Indian court upholds soft drink ban
September 4, 2006
The High Court in the southern Indian state of Kerala temporarily upheld a ban on production of soft drinks by the Indian subsidiaries of Coca Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc., the Associated Press reports. Kerala banned sale and production of Coke, Pepsi and other soft drinks after a New Delhi-based environment group said earlier this month that the products contain high levels of pesticides. Coca Cola India and PepsiCo India—both of which operate bottling plants in Kerala—have challenged the ban in the state''s High Court and have sought the court''s permission to continue production until judges deliver their verdict in the case. But the court, while admitting the petition, said that the prohibition will stand until it hears the case on Sept. 11. While Kerala has imposed a total ban on the soft drinks, six other states have banned the beverages at schools, hospitals and government offices. This is not the first time that Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have faced charges of pesticide content in their soft drinks in India. The allegations first surfaced three years ago, when the Center for Science and Environment said its tests revealed PepsiCo and Coca-Cola drinks sold in India contained pesticides that were respectively 36 and 30 times higher than European Union safety standards.