Panel to Fix Cola Pesticide Limits
The Ministry of Health and Welfare has set up a four-member expert
committee headed by the Indian Council of Medical Research Director
General Dr N K Ganguly to fix the Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) for
pesticides in carbonated beverages, fruit and vegetables juices and
other finished products.
In a suo motu statement in the Lok Sabha, the Ministry of Health and
Welfare said had to use the water that constitutes 86-92 per cent
of carbonated water in soft drinks as per the Packaged Drinking Water
under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955, which was later
amended and notified in October 2004.
Other members of the committee include toxicology expert Dr S. K.
Khanna, formerly with the Industrial Toxicology Research Centre, Lucknow,
Dr N. P. Agnihotri, pesticide expert formerly with the Indian Agricultural
Research Institute (IARI), and Dr G. Thyagrajan, former director,
Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad.
The expert committee will guide the pesticide Residue Sub-Committee
on technical aspects regarding fixing of MRLs, including methodology,
toxicity, processing factor and health risks conforming to the internationally
accepted Codex Working Principles. It will also guide how to monitor
pesticides in other foodstuffs.
To ensure sugar was free of pesticide, the Health Minister had commissioned
a pilot study on 200 sugar samples in September last year, which found
no pesticides. Another more sensitive study is currently underway
a ICMR and the results are expected early next The Health Ministry
has also asked the Agriculture Ministry to give them data on all pesticides
used on the sugarcane crop.
The statement said the action was based on the recommendations of
the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) headed Sharad Pawar that sought
to free all sweetened aerated waters from pesticide residues. The
JPC had also recommended water used in manufacturing the soft drinks
should conform with the bottled drinking water norms notified on July
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