emails. The jobs listed on the sites or in the emails are not real, we are not a sponsor, and our name and trademarks are used here without permission. We actively investigate each fraudulent website or email as we become aware of them with the appropriate authorities.

These all appear to be a form of fraud known as "phishing," wherein perpetrators attempt to develop relationships with victims in order to obtain personal and financial information. Common signs that a message may be a part of an email scam or phishing campaign include:

  • Spelling and grammatical errors in the email;
  • Improper use of company trademarks;
  • Sender's use of free, non-corporate email accounts (such as Yahoo!, AOL, gmail and Hotmail);
  • Requests for personal information and the promise of quick financial gain.

Overall, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Do not reply to these emails or letters with any information. If you have already provided any personal information to any contacts associated with this type of email, letter or website, we recommend that you immediately discontinue all communications with the source and contact your local and/or federal authorities for advice on how to proceed to protect your personal information and privacy.

3.    Rumour: "Which do you prefer? Coke or Pepsi" emails and websites

Fact

Emails and links to websites asking the question, "Which do you prefer? Coke or Pepsi," are originating from several different companies and circulating the Internet. The emails and websites ask that participants fill out surveys regarding product preferences. The communications promise product, cash or other prizes in return for providing personal information while participating in the surveys. Unfortunately, these are examples of the types of solicitation schemes that have plagued the Internet. The Coca-Cola Company does not participate in these types of promotions, and we are in no way associated with or responsible for the emails or the surveys. We are not a sponsor of these communications and our trademarks are used there without our permission.

4.    Rumour: Affiliation with marketing survey that voids enrollment in the Do Not Call registry

Fact

This particular email invites the recipient to "Vote for your favourite cola—Pepsi or Coke—and receive a complementary 12 pack." At the bottom of the message is a statement in small type, "By replying to this email, you agree that sponsors, co-sponsors and participating affiliates of this offer may telephone you, even though you have enrolled with a do not call registry or list service." Because Coke is mentioned in the email, it appears to some people that The Coca-Cola Company is somehow affiliated with the email.

Please be assured The Coca-Cola Company is not affiliated with this email in any way. We are not collecting information through this email or providing free 12-packs of our products. Feel free to check our Privacy Policy for further information on the collection of personal information. We have no information as to whether or not answering the survey will result in a person's name being removed from the registry.

5.    Rumour: Coca-Cola Jackpot, Coca-Cola Award, Cash Prize, Sweepstakes or Promotional Drawing Winner Notification, Coca-Cola Foundation Cash Aid

Fact

The Coca-Cola Company has learned of several text messages, emails and letters being sent to people that falsely claim the recipient has either won a sweepstake or a cash prize from our Company.

The messages direct the recipients to a website that appears to be, but is not, an official site of The Coca-Cola Company. The official My Coke Rewards website address is mycokerewards.com, and My Coke Rewards is a program offered only in the United States.

Subject lines for the emails have ranged from "You Have Won $1million In The Coca-Cola™ 128th Anniversary Promo" to "The Coca-Cola Award Notification" to "The Coca-Cola Promo Winning Notification" to "The Coca-Cola Worldwide Christmas Promo," "Notification for Coca-Cola Foundation Cash Aid," or other similar titles. Some versions of the text/email hoax indicate a joint promotion with the British American Tobacco Company, an annual mid-year Coca-Cola promotional draw (which includes the name of former Coca-Cola executive vice president, Carl Ware), or a car giveaway in Hong Kong. The messages also include formal language that makes them look "official," and are sometimes designed to look legitimate by including images or photographs, a "secret pin code" or reference/ticket number and contact information for a Coca-Cola representative.

The letters are written to look official and may appear to come from a financial institution. They often contain a claim number and may even include a cheque that appears to be from our Company or a Coca-Cola bottler.

The Coca-Cola Company is in no way associated with these emails, text messages, letters, unauthorized websites or programs. We are not a sponsor and our name and trademarks are used here without permission.

This appears to be a form of fraud known as "phishing," wherein perpetrators attempt to develop relationships with victims in order to obtain personal and financial information. Common signs that a message may be a part of an email scam or phishing campaign include:

  • Spelling and grammatical errors in the email;
  • Improper use of company trademarks;
  • Sender's use of free, non-corporate email accounts (such as Yahoo!, AOL and Hotmail);
  • Requests for personal information and the promise of quick financial gain.

