INDIA: Court rejects bid for tougher controls on soft drinks
India's Supreme Court found the current regulations on soft drinks are sufficient
India's Supreme Court has thrown out a bid to introduce a stricter regime to monitor soft drinks' ingredients and force producers to put warnings on labels.
A petition filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation urged a “regulatory regime” to check the chemical additives going into foods in India, including soft drinks. The group also wanted producers to include warnings about ingredients in their products and tighter controls on “misleading” advertising of soft drinks.
But, in a ruling this week, seen by just-drinks, the court said that the current Food Safety and Standards Act, and its related rules and regulations, are already sufficient. “In our view, by and large, the various grievances raised by the petitioner are ... covered by the legislations,” the ruling said.
When contacted by just-drinks, PepsiCo said: “The dismissal of the Public Interest Litigation yesterday by the Supreme Court emphatically validates the industry stand that the Food Safety and Standards Act, which is a comprehensive legislation, is equipped in terms of standards and mechanism to enforce food safety.”
However, the court did call for better checks on “fruit-based soft drinks” sold from fruit stalls in India, which contain pesticides. The Food and Safety Standards Authority of India was ordered to carry out “periodical” inspections of major fruit and vegetable markets.
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