Pepsi Co., facing a lawsuit from a man who claims to have found a mouse in his Mountain Dew can, has an especially creative, if disgusting, defense: their soda would have dissolved a dead mouse before the man could have found it. An Illinois man sued Pepsi in 2009 after he claims he “spat out the soda to reveal a dead mouse,” the Madison County Record reports. He claims he sent the mouse to Pepsi, which then “destroyed” the remains after he allowed them to test it, according to his complaint. Most shudder-worthy, however, is that Pepsi’s lawyers also found experts to testify, based on the state of the remains sent to them, that “the mouse would have dissolved in the soda had it been in the can from the time of its bottling until the day the plaintiff drank it,” according to the Record. (It would have become a “jelly-like substance,” according to Pepsi, adds LegalNewsline.) This seems like a winning-the-battle-while-surrendering-the-war kind of strategy that hinges on the argument that Pepsi’s product is essentially a can of bright green/yellow battery acid. The lawyers still appear to be lawyering behind the scenes but we cannot wait for this to come to trial (though we think a trial is about as likely as the chances of us “Doing the Dew” ever again). [source]
The idea that soft drinks can dissolve, say, a tooth or a penny is frequently trotted out by anti-soda folks (even though they won’t, or at least not quickly). But this isn’t the PTA trying to get Pepsi machines out of schools. This is Pepsi Co. itself saying that its product will dissolve a rodent corpse over the shelf life of a can. This might win them the lawsuit, but as a marketing strategy, “Mountain Dew: If it has vermin in it, you’ll never know” could use a little work.
Now, we can chat about pH balances and acidic content, and that’s cool. I’m still far more critical of a substance with absolutely no nutritional value that does more harm than good than I am, say, orange juice. (Or maybe not. Let’s not use orange juice for an example… let’s say, apple juice? No? Oh. Carrot juice? Yes? Ok.) There are a thousand more reasons to not drink pop, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Ick Factor on this is pretty darn high.