Overall, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Do not reply to these text messages, emails or letters with any information.

If you have already responded to this type of text message, email or letter, we recommend that you immediately discontinue all communications with the source and contact your local and/or federal authorities for advice on how to proceed to protect your personal information and privacy.

6.    Rumour: Photos for Coca-Cola advertising

Fact

The Coca-Cola Company has learned of emails in circulation that falsely claim that the recipient's photos have been selected for use by Coca-Cola, often for a billboard. The emails often ask for a payment to be sent, whether it is for a sign-up fee or the agent's percentage of a promised payment. In some cases, the request for money does not come until the recipient responds to the original email.

The Coca-Cola Company is in no way associated with these emails. The individuals and agencies named are not working on behalf of Coca-Cola, and we did not sanction the use of our name or trademarks for these emails. This appears to be a fraud in which the sender hopes the recipients will send them money before learning that the offer is a scam. In some cases, the request for money is not mentioned in the original email, and the intent may be to obtain personal and financial information. This type of fraud is known as "phishing." Common signs that an email is part of a scam or phishing campaign include:

Spelling and grammatical errors in the email;

Improper use of company trademarks;

Sender's use of free, non-corporate email accounts (such as Yahoo!, AOL and Hotmail);

Requests for personal information and the promise of quick financial gain.

Overall, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Do not reply to these emails or letters with any information and do not send them any money. If you have already responded to this type of email or letter, we recommend that you immediately discontinue all communications with the source and contact your local and/or federal authorities for advice on how to proceed to protect your personal information and privacy.

7.    Rumour: “Secret Shopper” or “Store Evaluator” Promotion

Fact

The Coca-Cola Company has learned of letters in circulation that falsely claim that the recipient has been selected to become a “secret shopper” or “store evaluator” to rate the quality of customer service received when purchasing pre-paid cards.  A bogus cheque is included with the letter.  The letter informs the recipient to cash the cheque and use the proceeds to buy the pre-paid cards.

The Coca-Cola Company is in no way associated with these programs.  We are not a sponsor for this organization, and our name and trademarks are being used without permission.  This appears to be a form of fraud known as "phishing," wherein perpetrators attempt to develop relationships with victims in order to obtain personal and financial information.  Overall, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.  Do not reply to these or try to cash any checks provided.  We recommend that you immediately discontinue all communications with these organizations and contact your local and/or federal authorities for advice on how to proceed to protect your personal information and privacy.

MIDDLE EAST RUMOURS

Many companies are finding themselves the subject of various rumours that attempt to draw the companies and their products into the conflict in the Middle East. Some rumours and variations of those rumours concern The Coca-Cola Company. A few have been around for several years in one form or another and have recently had a resurgence.

1.    Rumour: Boycotting Coca-Cola makes a statement against the United States and American foreign policies

Fact

The Coca-Cola Company and our products are often regarded as American. But the fact is that The Coca-Cola Company is a truly international company, operating worldwide in more than 200 countries. The Coca-Cola business in each country is a local business. Coca-Cola beverages are produced, sold and distributed by authorized local bottling partners, who own and operate bottling plants and sales/distribution centres, employing one million local citizens - 90% outside the United States, and nearly all of them citizens of other countries.

For example, in the Palestinian Authority, The National Beverage Company, our Company's authorized local bottling partner, is an independent, privately held company, managed by local Palestinian businesspeople, who operate a Coca-Cola bottling facility located in Ramallah and distribution centres in Gaza, Hebron and Nablus. The National Beverage Company employs 200 local people and generates employment for hundreds of others in related industries. Throughout the Middle East we operate as a local business, run by local people and employing more than 20,000 local people, with local shareowners.

The Coca-Cola business is one of the most diverse organizations in the world, operating across a wide spectrum of economic, political and religious environments. As a business, Coca-Cola has neither the mandate to support nor an interest in supporting individual countries, governments or political or religious causes.

As everybody else, we are deeply touched by the human side of the situation in the Middle East. Given the local nature of our business, we believe that calls for boycotts of our products are not the appropriate way to further any causes, as they primarily hurt the local economy, local businesses and local citizens. Spreading such allegations is an attempt to exploit a delicate situation in the Middle East.

