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Coca-Cola health scare may be mass sociogenic illness

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 17 July 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:146
  1. Rory Watson
  1. Brussels

    Belgium witnessed an outbreak of mass sociogenic illness last month as hundreds of people contacted the country's National Poison Centre when they became ill after drinking Coca-Cola. But scientists are divided over the scale of the outbreak and whether it fully explains the many different symptoms, experienced mainly by schoolchildren, which forced the company to take all its products off the market.

    Four members or former advisers of the health council attached to the federal health and social affairs ministry have diagnosed mass sociogenic illness as the root cause. They have attributed the large number of health …

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