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An international investigation has begun after Coca-Cola cans were found to contain what appeared to be human waste. In case you needed another reason not to drink Coke, this is it.

A factory in Lisburn, Ireland was shut down last week when machines became clogged with the waste. Police are now investigating reports that a consignment shipment may have been contaminated.

“Detectives are investigating an incident at commercial premises in the Lisburn area following reports that a consignment of containers delivered to the premises had been contaminated,” said a spokesman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

The cans, which came from Germany arrive from the plant without tops and are filled with Coke before being sold across the country.

“It was absolutely horrible, and the machines had to be turned off for about 15 hours to be cleaned,” a source reportedly told the Belfast Telegraph. “It was unusual because normally the cans come from somewhere else in the UK, but this time they apparently came from Germany. 

“The rumour is that some poor immigrants could have made that long journey in the lorry and that in their desperation were forced to use the cans instead of a toilet.

“It’s really shocking – and beyond the shock of finding something pretty disgusting in the cans is the thought there could have been poor people in that situation. And if they did make that journey, where are they now?”

One official, Alliance councilor Amanda Grehan explained to the Telegraph she was dumbfounded by the news. “That’s really shocking, and if the drinks cans were to get out into shops then it could be extremely dangerous for people,” she said.

A spokesperson for the mega soft drink company released a statement on Monday noting that they were aware of the problem.

“We are treating this matter extremely seriously and are conducting a thorough investigation in cooperation with the PSNI,” said the spokesperson.

“The problem was identified immediately through our robust quality procedures and all of the product from the affected batch was immediately impounded and will not be sold.

“This is an isolated incident and does not affect any products currently on sale.”

For now, the Food Standards Agency, Ireland’s equivalent of the FDA, is saying, “there is no evidence to suggest that any affected product has reached the market.”

As the Free Thought Project has previously reported, Coca-Cola is recognized across the globe as the most valuable brand in history, as well as the second most recognized phrase in the world after “hello.” In many places across the globe purchasing a Coke is ironically easier and less expensive than accessing clean water.

Although Coke attempts to portray itself as a socially and environmentally conscious company, the reality is that it’s deeply connected to pollution and water shortages — and now, apparently, human waste.

Additionally, the acidity of Coke has led many to question the toxicity of the product, relating to long-term human health, as its pH rating is only one point higher than that of battery acid.

In a study sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, researchers found that individuals who consumed at least one soda a day had a 44% higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome during the four-year study.

The team studied more than 2,400 middle-aged white residents of Framingham, Mass., specifically focusing on the more than 1,600 people who showed no signs of metabolic syndrome at the beginning of the study. These individuals were then tracked by the researchers for at least four years.

Those who drank at least one soda per day also had:

  • a 31% greater risk of becoming obese;
  • a 30% higher risk of having a larger waistline;
  • a 25% higher risk of developing high blood triglycerides or high blood sugar;
  • a 32% greater risk of having low levels of good cholesterol;
  • a trend toward an increased risk of high blood pressure.

In a separate study, it was revealed that people face a 48% increased risk of heart attack or stroke when consuming one or more sodas per day, as compared to those that don’t drink it every day or at all.

Soft drink consumption has also been linked to respiratory disorders such as COPD and asthma.