2.    Rumour: The Coca-Cola Company is a Jewish company. (Variations of this rumour suggest that the Company is affiliated with the Mormon religion.)

Fact

No. The Coca-Cola Company is not affiliated with any specific religion or ethnic group. We also do not support or oppose governments, political or religious causes. The Coca-Cola Company is a publicly listed company, with shareowners of different religions and ethnic groups all over the world. Anyone can buy Coca-Cola shares through their financial institution.

We believe the origins of this rumour date back to 1967, when the Arab League pronounced a boycott against companies for conducting business in Israel, following the tensions in the Middle East. The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners were present in many Arab and Muslim countries before Coca-Cola was introduced in Israel, and came back to the Arab countries as soon as the boycott was lifted.

Spreading such allegations is an attempt to exploit a delicate situation in the Middle East, and to falsely suggest that the Coca-Cola business takes sides.

3.    Rumour: Warning not to buy Coca-Cola due to possible contamination by terrorists

Fact

This rumour claims that a major news network and/or newspaper have put out an alert that Coca-Cola factories have been infiltrated by terrorists and that traces of poison have been found in cans of Coca-Cola. It is very similar to the "grateful stranger rewarding a helpful citizen with a warning about impending attack" rumour.

Several variations of the "grateful stranger" rumour have existed over the years. The people involved and details of the rumour vary, depending upon the political climate of the day, but they usually involve one person rewarding another with a tip or advice to avoid danger in response to an act of kindness. One version of the rumour surrounds a "tip" not to buy or consume Coca-Cola, implying an impending planned contamination.

These rumours are absolutely false and are causing needless worry. The Coca-Cola Company has an uncompromising commitment to product safety, and our products are produced and distributed through secure facilities. We use a number of processes to assure the safety and quality of the water and ingredients used to make our beverages. To ensure the effectiveness of our safeguards, we do not discuss the details of these processes.

We always take reports of this nature seriously. You should know that investigations to date, conducted by Federal and local officials, as well as The Coca-Cola Company, have concluded that these rumours have no merit.

4.    Rumour: Coca-Cola contains material making it unsuitable for vegetarians and Muslims

Fact

None of the soft drink brands of The Coca-Cola Company contain ingredients derived from mammals or poultry. We abide by the laws and practices in every country where our brands are sold. This includes countries where Islam is the principal religion such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Pakistan, whose governments have accepted our brands as suitable for consumption by members of the Muslim community.

5.    Rumour: Coca-Cola contributes profits to Israel

Fact

In an effort to rally Arab boycotts against The Coca-Cola Company and other American companies, many variations of a rumour exist claiming that our company provides financial support to Israel. One widely circulated rumour claims NBC reported that Coca-Cola had announced it would donate four days' profits to Israel.

These rumours are not true, but have been circulated by ill-informed or ill-intentioned third parties. The Coca-Cola Company is not political, and does not support individual countries, governments or political or religious causes.

The Coca-Cola Company and its bottling partners operate worldwide in more than 200 countries. While The Coca-Cola Company is a global company, the Coca-Cola business in each country is a local business. Coca-Cola beverages are produced, sold and distributed by authorized local bottling partners, who own and operate bottling plants and sales/distribution centres, employing many local citizens.

6.    Rumour: Coca-Cola runs advertising that is offensive to Muslims

Fact

A rumour has been circulated claiming that advertisements created by Coca-Cola depicted the Company's logo emblazoned on the Dome of the Rock and featured images of violence against Palestinians. The grisly images were circulated via the Internet and have been misinterpreted by some to be actual advertisements of The Coca-Cola Company. More recently, other fake Coca-Cola ads have been circulating that are offensive to Muslims.

These images are fabricated by ill-informed or ill-intentioned third parties who do not understand our business in the Middle East, and beyond. We sincerely deplore this irresponsible abuse of our trademark, which is offensive to Muslims, among whom we count many employees.

The Coca-Cola Company operates worldwide in more than 200 countries and territories with different cultures, political systems, religions and histories. While The Coca-Cola Company is a global company, the Coca-Cola business in each country is a local business. Coca-Cola beverages are produced, sold and distributed by authorized local bottling partners, who own and operate bottling plants and sales/distribution centres, employing many local citizens.

