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Coke and Pepsi Pesticide Challenge

Coca-Cola and PepsiCo faced mounting pressure yesterday when two more Indian states banned the sale of their soft drinks at government-run schools, colleges and hospitals over allegations they contain high levels of pesticides. Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh joined five other states in banning the sale of Coke, Pepsi, Sprite and other drinks made by the Indian subsidiaries of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo.

The Centre for Science and Environment said last week its tests on 57 samples of soft drinks made by the US giants revealed they contained residues of pesticides 24 times higher than Indian standards allowed. It said almost all soft drinks sold in India contain high levels of pesticides, but it focused on Coca-Cola and PepsiCo because the two account for nearly 80 per cent of India’s $2bn (£1bn) soft drinks market. The companies issued a joint statement last week saying both “comply with stringent international norms and all applicable national regulations”. (The Independent)

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