Supreme Court Orders Thorough Examination of Soft Drink Contents
NEW DELHI, JAN 3: In what could be of concern for the multi-crore
soft drink industry, the Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to
the Centre on a petition seeking a thorough examination of the contents
of soft drinks marketed vigorously by the manufacturers despite they
being “health hazards”.
A bench comprising Chief Justice R C Lahoti and Justice G P Mathur
issued the notice on a petition by the Centre for Public Interest
Litigation (CPIL) alleging that the government, which has a duty to
protect the life of citizens, has not taken any initiative in this
regard despite several researches finding soft drink contents to be
harmful, especially to children.
The petitioner requested the court to direct the Centre to constitute
an expert technical committee to evaluate the harmful effects of soft
drinks on human health and particularly on the health of children
and put in place a regulatory regime to control and check the contents
of particular chemical additives in foods and soft drinks.
It also requested the court to make it mandatory for the soft drink
manufacturers to disclose the contents and the quality of their products
including appropriate warning about ingredients and their harmful
Additionally, the PIL has also demanded that cola advertising must
It said that in early 2003, a joint parliamentary committee (JPC)
was constituted to examine the pesticide content in water used in
soft drinks after a report of the Center for Science and Environment
was made public.
According to CPIL counsel Prashant Bhushan, the PIL was filed against
the Centre, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo in the Supreme Court on November
27. The PIL, however, was heard on Monday as the Supreme Court was
closed for vacations.
PepsiCo India, when contacted, refused to comment on the issue, while
Coca-Cola India in a statement said “As the matter is subjudice, we
cannot comment on it.” It, however, said, “Our products manufactured
in India are world class and safe and comply with all statutory requirements.”
FAIR USE NOTICE. This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. India Resource Center is making this article available in our efforts to advance the understanding of corporate accountability, human rights, labor rights, social and environmental justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.