For example, in the Palestinian Authority, The National Beverage Company, our Company's authorized local bottling partner, is an independent, privately held company, managed by local Palestinian businesspeople, who operate a Coca-Cola bottling facility located in Ramallah and distribution centres in Gaza, Hebron and Nablus. The National Beverage Company employs 200 local people and generates employment for hundreds of others in related industries. Throughout the Middle East, our business employs more than 20,000 local people.

7.    Rumour: Anti-Muslim messages appear in graphics (No Mohammed, No Mecca)

Fact

Some people have been lead to believe that the Coca-Cola trademark can be translated to "No Mohammed, No Mecca" in Arabic when it is reversed and read from left to right.

This claim is not true. The Coca-Cola trademark was created in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia, at a time and place where there was little knowledge of Arabic.

The allegation has been brought before a number of senior Muslim clerics in the Middle East who researched it in detail and refuted the rumour outright.

During the late 1990s, a special committee of authorities in Saudi Arabia, with representatives from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Trade, was formed to review the rumours against the Coca-Cola logo. The committee determined that there is no basis to these false allegations and that the Coca-Cola trademark does not connote anything defamatory to Islam.

In May 2000, the Grand Mufti of Al-Azhar (the Islamic world's foremost institute) Sheikh Nasr Farid Wassel, said that "the trademark does not injure Islam or Muslims directly or indirectly." Moreover, he stated that Islam is against "the propagation of empty rumours and intended lies that affect either public or private interests."  

PRODUCTS AND PACKAGING RUMOURS

All our beverages are manufactured in compliance with Canadian federal food laws, the laws of all provinces and territories, and the laws of the nearly 200 countries throughout the world where our products are marketed.

Unfortunately, the incredible power of the Internet is sometimes used to spread false information about our products. There are several baseless rumours circulating on the Internet claiming that our products or their packaging can cause health problems. We've gathered some of those rumours here so that you can easily get the facts about these false claims.

1.    Rumour: Baby Soda Ad? It’s Not the Real Thing

Fact

That ad is a complete fabrication. The Coca-Cola Company never produced a piece of advertising with that image and copy nor did any trade association associated with our Company. In fact, the creator wrote about how he produced this fake ad himself nearly ten years ago.

2.    Rumour: The Secret Formula for Coca-Cola includes alcohol

Fact

We’re proud to be the world’s largest non-alcoholic beverage company. In the manufacture of Coca-Cola, alcohol is not added as an ingredient and no fermentation takes place.  The ingredients and manufacturing process used in the production of Coca-Cola are rigorously regulated by government and health authorities in more than 200 countries which have consistently recognized Coca-Cola as a non-alcoholic product.  

3.    Rumour: Bottle caps are not recyclable

Fact

Misinformation continues to spread about the recyclability of beverage caps. The closures we use on bottles are 100 percent recyclable from a technical standpoint and highly recycled. They are made from high-density materials selected for their compatibility with most recycling systems. Most recyclers use a float/sink process where PET bottles sink and the closures and labels float. For this reason, and to minimize litter, we recommend that consumers recycle their beverage bottles by putting the cap back on before placing in a recycle bin. Like the PET plastic used in our bottles, there also are end markets for the material used in the caps, such as paint pails and battery casings.

4.    Rumour: Coca-Cola contains pork

Fact

Coca-Cola does not contain pork nor any other animal derivatives. Additionally, Coca-Cola meets the safety requirements, laws and practices in every country where our brands are sold.

5.    Rumour: Coca-Cola contains cochineal, a bug dye

Fact

Cochineal, which is also known by the names Crimson Lake, Carmine, Natural Red 4, E120 and C.I. 75470, is not an ingredient in Coca-Cola.

6.    Rumour: Common Misperceptions about Sweeteners

Fact

There are all sorts of misperceptions about low- and no-calorie sweeteners. It is sometimes hard to separate fact from fiction about safety and health. We've put together a list of common misperceptions about sweetness and low- and no-calorie sweeteners.

Misperception: Aspartame causes cancer

Aspartame was first approved by Health Canada in 1981. Since that time, it has undergone hundreds of studies for safety. All of them point to the same conclusion: aspartame is safe for consumers. There is no sound scientific evidence that is accepted by food safety authorities linking aspartame, or other low- and no-calorie sweeteners, to cancer in humans.

