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Coke, Pepsi banned in India over harmful levels of aspartame, pesticides and other chemicals

Monday, August 07, 2006 by: NewsTarget
Tags: Pepsi, soft drinks, grocery warning

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(NewsTarget) A spokesman for the administration of the largest state in India announced Friday that Rajasthan would be banning the sale of PepsiCo and Coca-Cola products after the Indian Supreme Court gave the companies one month to reveal their products' ingredients.

A report from the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) claimed on Thursday that the two companies sold beverages containing unacceptable amounts of pesticide, spurring Federal Members of Parliament to call for a nationwide ban.

"The ban will be in force in all educational institutes, including medical and technical colleges and universities, and offenders would be punished," said spokesman K. Tiwari. "Manufacturers are required to print not only 'dangerous for human consumption,' but also the quantity of the residues, if any, on each label."

Both PepsiCo and Coca-Cola renounced the CSE report, stating that their customers' interests were their primary concern.

However, the Supreme Court disagreed, announcing their ultimatum after a public lawsuit was brought against both companies. The suit asserted that the soft drink giants' products contained high levels of harmful chemicals such as phosphoric acid, caffeine and aspartame.

In addition to the Rajasthan ban, the Northern state of Punjab has said it will no longer provide its lawmakers with soft drinks, as of Friday.

"Rajasthan is right to question the safety of Coke and Pepsi products," said Mike Adams, a consumer health advocate and holistic nutritionist. "On their own, many of the chemicals found in these products would be considered extremely toxic. But somehow, when they are added to a popular beverage, all the health experts in the world suffer a consensus trance and agree to look the other way," he added.

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