After fizz, fizzle

Mumbai: Recently in the US, Coca-Cola fired one of its employees after he was caught drinking a Pepsi. Such is the intense, bitter and bizarre rivalry between the two cola giants that when they join forces to commonly battle an issue one has to sit up and take notice (See: ).

The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), a Delhi-based non-governmental organisation, which has won its spurs by bringing down pollution levels in Delhi and making mineral water manufacturers clean up their water and act, has now trained its guns at Coke and Pepsi. CSE has now asked these two multinational companies (MNCs) to clean up their act and colas (See: ).

A CSE study has revealed that the pesticides levels in Coke, Pepsi, Mirinda and nine other soft drinks of these MNCs are far in excess than what is claimed by them. While there are no specific standards for soft drinks in India, these MNCs have maintained that their drinks are manufactured by the standards set down by the European Economic Commission (EEC) world-class standards.

According to CSE director Sunita Narain these MNCs operate within the prevalent food laws in India but they exercise double standards, as their products in the US contain no pesticides.

Damning evidence
The CSE study has revealed that the level of pesticides in Coke is 30 times more and in the case of Pepsi it is 35 times more than the levels stipulated by the EEC. Four of the pesticides found in India are extremely toxic, which in the long term could cause cancer and damage the nervous and reproductive system, among others hassles.