Misperception: Low- and no-calorie sweeteners promote weight gain 

Low- and no-calorie sweeteners have not been shown to add weight to normal or overweight adults. In fact, according to the International Food Information Council, some studies show that low- and no-calorie sweeteners can help people better manage their weight.

Misperception: Low- and no-calorie sweeteners negatively affect people with diabetes

Low- and no-calorie sweeteners don't add carbohydrates to the diet, so they allow people with diabetes to consume a greater variety of foods. They can satisfy craving for sweets without affecting blood sugar, which helps these individuals follow a healthy meal plan and manage their diabetes.

Misperception: Use of low- and no-calorie sweeteners increases the risk of negative health effects

There is no scientific evidence that foods with low- and no-calorie sweeteners increase the risk of other diseases or health concerns. There is an exception for individuals born with a rare hereditary disease called phenylketonuria (PKU), which prevents them from breaking down one of the amino acids found in aspartame. Therefore, foods and drinks that are sweetened with aspartame must include a warning statement to keep individuals with this disease from unknowingly using this sweetener.

7.    Rumour: DASANI® does not hydrate properly due to salt content

Fact

DASANI contains 0.50 milligrams of sodium per 8-ounce serving. Under Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations governing nutritional labeling on a product, if a serving of a food contains less than 5mg of sodium, then that quantity is considered nutritionally insignificant and may be listed in the Nutrition Facts Table as sodium-free.

You may be interested to know that your local tap water also contains sodium. The amount of sodium in the local water supply varies greatly across the country. The amount of sodium in your local water supply may be available by calling your municipality or checking online. The average amount of sodium in Canadian tap water can be found in the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality maintained by Health Canada.

8.    Rumour: Child dies after drinking Diet Coke followed by chewing menthol-flavoured chewy candy

Fact

A rumour has been circulating the Internet that a boy has died in Brazil from eating Mentos and drinking Coca-Cola light. This is a hoax, most likely triggered by the well-known "Diet Coke/Mentos fountain phenomenon" and is not true.

There is no reason to believe that Coca-Cola ingredients together with menthol flavour or any other food or food ingredient would combine to cause any illness. Coca-Cola ingredients and menthol flavouring are widely approved as safe food ingredients and are used worldwide in a variety of foods.

This email appears to be linked to a number of amateur videos that have appeared on the Internet, which show people, for fun, mixing Mentos candies with Diet Coke to produce a reaction that causes the Diet Coke to shoot into the air. This reaction is thought to be caused by carbon dioxide (which gives carbonated soft drinks their fizz) permeating the porous surface of the Mentos.

However, chewing a Mentos candy destroys the surface needed for the carbon dioxide bubbles to form. Therefore such a foam reaction cannot happen when the two products are ingested.

We strongly advise consumers to treat with skepticism unauthorized or untraceable rumours which they find on the Internet, since the rumours often, as in this case, turn out to be entirely false.

Q&A

Q. Why does Diet Coke or Coke Zero when combined with Mentos produce a reaction that causes Diet Coke to shoot into the air or causes a rocket car to propel with Coke Zero?

A. Some scientists have said that it has to do with the rapid release of carbon dioxide (what gives soft drinks their "fizz") caused by the candy. As soon as Mentos is dropped into the beverage, carbon dioxide bubbles rapidly all over the surface of the candy. As Mentos sinks to the bottom of the bottle, additional bubbles are formed and the pressure inside the bottle increases very rapidly. The sudden increase in pressure pushes all of the liquid up and out of the bottle. The same reaction occurs in the case of the rocket car propelled with the Coke Zero/Mentos combination where the carbon dioxide pressure drives the reaction.

Q. Can this same reaction occur if I eat Mentos and drink Diet Coke or Coke Zero at the same time?

A. No. Chewing the candy destroys its surface which is needed for the carbon dioxide bubbles to form.

Q. Will anything happen if I just swallow Mentos and then consume Diet Coke or Coke Zero?

A. No. The level of carbon dioxide and pressure generated in a 2 liter bottle of beverage is far greater than what can be produced in the stomach.

9.    Rumour: Soft drinks can be used by farmers as pesticides for their crops

Fact

Soft drinks do not act in a similar way to pesticides when applied to the ground or crops. There is no scientific basis for this and the use of soft drinks for this purpose would be totally ineffective.

