Kerala Government May Ban Coke, Pepsi
New Delhi: The government of Kerala is likely to impose a ban on the
sale of all soft drinks selling under Pepsi and Coca-Cola brands in
This follows a recommendation of the ruling Left Democratic Front
(LDF) to this effect. Kerala consumes about 5-7 per cent of the 500
million cases of cola sold in the country.
Meanwhile, the governments of Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat today banned
the sale of Pepsi and Coca Cola in government offices and educational
“We will ban sale of colas in canteens at government offices and educational
institutes,” Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan told
reporters, adding that an order in this regard would be issued soon.
The state government had last week banned sale of Pepsi and Coca Cola
in the state Assembly canteen.
In Ahmedabad, Gujarat Education Minister Anandiben Patel said, “We
have decided to stop sale of Coke, Pepsi, and other aerated soft drinks
in all 400 government-run colleges, most of which are in the urban
areas of the state.” The ban will come into effect tomorrow.
The Supreme Court had last week issued notices to both Pepsi and Coca
Cola on a petition seeking a disclosure by the cola companies on the
ingredients and chemical composition of their products. The apex court
asked the companies to file replies within four weeks.
The health ministry also wants state governments to collect samples
of various cola brands for testing.
According to Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, acting on a Joint
Parliamentary Committee (JPC) report, the Centre had asked state governments
to collect samples of different cola brands for testing.
“We already have standards on the quality of soft drinks. The onus
of ensuring that soft drinks are pesticide-free is on the manufacturers,”
According to the Centre for Science and Environment’s (CSE) second
study — Soft Drinks, Hard Truths II — released last week, five pesticides
were found in cola samples collected from across the country, as compared
to four in 2003.
Pepsi, with the highest pesticide content as per the study, had 30
times higher pesticide residues on an average, while Coca Cola had
27 times higher residues.
On their part, the soft drink companies, under the aegis of Soft Drink
Manufacturers’ Association (ISDMA), said soft drinks in India complied
with stringent international norms, and all applicable national regulations.
The credibility of the CSE’s testing laboratories has been challenged
by the laboratory that conducts regular tests for the cola firms.
However, the NGO has stuck by its findings. While there was no official
comment from either PepsiCo or Coca Cola, R K Khandal, the director
of Sri Ram Labs, said the CSE laboratory did not have an NABL accreditation,
“a must” for any centre conducting tests related to food safety and
health standards in India.
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