Coke probes claim bottled water sickened soldier

By LEON STAFFORD | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Published: July 15, 2014

Coca-Cola said it continues to investigate reports that one of its bottled water brands may have made at least one soldier in Afghanistan sick.

Channel 2 Action News reported Friday that it had confirmed the Army was testing a batch of Coke’s Kinley bottled water after at least one soldier at Bagram Airfield became ill.

“We are looking into the concerns raised about Kinley bottled water in Afghanistan,” Coca-Cola said in a statement Monday. “Providing safe and high quality products is our top priority. We have high standards for ensuring that our products meet our consumers’ expectations everywhere in the world. We are working to gather more information.”

A soldier at the base told Channel 2 Action News in an email that “about 75 percent of our company has been sick and I’m sure it has affected others. Some had fevers, explosive diarrhea.”

The soldier is part of the Pennsylvania National Guard’s 252nd engineering company.

A NATO official, however, did not cite any illnesses in a statement to the station.

“As a precautionary measure, the U.S. Army preventive medicine recommended setting aside a specific lot of bottled water that is distributed in some areas of Afghanistan until further testing is completed,” the official said. “At this time, there is no evidence of water-borne illnesses.”

The soldier sent the TV station a picture of a sign warning soldiers: “Do not drink bottled ‘Kinley’ water!It has been placed on medical hold until further notice.”


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