10.  Rumour: Aluminum from soft drink cans leads to Alzheimer's disease

Fact

Soft drinks canned in aluminum actually contain only trace amounts of the metal because the inner surface of the can is lacquered, which minimizes the chance of any aluminum from the can dissolving into the beverage. An individual would have to drink about 5,000 355 mL cans to get the same amount of aluminum as from one typical aluminum hydroxide-based antacid tablet. There is no evidence to support an alleged causal association between aluminum and Alzheimer's disease. In fact, The Alzheimer Society of Canada says "… there is no convincing evidence that aluminum increases a person's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease." This is important because aluminum is the third most abundant chemical in nature after oxygen and silicon. Virtually all foods, water, and air contain some aluminum. Some commonly eaten foods that contain aluminum are grains, vegetables, and meat.

11.  Rumour: Rat urine on soda can kills consumer

Fact

Many versions of this rumour claim that a relative, friend or co-worker died after drinking a can of soda. The rumour claims that the top of the can was encrusted with dried rat's urine. It also states that canned drinks and other foodstuffs are stored in warehouses and containers that are usually infested with rodents and then are transported to retail outlets without being properly cleaned.

This particular rumour has been around for years, but has recently made a comeback in Europe.

This rumour about a dirty soft drink can causing someone's death is simply not true. The Coca-Cola Company and all our bottling facilities adhere to a very rigorous quality assurance program to ensure the highest level of sanitation and to create superior quality products. We have very active and strict food inspection systems that regulate all of our plants and warehouse facilities, and rodent detection is one of the most basic things for which they inspect. In addition, governmental authorities enforce strict legal and regulatory systems that prohibit the storage of food and beverage products in warehouses that do not meet appropriate sanitation standards. Naturally if the store environment seems dirty, it is advisable to clean anything you might put in your mouth.

12.  Rumour: Cold soft drinks help create toxins that can lead to the development of various diseases

Fact

This particular rumour claims that soft drinks are usually served at a much lower temperature than what is optimum for proper functioning of digestive enzymes, putting stress on the digestive system, causing less food to be digested. The claim is that this undigested food creates toxins that are absorbed by the intestines and then circulated to the body, causing various diseases.

Body temperature is a constant 37°C (98.6°F). Eating hot food does not raise body temperature, just as eating cold foods does not lower body temperature. Everything we eat and drink turns the same temperature in the body. Most people eat many kinds of foods -- some hot and some cold. The temperature of the food does not affect how the body uses or metabolizes the food.

13.  Rumour: The Coca-Cola Company and Fanta have ties to the Nazi regime.

Fact

We whole-heartedly reject the claim that The Coca-Cola Company ever sympathized in any way with the abhorrent acts or policies of the Nazi regime in Germany.

The real story is back in 1941, when German bottlers were unable to obtain the materials necessary for Coca-Cola production, they developed a cola-like drink based on available ingredients and called it Fanta in an effort to keep their local bottling operation alive. The Fanta brand that we know today is a different and distinct orange flavoured drink launched in 1955 by The Coca-Cola Company in Italy. Fanta then became the trade-mark designation for a line of flavoured drinks sold by bottlers of Coca-Cola globally that are enjoyed today.

14.  Rumour: Coke + MSG = Aphrodisiac

Fact

Some people have been lead to believe that combining Coca-Cola with MSG (monosodium glutamate, a flavour enhancer) creates an aphrodisiac.

MSG is a flavour enhancer used in many foods, but it is not an ingredient in Coca-Cola. There is no factual or scientific basis for concluding that Coca-Cola is an aphrodisiac -- whether or not it is combined with MSG.

15.  Rumour: Coca-Cola can be used as a household cleaner

Fact

This rumour has taken on many forms, claiming that Coca-Cola, due to its acidic nature, can be used to clean toilets and corrosion from car batteries, loosen a rusted bolt and remove rust spots from car bumpers, remove grease from clothing, clean road haze from windshields, clean highways after traffic accidents, cook a steak, dissolve teeth, and bake a moist ham.

