Two More Indian States Ban Soft Drinks Made by US Cola Giants
Two more Indian states banned soft drinks after an environmental group
last week said tests of products made by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo showed
high pesticide levels.
Six states have now enacted partial or full bans on soft drinks made
by the two companies in India after the New Delhi-based Centre for
Science and Environment said tests it conducted on 57 samples of 11
soft drinks produced by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo showed high pesticide
The report was a follow-up to its findings three years ago that 12
of the companies' soft drinks had such high pesticide levels they
could lead to cancer.
Coca-Cola and Pepsico said in statements Friday that the drinks were
The most severe ban was announced by the southern state of Kerala
Wednesday which announced an embargo on the manufacture and sale of
drinks made by the cola giants.
"We have decided to ban sale and production of Coca Cola and Pepsi
soft-drinks in the state as their products contains high level of
toxic substances which is injurious to public health," V.S. Achuthanandan,
chief minister of Kerala told AFP.
Achuthanandan, 83, was at the forefront of a successful campaign to
close a Coca-Cola factory in Plachimada, 370 kilometres (229 miles)
northeast of Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala.
Villagers living near the plant had charged the cola giant with depleting
ground water and polluting the soil with sludge discharges.
Following the protests, the Coca-Cola bottling plant was finally closed
down in February 2004. On Wednesday, Achuthanandan promised similar
action against Pepsi's unit in his state.
"We will take steps to close down the Pepsi factory in Puthussery
village in Palakkad district of Kerala," he said.
Both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo were granted permission by the Kerala government
to open bottling units in 1997.
In addition, the southern state of Karnataka announced Wednesday that
11 brands of soft drinks made by Pepsi and Coca-Cola were banned from
all state-run educational institutions and hospitals from August 14.
The ban will be in force within 100 metres (yards) of all schools,
colleges and hospitals across the state, Karnataka Health Minister
R. Ashok told a press conference in Bangalore.
The western state of Gujarat, central Madhya Pradesh and the northern
states of Rajasthan and Punjab banned the soft drinks from schools
and state offices last week.
India's Supreme Court last week gave the two firms six weeks to reveal
the ingredients of their products. Some legislators in the federal
parliament have called for a total ban on sales of soft drinks.
Pepsi and Coke were banned in India in 1977 as part of a nationalist
wave and were allowed back in the country in 1993 when Coca Cola resumed
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