Madhya Pradesh Government Bans Colas
Indo-Asian News Service
August 6, 2006

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Sunday banned soft drinks in government offices and educational institutions across the state with immediate effect.

"The order banning sale and consumption of these products at all official functions, government offices and inside the campuses of schools, colleges and universities has been issued," a state official said.

Referring to the Centre for Science and Environment's (CSE) report on the high level of pesticide content in soft drinks, the official said the manufacturers were required to print not only 'dangerous for human consumption', but also the quantity of the residues, if any, on each product's label.

"This was the first phase of the ban and, if required, the soft drinks may be banned in the entire state. We are seeking legal opinion and looking into other options as well," he said.

The ban would be effective in all educational institutes, including medical and technical colleges, and the offenders would be punished as per the law under Food and Civil Supply and Adulteration Act, a source said.

State Congress spokesman Manak Agarwal welcomed the ban but said that those who would be unemployed as a consequence should be provided alternate employment.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Rameshwar Sharma also welcomed the ban and said steps should be taken to develop indigenous cold drinks.

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