This rumour mentions that baking a ham basted with Coca-Cola produces a delicious gravy -- and that is definitely true! We are unaware of any state patrol officers using Coke for any purpose other than refreshment. Plain water or vinegar would be as effective and less costly for cleaning pavement. Vinegar, naturally acidic, is used as a household cleaner and also a common ingredient in marinades and salad dressings. Soaking an egg in vinegar causes the shell to soften -- an expected outcome because acid breaks down protein structure. Yet vinegar is completely safe as a food ingredient and enhances the flavour of many foods.

Soaking something in a soft drink or rubbing something with a cloth soaked in a soft drink is not at all like drinking a soft drink. People don't hold soft drinks in their mouths for long periods of time, nor rub their teeth with fabric soaked in soft drinks, so it doesn't make sense to extend these possible affects to normal use of the product. Because our teeth are constantly bathed by saliva, which helps buffer the effects of acids from foods and beverages, the effect on tooth enamel is greatly reduced. In fact, the acids in most foods are neutralized to a large degree by the saliva in the mouth long before they reach the stomach.

There is a small amount of edible acid present in many foods, including fruit juices, buttermilk, and soft drinks, such as Coca-Cola. These foods are not acidic enough to harm your body tissues -- in fact, your own natural stomach acid is stronger. It is possible that the edible acid in any of these products could have the effects described, even though it's still quite safe to drink these products. However, we don't make any claims relating to other uses. Instead, we recommend using products specifically designed for cleaning or rust removal.

The rumours about disappearing teeth, nails, steaks and various other objects are just that -- rumours. These stories continue to spring up and get recycled because each new generation finds them hard to ignore, but they simply are not true.

16.  Rumour: Soft drinks cause dehydration, leading to cancer

Fact

This particular rumour claims that 75% of North Americans are chronically dehydrated, and that by drinking five glasses of water each day, the risks of certain types of cancer are greatly reduced. The dehydration is blamed on the substitution of soft drinks for water in many North American diets.

The vast majority of healthy people adequately meet their daily hydration needs by consuming beverages at meals and otherwise letting thirst be their guide, according to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).The NAS report refers to total water, which includes the water contained in beverages and the moisture in foods, to avoid confusion with drinking water only. The reference level of nearly 4 litres for adult men and nearly 3 litres for adult women per day covers the expected needs of healthy, sedentary people in temperate climates.

According to the NAS 2004 Dietary Reference Intakes for Water, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfate, all beverages, including those that are caffeinated, contribute to hydration. While concerns have been raised that caffeine has a diuretic effect, research shows this effect is temporary, and there is no convincing evidence that caffeine leads to dehydration. Therefore, the NAS concluded that when it comes to meeting daily hydration needs, caffeinated beverages can contribute as much as non-caffeinated options.

17.  Rumour: Delhi University student dies chugging Coke

Fact

This rumour claims that a university student in India died from too much CO2 in his blood after drinking eight bottles of Coca-Cola too quickly.

Carbon dioxide, when added to water for carbonation, is not harmful upon ingestion. Like other food ingredients, carbon dioxide has been reviewed by regulatory authorities worldwide and its safety has been confirmed. Carbonation has no documented negative effects on the gastrointestinal tract or on general health. The story about the student at Delhi University is not true.

18.  Rumour: Soft drinks cause kidney failure

Fact

The rumour reports a young mother dying from the failure of both kidneys, due to consuming soft drinks every day at lunch.

This rumour about the young woman dying in Pertamina Hospital, located in Jakarta, Indonesia, is not true. The Director General of Food and Drug Control within the Indonesia Health Department has investigated this rumour and found it to be false.

Coca-Cola does not cause kidney stones. An inadequate intake of fluids is a major contributing factor to the formation of kidney stones. Soft drinks provide a pleasant and refreshing way to consume part of a person's daily fluid requirement, thereby encouraging adequate fluid intake.

The vast majority of cases of kidney failure are caused by complications of diabetes or high blood pressure.

None of our beverages contain harmful substances and are manufactured in compliance with the laws of the nearly 200 countries throughout the world where our products are marketed.

19.  Rumour: Soft drinks cause kidney stones

Fact

We would like to assure you that soft drinks do not cause kidney stones. There are multiple causes of kidney stones, and the ingredients in cola beverages have not been shown to cause them. In fact, just the opposite is true. An inadequate intake of fluids is a major contributing factor toward formation of kidney stones. Soft drinks provide a pleasant and refreshing way to consume part of a person's daily fluid requirements, thereby encouraging adequate fluid intake.