INDIA: Coke, Pepsi await pesticide ruling
Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo received temporary relief today (12 December) in India's pesticides row when the country's Supreme Court delayed the verdict in the controversial contamination case for two months.
The court said it would wait for a forthcoming government food-safety report to be published before handing down a ruling.
Coke and Pepsi are now thought likely to escape revealing their secret drinks formulas, but may have to unveil detailed information regarding the pesticide allegations.
Earlier this year, the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment alleged Coke and Pepsi products in India contained high levels of harmful pesticides, because they used poorly purified groundwater.
The report alleged that tests on 57 samples of Coke and Pepsi brands had found 24 times more pesticide than permitted.
This led to a lower court directing the companies to specify pesticide residues in their drinks, an order appealed as discriminatory by the soft drinks giants, as no other food product in India is bound by such a regulation.
A number of states also embarked on a partial ban on the sale of Coke and Pepsi products, with one state, Kerala, completing prohibiting their sale. Kerala has since had that ban overturned but is fighting to get it reinstated.
Coke and Pepsi have insisted their products were safe to drink. Pepsi embarked on an ad campaign to convince Indian consumers of the safety of its products.
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