If you are a fan of Mountain Dew, it’s time to stop reading right here. Ronald Ball, of Illinois filed a lawsuit against that soda brand’s parent company, PepsiCo, claiming that he found a dead mouse floating in his can of soda. The soda giant has pulled experts, including a veterinary pathologist into court to dispute the probability of the case and in the process may turn countless diehard Mountain Dew fans away from that product.
It was 2009, according to the documents, when Ball bought a can of Mountain Dew from the vending machine at work. He claims that after drinking just a little bit of the soda, he became ill and threw up. Concerned, he poured what was left in the can into a cup and was horrified when a small, dead mouse fell out of the can. Ball then claimed to have called a toll free number on the can to complain. A representative allegedly took the mouse’s body for “testing”.
The case itself, asking for at least fifty thousand dollars, was filed by Ball in 2010.
In response to the case, PepsiCo brought in experts, including a veterinary pathologist, who testified to the fact that had the mouse inadvertently gotten into the can during the bottling process, he would have not been in the condition that Ball described or claimed over a year later. According to the date on the can that Ball gave as the one containing the mouse and the date that Ball claimed the can was purchased, fifteen months had passed. The veterinary pathologist claimed that it was highly unlikely that the mouse’s bones and other structures would have been able to maintain their integrity. In other words, the mouse would have been reduced to goo.
Other studies and scientists are backing that particular claim, as disgusting as it might seem. In 2004, a team, led by a dentist conducted a study with both citrus sodas such as Mountain Dew and colas like Pepsi and rival Coke to see which were worse for human teeth, namely their enamel. In that two week test, citric acid based sodas eroded tooth enamel much faster than others by a six to one margin. Ironically, diet Mountain Dew did even more damage to the teeth than the regular version.
PepsiCo has until January 11th to file its response to a second motion by the plaintiff in the case, but may have caused its self serious brand damage in defending the case at all. Then again, experts point out, the known dangers to the human mouth and waistline are evident and have been so for years, so it might have very little impact on consumption at all.