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Indian Court Orders Soft Drink Makers to List Pesticides On Product Label
(Beyond Pesticides, October 20, 2004)
The Rajasthan High Court in India ruled this month that all soft drinks and beverages companies including Pepsi and Coca Cola must disclose the full composition of ingredients and pesticide contents on the bottle or package, reports an Indian news service.

The decision by the court on October 8, 2004 comes on the heels of a government investigation and subsequent finding in February of this year that unacceptable and illegal pesticide residue levels were present in the leading soft drinks sold in the country. (See Daily News story.)

The Court directed all manufacturers of beverages and soft drinks to follow the order immediately, said the news service.

The issue was brought to the government’s attention by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a private watchdog group based in New Delhi. CSE had published a report in mid-2003 that examined pesticide residue levels in twelve leading brands of soft drinks sold in Delhi and found them all in excess of permitted pesticide levels by the European Economic Commission (EEC). The pesticides found were lindane, chlorpyrifos, DDT and DDT metabolites. CSE also analyzed the content of both Pepsi and Coke in the U.S. and found no pesticides.

According to CSE, the CEOs of Pepsi and Coke had categorically claimed in a press conference prior to the government investigation that the companies were regularly testing their products in accredited laboratories in India and abroad for pesticide residues. They asserted they were absolutely confident that their products met all global standards and were below the European levels as far as pesticide residues are concerned.

TAKE ACTION: You may tell Coca-Cola India how you feel by commenting on their website. You may call PepsiCo at (914) 253-2000.