Government Views Cola Contamination with 'Utmost Seriousness'
New Delhi, Aug 7 (IANS) Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss Monday said
that his ministry views the contamination of soft drinks with utmost
'The ministry of health and family welfare has taken note of the studies
carried out by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) as well as
its discussions in the print and electronic media on Aug 2. The report
of the CSE is being examined,' Ramadoss informed parliament.
The ministry views 'the contamination of soft drinks with utmost seriousness
and is committed to protecting the health of the consumers and would
take all necessary steps to ensure this'.
Three years after it shocked the nation with a report showing exceedingly
large amounts of pesticide content in leading soft drink brands, CSE
last week released its second study 'Soft Drinks - Hard Truth II'
showing three to five immune-suppressive pesticides again in 11 brands.
A fresh survey conducted by it has found that the brands of the Coke
and Pepsi family had on an average 24 times more pesticide residues
than what it had found in 2003.
The minister, however, said the standards for soft drinks or 'carbonated
water' were formulated under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules.
'These standards for soft drinks have provided that the water to be
used in making carbonated water should conform to the standards prescribed
for packaged drinking water,' he said.
Meanwhile, CSE Monday dared the cola companies to come clean.
'They want us to believe that they are safe because film stars drink
their products or because other foods in India are contaminated. This
is a clever spin and will not fool the Indian consumers,' it said
in a statement.
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