Woman's family blames Coca-Cola for death
Written by Robert Smith
Friday, 20 April 2012
A deadly Coke habit may have contributed to the death of a woman in New Zealand who drank a staggering two gallons of Coca-Cola a day, experts said.
Natasha Harris, a stay-at-home mother of eight, died in February of 2010 of a heart attack at the age of 30, the Associated Press reports.
She drank between 2.1 and 2.6 gallons of the soda every day her partner Chris Hodgkinson testified.
"The first thing she would do in the morning was to have a drink of Coke beside her bed and the last thing she would do at night was have a drink of Coke," Hodgkinson said in a deposition. "She was addicted to Coke."
Hodgkinson said this week that Coca-Cola should put warning labels its products, New Zealand news site Stuff.co.nz reports.
Dr. Dan Mornin testified Thursday that Harris probably suffered from hypokalemia, or low potassium, as a result of her Coca-Cola habit, the site reported.
The toxic levels of caffiene in the product could have also contributed to Harris’ death, Mornin testified.
Harris also smoked about 30 cigarettes a day and had poor nutrition, her family testified.
“They didn’t live the best lives, but Tasha always put those kids first,” her sister Raelene Finlayson said, according to local news outlet Fairfax Media. “They never went without food or anything like that."
She added that she didn’t personally hold Coca-Cola responsible for her sister’s death.
“Nobody forced Tasha to drink all that ...” she testified. “It’s like anything, we all know anything in moderation is ok.”
An inquest is normally held in New Zealand for unusual or unexplained deaths, according to The AP.
Coca-Cola said in a statement it confident its products are safe.
"We concur with the information shared by the coroner's office that the grossly excessive ingestion of any food product, including water, over a short period of time with the inadequate consumption of essential nutrients, and the failure to seek appropriate medical intervention when needed, can be dramatically symptomatic ...” the statement read.
"We believe that all foods and beverages can have a place in a balanced and sensible diet combined with an active lifestyle."